Five things my daughter needs to know on her fifth birthday

Zu turns five today. So today's post is all for her.

My sweet girl, you're another year older. You're finishing preschool. You're growing up into a beautiful and spirited young lady. As you're celebrating, there are five things I want you to know.

1. You feel everything. When your brother hurt his finger, you cried with him to help him know that you could feel his pain. You stood by him and held his hand at the hospital and showed him how to be brave. When I am sick, you put your hand to my head the same way your mom does to you when you are sick. When your friends laugh you experience their joy and make every effort to laugh louder and longer. You are at peace when those around you are at peace. You probably don't know the definition of empathy, but you embody every meaning of that word. This will make you the greatest of friends to those you love as long as you learn to let others share your highs and lows. You are a ball of emotions and this will be your greatest strength and your biggest challenge.

2. I love how you love music. Even if you don't notice, I smile when I see you dance. When I'm relaxing on my own, I will have my own tastes and interests that are different from yours. But when you sing, whatever you're singing is my favorite song. When you bust a move, whatever dance you make is my favorite. I promise that I will support you as you explorer creating dances and music of your own.

3. You're mom and I did not fall in love with eachother when we first met - it took time. I don't believe in love at first sight. Or at least I didn't until the first time I held you. When I saw you, that first sight rule changed. My love for you was found in an instant. You need to know that I have always loved you and I loved you since first sight. However, when you are old enough to start dating and you find a boy and tell me that it was love at first sight, my rule will change again. I will tell you that there is no such thing.

4. Your entrance into this world was far from glamorous and you landed in a home with imperfect parents. I can't promise you much, but here's a few promises that will be kept. Your mom and I will make mistakes. We will embarrass you. You won't always like us. You will disagree with some of the choices we make. After all of that? We will always love you. We will always try to do what we think is best for you.

5. The way I see you is probably different than how you see yourself. You are stronger than you think. You are smarter than you think. You are more imaginative than you realize. These aspects of who you are surprise me everyday. I cannot wait to see how you'll surprise me next.

Happy birthday. I love you.

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