It is hard to imagine how it is that you're turning ten today, though indeed you are. There are few times when it seems your life begins again, and that was certainly the case when I first held you in my arms and became your mother.
I am not good at documenting milestones. You will likely never have a baby book; many of our family photographs (when we still printed stills), are in a box in the study, awaiting placement in albums. I have always imagined writing each of my children a letter on their birthdays; as you begin your second decade seems as good a time as any to start. Not a day goes by when you don't amaze me.
In honor of your birthday, here are just a few things I adore about you:
1. You slip into our bed at night like you are on a clandestine operation. Who knows how long you've been there when I finally notice you, but you are so cozy that I don't always have the heart to kick you out.
2. You always choose homemade over store-bought. You chose to spend your birthday at home instead of at school.
3. You were concerned last week that we were taking advantage of our next door neighbor when we asked to borrow a cup of sugar, but in actuality, wound up with closer to two or three.
4. You worry about the health of strangers smoking cigarettes.
5. Your ability to write spontaneous poetry and prose.
6. How beautiful you look in your swimsuit, and your natural grace in the water.
7. When you go to the foot of the stairs, clap your hands, and call to your brothers, "Boys, dinner, now," they come running.
9. You help me get Sacha ready for school in the morning.
10. When I asked you last week what you wanted for your birthday you couldn't think of anything.
And one more, for good luck:
11. You have short, middle and long-range plans, and a counter-argument for everything.
Happy Birthday, Sarah. You are my joy.
PS: Check your email to find out what your present is!