On Her 7th Birthday

To my daughter,

Happy 7th Birthday! I am so excited to see what this year brings to you. Age 6 has certainly been memorable. You entered first grade and started to do homework and spelling tests. You did a summer basketball camp and started making shots on a 10 foot rim. You met one of your basketball idols, Kelsey Plum and was featured in a WNBA video. You went to a lot of Women’s Basketball games. You started to play the violin and do taekwondo. You scored 7 goals in a soccer game. You conquered several of your greatest fears. You shared wisdom in a Today Show anti-bullying video. You raised $2500 for charity. And let’s not forget that you met Chadwick Boseman, King T’Challa himself. Despite all this excitement and skill development, I want to offer advice for your 7th year of existence. I hope you will take these to heart.

  1. Keep loving learning. Your passion for learning in and out of school is commendable. May you continue to ask questions and stay hungry for knowledge!
  2. Continue to develop your definition of activism. Be empowered to challenge the status quo. Be aware. Make things better!
  3. Read. Read. And read some more. Keep choosing books on topics about which you want to learn. And books that take you to exciting new worlds. And books by people that look like you and books by people who don’t look like you. Broaden your prospective.
  4. Challenge yourself. Whether it’s with your dribbling in soccer or basketball, or with supplemental work outside of school, find ways to push yourself in a positive and fun way.
  5. Keep the joy. Life isn’t always fun. And it certainly ain’t easy. But, you have always found a way to be happy and find joy in the things you do. Now, more than ever, you mustn’t stop this.
  6. Experiment! Not just in science, which I know you love, but in all things. You decided you wanted to try soccer and taekwondo and the violin, and those turned out well. Take some chances and don’t fear failure.
  7. Be you. Stay proud of your heritage. Keep loving basketball and superheroes and rainbows and purple everything. Be thoughtful. Be firm. Be a good friend, family member, and teammate. Don’t be ashamed of being bright. Be curious, but please stop touching stuff that doesn’t belong to you! I love who you’ve become. I am so proud of your work ethic and desire to be better.

I hope these 7 pieces of advice can help make this coming year fantastic. 


I love you so very much,