Guess who hit double digits today?
Who now looks like this:
It's pretty amazing the difference just one year makes. Last year she turned 9, and it struck me that she was exactly halfway between birth and adulthood. This year, while only a year older, it's a pivotal age - the grand entrance to double digits. There will be other milestone birthdays - turning 13, or sweet 16, or hitting adulthood at 18 - but double digits is the first real numerical milestone.
There's another difference a year makes: behavior. She's in fourth grade now - the first year they get actual letter grades - and the strides she has made just from last year are amazing. This time last year, she'd already been kicked off the bus for the year for fighting (with her brother of course). This year? Not a single warning. It is nothing short of amazing, watching your kids grow into the people you hope they'll become.
Sure, she's still impulsive, and can be goofy, and gets too excited about things... No, wait, that's me. She's also independent, fiercely loyal, and kind-hearted. She hates hearing about anyone getting hurt; loves animals of all kinds; is still crazy about unicorns; and yet is starting to ask about boys. Scariest conversation ever? "Dad, how do you know when a boy likes you?" To my credit, I did not run screaming from the room. Shotgun's never been cleaner, though...
So, happy birthday to you, my little princess. While you are - and will always be - my little girl, I'm trying my best to help you on your journey to become your own person. My job - one I take very seriously - is to keep you safe; the best way I figure I can do that is to give you the tools you'll need, show you how to use them, and get out of your way. I'm trying my best to set a good example - or at the very least, be as little of a cautionary warning as possible.
Happy birthday, Baby Girl G.!
That is all.