Today you turn 10, a whole decade -- a big milestone. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. It was a Sunday. I woke your dad up at about 2:30 in the morning to tell him my water had broken. He said, "Should I still go to Quantico?" "No!" Haha. As a matter of fact, he's leaving for Quantico again, tomorrow, on a Sunday. He just can't seem to stay away from that place. I guess that's why Quantico is called the Crossroads of the Marine Corps.
I am starting to see glimpses of the young woman you will one day grow up to be. It's in your eyes, the expressions that you make, and even in the way you walk. It's hard to explain. But everybody kind of has their signature ways about them, and yours have been established. I get the sense that your little kid days are numbered and that these next few years will probably fly, and you will grow and change a lot. But at the same time I see you are in no hurry to do that, and that makes me happy. I like how you still run around the beach trying to catch critters and make little habitats for them. You still run circles around the house when you're excited the way you always have. The way you find joy in the little things -- that never needs to change.
Remember the card I got you for your birthday last year? With the funny picture of the dog and the words "Dance like nobody's watching;" and inside it said something like, "Nevermind, don't." I don't remember exactly and I'm doing a terrible job explaining, but that card with that silly dog picture and those words.. that's your humor exactly -- the carefree silliness and the deadpanning. It's been fun seeing your sense of humor develop.
You are especially close with your father. I am always happy when he texts to let me know that the two of you stopped at IHOP or something, on the way home from somewhere. Stay close to him. The way he treats me, you, your siblings and his family and friends is the best example of the way a man ought to be. He'd do anything for you. When it seems like he's being hard on you, know that it's because he loves you and he wants to set you up for success in life. But you already knew that, I'm sure.
You are a lover of peace and never an instigator of things with your siblings. It's so nice to be able to count on you for that! You are a much loved big sis, as Joe can attest to. Since you left town he's been known to blurt out "Nay-nee" at random times. When I ask him where you are he points out the window like 'she's out there somewhere..' He attempted to sing 'happy birthday' to you today, and it sounded something like this: "Day, day, day, Nay-nee" and was accompanied by side-to-side swaying. You've got friends for life in your siblings.
I hope you grow in your faith and know that you are always a child of God. Pray to Him when things are going great in your life, and when they're not. Pray when we ("we" can be defined as your parents or the pesky brother in the backseat) drive you nuts. You always make it look easy having to go through so many transitions as a military kid. New schools, new faces, new plans, you've always seemed to take it in stride.
If When it gets hard, pray about it. Remember none of us, however old or smart we get, do this alone. Besides, just like your earthly dad sitting across the table from you at IHOP, your Heavenly Father wants to hear from you too.
By now you've had about all the fun you could probably handle for one birthday -- Wonder Woman and lunch with your sister, cousins, aunties and Grandma; and the waterslide park all day today (have to admit, I'm a wee bit jealous;)) The pictures have put a smile on my face. You are very loved.
All this rambling to say, happy birthday! I'll see you in a few weeks.