Baby girl, here you go.
10 Things I Love About You
1. I love that you are curious and inquisitive.
Sometimes, the constant questions wear me down, but I promise I will always try to find the answers. Also, I fully support your relationship with Siri. (And yes, I am still researching how close the Earth can get to the Sun before we all die.)
2. I love that you have become quite the foodie.
It is so much FUN cooking with you and exploring new restaurants with you. I laughed last night when you pestered me for a full hour as I slow-cooked Jamaican Chicken packing so much heat with adobo chilies that my own tongue was buzzing. And it cracks me up that your favorite BBQ sauce is KC Joe's Night of the Living Dead and your favorite wing sauce is Frank's Buffalo Sauce. I also love that you like to create things on your own - even when the results are not edible (yes, I complain about the mess, I will try harder not to in the future).
3. I love that you are a good sister.
Arun is a stinky boy who often pesters you, but you are patient with him and are such a caretaker to him. He takes you for granted, but he WILL appreciate your picking out his clothes for him when he is high school. Trust me on this.
4. I love that you are so competitive.
When you became furious that Arun finished The War With Grandpa before you, I felt bad that you were so upset. However, honestly? I was also secretly thrilled that you have such a tenacious drive in you. You always strive to do better and I love that about you. I was so proud of you when you got behind on reading Lemonade Wars and instead of panicking, you sat down and read straight through until you had caught up on your chapters.
5. I love that you are a good friend and are respectful to people.
Be it a cashier, a receptionist or server, you are always respectful and even your teachers always comment on this. Never forget to acknowledge a person who is helping you out -- it will pay off in spades in terms of customer service (and karma!) You are also so careful with your friends and I hope that continues. Friendships with girls can be complicated and I appreciate that you are careful with whom you are close. It took me years to weed out the toxic friends and I learned some hard lessons from my bad choices in friendships. You will have to learn this on your own as well, but so far? You are doing well in choosing friends who treat with you respect and are kind to you. (And who love to dig for bugs and frogs as much as you do. )
6. I love that you are an adventuresome traveler.
It is so much fun traveling with you and Arun (except for Arun's apparent disdain for Colorado. Let us never speak of Colorado again.) Both of you are so adventuresome and curious about other people, cultures and ways of life. And I was SO proud of how patient and well-behaved both of you were last year when we went to Mexico. I am so excited to go back there this summer and find new spots for us to explore!
7. I love that you talk to me.
I know this may not always be the case, but I appreciate that for now, you confide in me and that we can talk through things.
8. I love your jokes.
Your jokes crack me up and you have a great delivery (especially the one about the cemetery!) Your great-great-uncles Buddy and Floyd are surely laughing from above every time you tell one! I hope you never lose your sense of humor because having one, goes a long, long way in life.
9. I love that you are creative.
I have so much fun seeing your latest Lego or construction paper creation - especially the Lego pieces you create on your own, not just the ones with instructions. I am not a "builder" myself and it fascinates me to see what you come up with. I never get tired of seeing what you can cobble together with paper and tape.
As I always say, I always wanted a daughter just like you.
Happy birthday, Peanut Butter Anjali.