Happy Birthday, M!
Nine years ago you graced us with your presence. I hope you enjoy your day as much as I enjoy having you as a daughter. Yes, there are days when we don't see eye-to-eye on things and you don't understand that "because I said so" is enough of a reason for you to do something (or not do something) or that when I tell you not to do something (or to do something), it's because I've done that before and know how it will turn out (or not turn out) and am trying to save you from having to experience it for yourself.
But then I remember that learning is sometimes best accomplished by doing something and experiencing the outcome first hand.
There are more days when I just look at you and can't help but think how smart you are and how, deep down in your heart, you're a caring, wonderful person.
I've enjoyed watching you grow up into the young lady you're becoming. From the days when you used to get baths in the kitchen sink to the days when you no longer need (or want) our help in getting ready for bed. (Not only that, but you're also willing to help N get ready for bed as well.) From when you would stop and smell the flowers as a toddler to the days when you want to help plant the flowers. From when you would ride in your stroller as we went for walks to the days as you would ride your bike as we go for bike rides as a family. From when you could wowed the doctor at your 18-month checkup when you identified all sorts of colors to your penchant to honing your artistic skills for hours on end as a budding artist.
You've come a long way since you were a little peanut wrapped up in your blanket. But some things haven't changed at all. You still love your blankets and you're still our little peanut.
Today is yours. Grab it and make the most of it. Enjoy yourself.
And, most importantly, know that your parents love you very much.