You are seven today! You have been so eager for this day, sometimes shaking with giddy anticipation. It reminded me, for the first time in a long time, of when you would shake (with the largest of smiles plastered on your face) at the thought of some incredible moment on the horizon. I am filled with such a comfort knowing, while you are older and more mature, you really haven’t grown far from younger you.

Something that has not changed is your commitment to your interests. When you like something, you really like something. You don’t flutter from one great thing to the next. You get to know everything you can about what you enjoy. Your first big love was Star Wars, which held strong from age three to age six. With six came an interest in Ninjago and art (particularly drawing), and even now you show no signs of moving on to new interests.

You love love love when I lie down on the floor and play Legos with you. You build and build for hours and though you love to have company you don’t require or even wait around for it. You are your own woman. Always have been. Hopefully always will be.

I have really been blessed with so many hours of one on one drawing, cooking, reading, and Lego time with you in the past few months. Time with you, hearing your thoughts, sharing mine, has been such a gift to me.

You love me and you show me nearly every minute of every day – whether with hugs, kisses, drawings, gifts, requests for me to join you in doing what you enjoy, or requesting to join me with what I enjoy. I am trying very hard to appreciate having you around every minute of every day. Which, is not hard, but what I wouldn’t give to freeze time and spend days with you, uninterrupted.

You are brilliant. You think of the most insightful things to say and, usually, stop to think before you speak. Knowledge seems to come easy for you. Maybe that is why I am so grateful you still have a resemblance to your younger self? Your big brain hasn’t stifled your sweet six seven-year-old nature.

Seven! I am excited to see how you change this year and how you stay the same. I am continually getting to know you – the real you underneath your circumstance.

Welp, I’m off to watch Ninjago with you for the umpteenth time before you head to bed tonight. Your first sleep as a seven-year-old!

I hope wherever life finds you now, you are happy, carefree, and maybe, if you have time, you could send me a new drawing for old time’s sake?

You’re terrific, Rae. I love you.