My baby girl’s turned 8 years old a few weeks ago, but holy sunrises and sunsets, she’s definitely not a baby anymore. She’s an all-grownsed-up nearly-tween who can complete a triathlon, read chapter books, and cruise waves on a boogie board all by brave herself.
Every single day Lily and her sister Lexi amaze me with something new. Maybe it’s a new dance step, or a new joke. How and when did they even learn to tell jokes? The speed and deftness at which major changes take place in their development absolutely amazes me.
It also terrifies me a little. Yet I know that’s just life and everyone says time flies when you’re having fun–and indeed, we are having fun.
Here are my hopes and wishes for you, dear sweet Lily, on your 8th birthday (belated):
1. That you never try to emulate entertainers like Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus, but rather, you look up to women like Mindy Kaling, Lupita Nyong’o and Taylor Swift who are courageously paving self-respecting paths for themselves.
2. That you don’t find yourself in a predicament like Janay Rice, and if you do, you have the courage to walk away, ask for help, and know it’s not your fault.
3. That you have, keep and cherish good girlfriends.
4. That you don’t use texts, emails, Facebook posts or any other form of social media to vent your frustrations or say negative things about a person or an establishment. If you don’t have anything nice to say, definitely don’t type it.
5. That you love life–its intricacies, subtle nuances, grace and glory.
6. That you’re a “Yes Man” (and in your case a Yes Girl, Gal or Chick) in the sense that you are open to new things, new ideas, and new people, but not so much that you over-commit yourself just to please other people (and watch the movie with Jim Carrey, it’s excellent).
Speaking of movies. . .
7. That you watch old movies like A Fish Called Wanda, A Princess Bride and The Breakfast Club and even older movies like A Star is Born, The Sting, and Goodbye Girl, because there are always lessons and joys to take in from previous generations.
8. That even if you don’t remember my singing to you in your crib, or reading Guess How Much I Love You to you 14 times in a row in the rocking chair, or putting little love notes in your grade school lunch box, you always remember how much I love you–fully, unconditionally and to the moon and back.