It's been a decade since we brought you home to our house on Timbers Court. I remember it better than I do lots of things - not the moment walking through the door, but the many moments of staring down at your sweet, new-to-me face. I remember how lucky I felt. And responsible. I wanted so many things for you. I still do, of course. And now you're ten! Most of my desires for you have already come true.
I wanted you to know who you are. You are more aware of the big things that make you who you are than many adults. That's not to say you'll always feel so confident, but I You relish the fact that you are a natural leader. Instead of using it to get your way, you use it to help your friends find their gifts and use them. I see that on the soccer field more obviously than anywhere else, but I hear about it in the classroom, too.
I hoped that you would be curious and clever. Those two go hand in hand, and you embody them both. School isn't always your favorite, but learning is. You love to dive into something that interests you. Then you write about it, tell us about it, sing about it, or blog about it. You have moved into the phase of your childhood where your questions are usually bigger than our answers, but that doesn't stop us from digging.
I wanted you to be brave and adventurous. Bravery, remember, is not about an absence of fear. It's about facing that fear and not letting it rule you. That's you. You are afraid of some things because of that last wish I had. You're clever and curious enough to know that risks sometimes have unpleasant consequences. However, your bravery and adventurous spirit usually win out and lead you into amazing things like climbing back on a horse or trying crazy foods or running into a crashing wave. I love watching your mind work and picking a winner between spirit and caution. Whichever one wins, it's usually the right call.
Ten is a huge milestone. One that I haven't been entirely ready to mark off, for lots of reasons, I suppose. But as I write this, I am reminded that you are who you are. I am lucky to get to share you with the world that you're determined to make your own.
Happy birthday, Sophia! May this year be your best yet.