You had a yoga party on Sunday. I'm not sure how many kids your age are into yoga but they all came, all your friends, for you: my little yogini, leading your way, doing your thing, and they came and sat around you, just to be with you, just to celebrate you.
You are beautiful and brilliant, sensitive and vulnerable. You are insightful about others but have an uncanny capacity to frame a negative self-observation as stone-carved fact. You are mercurial. Your laugh rolls like windchimes, like boiling water.
You turned seven on Saturday, my sweet E, my firstborn, my transformation. You are challenge and reward. You are heart-on-your-sleeve and flounce of your hair.
You are opinionated.
You are slow to warm up and then quick to thrive. You are busy with friends and plans and writing and dreams. You are writing. You are writing. You have a notebook for every thing, and a journal, and a plan book, and two stories in progress. You are a future author, you say, and I am willing to believe it. Future author/artist/orphanage director, I believe is the full plan. But who knows. You are ever polishing another facet.
And you are reading. You read chapter books to yourself and storybooks to your siblings and phone navigation instructions and recipes to me. What a joy and a practical handiness your reading is.
You are ambitious. You just completed a science fair project of immense detail and execution, and I didn't even know it was an optional assignment. You're so excited to show off your project board at the fair later this week. You are shy and you smile sideways but you know you have done good work.
You did some remarkable growing this year, maturing, yes, adding inches, certainly, but mostly in facing your fears and anxieties. You make me so proud, you brave thing. We say it to each other all the time, you and I: brave, we have decided, doesn't mean not being afraid or nervous. It's okay to be afraid or nervous. Brave is being afraid or nervous and then going forward anyway. You don't believe me, but you are a role model to me. Let's be brave and go forward.
You are charming and imaginative and loving and nurturing and nervous and brave. You are a delight. You are exquisite. And now you are seven.
Happy birthday, my first baby. I love you more than seven times everything.