Kendra’s birthday is tomorrow, and it’s a big one – her first milestone birthday. You know, there’s 21, 18, 16, 13 – the other significant milestone birthdays that mark becoming a teenager and the privileges you gain on your way to adulthood. But, here in North Carolina, the home of “8 or 80″, turning 8 is a big deal. Once you hit 8 years old (or 80 pounds, whichever comes first), you are no longer required by law to ride in a booster seat in the car. And to an almost 8-year-old who has lots of older friends, this is a really big deal. And weighing in at 57 pounds, Kendra is lucky there’s an age requirement instead of only a weight requirement.
So, Saturday morning when we head out to the car to go out for birthday donuts, Kendra will strap on her seatbelt with her little butt planted on the actual seat of the car. The view out her window will be much more sky and much less ground, but she will be happy as can be. A real big kid. She’s really growing up. And I’m so proud of the young lady she is becoming.
Kendra checked out my blog for the first time yesterday, and she asked if she could “follow” me. I told her that she’d have to wait until she was older and had an email address but that she was welcome to read whenever she wanted. And since I know that she’ll be reading, I’m going to write her birthday card right here:
I can barely remember what life was like before you came along. I know Daddy and I were happy, but you have brought us so much joy that it’s impossible to imagine life without you. You have wisdom and sensitivity way beyond your years. You are like an old soul in the body of an energetic vibrant little girl. It amazes me how you can be such a silly kid in one moment and show such genuine empathy in the next. You never judge anyone. You accept everyone for who he or she is and you see the good in everyone. You go out of your way never to hurt anyone, no matter how he or she may have treated you (maybe with the exception of your little brother sometimes!).
I am so proud of you. You are a friend to everyone you meet. You are honest, loving, gentle, sensitive, and sweet. You are artistic and creative – a true little artist. You are a dancer and an athlete. You are graceful and strong. You are intelligent and curious. You take care of me when I don’t feel well. And when you put your hand on my shoulder when I’m having a bad day, you don’t even have to say anything because I can feel your love in that tiny little touch. I don’t know what I would do without my little princess. Daddy and I are so blessed to be your parents.
I hope you never lose the tender vulnerability that makes you the sweet person that you are. I respect you. I want to be more like you. You can make me smile even when I don’t want to smile. I cherish the time we spend together. And you are such a helper! Working in the kitchen is so much fun when you are in there with me – even if you do crack an occasional egg onto my foot!
Thank you for being you. Daddy and I love you from the bottom of the ocean to the highest star. I know we will go through times in life when you will get mad at us or think we’re unfair or unreasonable, so I want you to remember when that happens that we feel a tremendous burden of responsibility to have been blessed with such a precious little girl, and in every decision we make we strive to do what is best and right for you. We pray for you. We would do anything in the world for you.
Happy Birthday, Little Girl.