To Miss Olivia:
You are now 10. You’ve survived a decade.
Wait. Scratch that. You’ve more than survived, you’ve thrived under what has turned out to be a more than challenging year. I won’t rehash it all for you because you’ve lived it. Plus, it’s well documented on this blog.
Aside from your “complicated medical case,” you managed to do a lot of great things in these last 365 days. Suffice it to say, I’m beyond proud of what you’ve accomplished. You didn’t let missing six weeks of school stop you from still getting good grades.(Thanks to Maestro Jose Manuel tutoring you and your own hard work.) You didn’t let stomach issues stop you from cooking and baking like you’re a professional. (Notice I didn’t mention you cleaned like a professional dishwasher. How about we work on that this coming year?) You didn’t let a slow start on the swim team stop you from showing up every single day for practice. You found a sport you loved and stuck with it, and are already looking forward to swimming with the (Redwood City) Sharks again this year.
You’ve also found your voice. I know you’re probably thinking, “What’s Mom talking about? I only lose my voice when I have a bad cold.” That’s not what I’m referring to. I’m talking about becoming more sure of yourself, and not being afraid to speak your mind and share your opinions. Sure it’s easy to speak your mind when your sisters annoy you or when your Dad and I make you really mad, but now you’re also finding your voice to talk about things you care about and interest you, no matter what anyone else thinks.
You’re also a fighter. That has served you well, especially in the last few months. But you’re also a bulldog. Once you get your mind set on something, you won’t let go until you get it. That’s probably why we now have Buster. For the most part, you have kept your promise on taking care of him.
Well except for daily walks. That’s still left to me and Dad, but it’s all you once Buster behaves better on a leash.
It’s been an unforgettable year Olivia, one that you have come through with strength, grace, humor, and unbelievable determination.
Happy Birthday. Here’s to HEALTH, happiness, and lots of laughter in your 10th year.
I love you!