Hey girl1, I don’t know if you’ll ever read this post. But I’ll write it just in case you ever do.

We just got back from Costco where you tried every. single. tasting, even the hummus on cracked pepper crackers, even the italian dip on wheat bread, even the peanut butter clif bars.

Because you’re that kind of girl; you want to squeeze every ounce of pleasure from the world, you’re up to try anything.

And you’re becoming an older sister now. I am seeing for the first time how you tease girl2 and try to show her things and explain things to her.

You made rice from measuring cup to pushing the timer button this week for the first time. I stood watching you, my heart aching because I am so proud of how you can read the kanji on our rice cooker, but at the same time I feel like I’m losing you to the world.

You won’t need me for very much longer, I’m afraid, and while I want to protect you from the world, I know that I can not (and I am pretty confident your good will, desire to love and be loved, and cute, front toothless smile will charm the world into treating you well anyway).

So as you become seven I want to say to you:

Don’t give up. Things are hard, but you’ve proved time and time again with your swimming, with piano, with Japanese that you can do it if you try.

Don’t lose that desire to please. People know when they first meet you that you are trustworthy, that here is someone who does not desire to harm (why else would Mrs. Dahl choose you out of the entire class to be “buddies” with the new girl?).

Stand up for yourself and what you know is right. It’s going to be hard. Your desire to please people will make it oh so tempting to go along with what others are doing. But you are spongebob smartypants. You know what’s right. Don’t be afraid to say no or walk away when things don’t feel right.

I love you girl1, my guinea pig child, my cookie’s chocolate chip, my creative angel. Happy Birthday.