My Dear Pepper,
For your birthday, I wanted to find a way to celebrate you and the traits that make you so admirable to me. So, not surprisingly, I wrote something in your honor.
I want to celebrate your hunger for learning. There is very little that I love more than seeing your excitement when you bound off the bus after school and tell me about something new in science you learned or a new method of mathematics you practiced for the first time. You still ask what a word you are unfamiliar with means. May your hunger never cease.
I want to celebrate your competitive spirit. This is a newer trait, but it has been on full display during your basketball and soccer play. It leads you to work to improve your skill level. It leads you to challenge not just yourself, but your teammates. It leads you to cheer just as much when a teammate has success as you would for yourself. If you continue down this path, it will be exciting to see how this spirit develops.
I want to celebrate your activism. You are a proud feminist who wants to take part in protests. You proudly support the WNBA as a thoughtful advocate of the league. You have helped the people of Puerto Rico, high fived Aids Walk participants, donated money from your birthday to Every Mother Counts, and decided to plan a shootathon to raise money for one of your favorite basketball player’s charities. You want to be aware of what is happening in the world, and I only see you becoming more aware as you mature.
I want to celebrate your morality. You have always been a moral compass in your classrooms. May that only continue. We need that in abundance nowadays.
I want to celebrate your spirituality. Last year, you really became more involved in your church. It has been wonderful to see you embrace religion on your own terms.
I want to celebrate your love of life. You have always gone full speed ahead each day from when you wake up to when you go to bed. I hope you will always value the time you have on this planet and live life to the fullest.
I want to celebrate having you in this world. You bring such joy to those you interact with whether briefly or for an extended period of time. Your passion has led to many people becoming invested in your future.
Each day, I look at you and realize what it means to be blessed. I just cannot wait to see how you bring confidence, grace, joy, and purpose to all you do this year. Happy Birthday.