Today is your very first birthday, the anniversary of the magical day we met for the very first time. In the year since we have got to know you, and are delighting in watching you grow from a tiny baby into a clever, bright and beautiful toddler. It seems that already you know exactly what you want and you are not afraid to reach for it. Good. The time we spend together is happy and brings back the memories of your Daddy as a baby as I remember the love and fun a baby brings.
As the family gathers to celebrate there will be gifts and cards, wrapping paper to shred and cake to be eaten. We will come together to be happy you are here and to congratulate your Mummy and Daddy for getting it all so right. There is a present I would like to share with you, not something I can gift wrap so I have put it here. I want to share with you the things that I know, things I believe will be important for you to know, if not today, as you grow up and go through your life. I hope you always know the following
1. Know you are loved.
2. Know that you can be whoever you want to be. Believe in yourself and know you have to put the effort in, you can do it.
3. Know to make the right friends. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh, who challenge you in the right way and who will watch your back, always.
4. Know to avoid situations that make you feel uncomfortable.
5. Know you are in charge of your body, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, you get to chose what happens to you, no one else.
6. Know that your Mum and Dad have your best interests at heart, always. Know this especially in your teenage years, and remember when they tell you NO they are telling you they love you. Tough but true.
7. Know that you can do anything you want to if you want to do it enough. There really is no such word as can’t. Make plans, work hard, follow your dreams.
8. Know to hang loose some of the time. The best adventures happen with the least planning. Learn to trust your instincts and to listen to your heart.
9. Know your family history. There are a long line of strong women in your past, all of whom are rooting for you, even those you never got to meet. They faced tough times and survived. So will you. Know the men in your family who you were not able to know. Gone before you arrived, they would have loved and protected you, they would be proud of you and your Mum and Dad and as with the women in your past, a part of them will always be a part of you.
10. Know that learning is power and it will be up to you to find out about the world and work hard to learn about what is important to you.
11. Know how to find the fun, how to laugh at the moon and dance in the street. Be sassy, be confident and be happy.
12. Know you are loved.
Happy Birthday darling girl, loved more than you would ever guess. A funny little girl who understands her world. We are blessed to have you.