And suddenly, she's nine.
We are officially halfway done raising this amazing little person.
We're halfway there, but really most of our work is already done. We have given her most of the parts that she needs to build the bridge to the person she will be as an adult. It's up to her now. She gets to decide how she will use those parts, which ones define her, which ones she's going to discard, all of it.
I hope she decides to continue to be one of the most empathetic people I know. We have taught her to try to see other people's perspectives and to respect their views and feelings. Right now, she uses that part daily in her interactions. She's the "nice kid," and I hope she will be the "nice adult."
She's cautious, this kid. She carefully thinks through consequences before doing anything. I hope she hears me when I tell her to throw caution to the wind once in a while. Caution can be an asset, but balance is good. Risks are good. Sometimes.
Her heart is filled with joy. She came that way, really, but we have worked hard to teach her that it's okay to wear that joy on her sleeve. There's something about Alexis that makes the people around her smile. I hope that's still true when she's an adult.
She was also born independent. We've gone to great lengths to reinforce that instinct because independent women are successful women. At the same time, we've tried to teach her that sometimes you have to ask for and accept help. Balance is key, and I hope that part serves her well.
Happy 9th birthday, Alexis. We're so proud of the person you are and can't wait to watch you grow into the person you will be.