I want to be just like her. She turns 7 today…..7. Doesn't seem like such a big number (like her brother's double digit birthday of late) but still–7!!! Such a short amount of time, really, when you think about it; yet like the time since her biggest brother was born it seems like it's zipped by in a blink.

This girl….I tell her all the time that when I grow up I want to be just like her. And she smiles, then snickers and rolls her eyes, and says "come on Mommy….you're already a grown up." What she just doesn't get–and won't, until she has her own little girl to look up to–is that I see in her all those wonderful, amazing qualities that I wish didn't get squashed as we grow up.

*The way she can laugh with abandon regardless if other people laugh with her
*Her unwavering opinion that she looks cute in a pink feather scarf worn with pjs
*The mischief she inflicts on her brothers….just because she can
*Her ability to say "Mommy, I just like myself"
*The wonder she sees in every little thing
*That she can sing–loudly, off-key, and absolutely obliviously–anywhere, anytime
*That she doesn't fear rejection–she assumes she'll get what she wants

And so much more. As she enters 2nd grade I hope these traits stick with her; but I remember that it was right around 2nd grade that I began to notice what others thought of me more than what I thought of myself. I think that's when I lost a little of the 'little girl' and altered my behavior to fit in just a bit more. Is it wrong to want the best of both worlds for my girl? To want her to revel in the individual she is but find a group of friends that welcome her with open arms? Because if I could give her anything on her birthday, that would be it.

But since I can't, we'll settle for special meals and presents. Her meal of choice for dinner? Bacon, pancakes and biscuits. That's my girl. :)