Today you are eight years old. It feels like this is the age when you're not a big kid yet but you're not little anymore, either. You're trying so hard to become independent, and I'm wishing you were still the little toddler with the cheeser smile.
We have had quite a year, and you have handled everything so well. I know that it's really hard on you to see Dad sick because all you want to do is take care of everyone. I'm proud that you have talked to me and asked questions instead of holding everything inside. What a difference a year has made with your level of understanding and maturity. You still continue to mother everyone around you, especially Dallas. It makes my heart so happy when you two protect each other. Please watch out for him forever; he'll always need his big sister.
Dad and I couldn't be any prouder of how hard you have worked in school. We both know that you would much rather be playing outside or doing something physical with your time. Sitting down to do anything, let alone schoolwork, has never been your bag, baby. This year, something clicked, though, and you are doing your best with your homework and with your work at school. I still don't envision you ever having an office job, but I feel reassured to know that you will try your best at whatever you choose to do in the future.
One thing that hasn't changed over the past year is your beautiful heart. You are truly the kindest person I know. You hate to see anyone in any kind of pain, physical or emotional, and you always step in to make people feel better. You would give away anything you had to comfort someone in need. Never ever lose that sweet soul: we need more people like you in the world.
One thing I know for sure is that I never know what you're going to do next. There is no pigeonholing my girl. I love that you're a "girly" girl with pierced ears and tulle dresses who also loves to go crazy on the zipline in our backyard and literally roll around in the mud. You love summer and winter, playing with dolls and playing Star Wars, jumping into leaves and getting dressed up, listening to Katy Perry and listening for Santa, going to your first sleepover and cuddling at home with Daddy. Our lives would be awfully quiet and boring without you.
My wish for you is that you always have the spirit and spark that make you who you are. There are going to be times you'll need to tame yourself a bit, but I hope that you never fully lose your zest and passion for life. I want you to experience as much as you can because I know you're happiest when you are out doing and living.
I see a hopeful future every time I look into your stunning blue eyes, and I thank you every day for reminding me about the wonderful and simple moments I might otherwise be missing. I don't know what you'll be doing or where you'll end up as you grow; however, I have seen who you are in your soul. You're going to shine, babe. You will always shine.
Oh, how I love you,