Today you are 106 months old, which, if you have memorized your math facts for 12 (or if you've been watching the calendar at all) means that you are 9 years old. This is the last year you will only have one digit in your age. And because it's the year before a big change comes, like having TWO numbers in your age, you should make the most of this year, and enjoy each and every moment. Nine is one of those cross-over years when you really think you know more than maybe even the adults around you, but in all honesty, you're still just figuring out the world. I hope that while you are nine, you will still let me help you figure it out. Right next to you. Right by your side. I hope that you will help me see the world like a nine year old does, because these 39-year old eyes play tricks on me, and sometimes they don't see the things that are important to a nine-year-old girl, or sometimes I just see them from a grown-up perspective instead of remembering what the world was like when I only had one digit in my age.
It's been a super-fun birthday today, getting to be on vacation in Singapore and getting to hang out with dear friends. Can you believe that while we were singing "happy birthday" and helping you blow out the candles on your birthday breakfast cake this morning, your friends back home were still on the day before, and they were getting ready to go to bed. Isn't it funny how time differences and time zones work? I think it means that we just get to celebrate your birthday even longer!
We've had a great trip, and I'm so glad that you have a super-cool memory of being on vacation in such a cool place. But regardless of where we go, what time it is, or what language they speak, I will always been at home with you. You are the most amazing thing to have ever happened to me, and I will forever be without words to thank God for you.
My sweet friend, My girl, My ChellBell, My nine year-old.
Happy, happy birthday.