Happy birthday! So, you're nine years old. You're halfway to adulthood. Just nine years to go until you leave for college, meet a biker named Pus, and blow your college fund on a drum kit and a VW bus or something. But regardless, you'll be able to vote and that's the most important thing (you told me the other day that you seriously cannot wait to vote).
I am kidding about the n'er-do-well boyfriend, of course. Or at least I hope I am. The other day you told me that you expect to be able to date when you are 19 and I suggested that you go ahead and double that number.
In some ways, it seems like you're too grown-up. Sort of. Lately some of the popular songs you like are making me cringe. You like a song called "Talk Dirty to Me" by Jason Derulo and I don't have the heart (or the nerve, I guess) to explain to you what the lyrics mean. I turn it off every time it comes on the radio, but you must be hearing it somewhere. You also like a song called "Classic" by MKTO and I don't know quite what to do about you singing "let's get it on like Marvin Gaye" at the top of your lungs.
You still don't get ready on time and you do everything on your own terms. The other morning you screamed at me and your dad when we asked you to get dressed, saying that we were putting "too much pressure" on you.
I've also noticed that your dad and I are getting more embarrassing by the minute. The other day you had a friend over and the zipper on your dad's khaki's broke. He was sitting on the couch and you were so worried that he would stand up and that your friend would see the broken zipper. I sometimes threaten to break out in song and dance when I'm at your school, just so I can see the look of horror that crosses your face.
I can hardly believe it's been nine years since you joined our family. I feel so lucky to be your mom. You challenge me at every turn, but I love you with all my heart. I love your sense of humor and your cute face and your crazy curls. I love the way you still call me "Mama" sometimes. You are the very best thing that has ever happened to me. Happy birthday, baby girl.