Dear Mrs. Magilicutty,

Today you are eight years old. You are my big 8-year-old. And this is my eighth birthday letter to you. Eight. You’d think that I’d run out of things to say to you on your birthday, but I don’t. I just say the same things every year- that you are the coolest, most wonderful kid and I love you so much.

This is the first year that you will read your own birthday letter. All the other years, I just wrote it and tucked it away in your journal, but this year, I am emailing it to you. This week is the week you got your own email address and you are so excited and funny about it. I got 5 emails just this morning, all saying something to the effect of, “Send me an email.” And when you send one to me, I always know it even before I hit Send/Receive, as you are laughing and looking at me and grinning.

You got your retainer this year and it makes you look older and I can’t believe how responsible you are with it. I never have to remind you to put it back in after you eat or to put it in your “retainer container” before you do eat. You just know and you do it without question.

You and I had some special times together this year, with trips to Oregon and to Ohio. I was so worried that after being together non-stop, we’d be on each other’s nerves, but you were the perfect travel companion and I loved having you with me and showing you off to our family. You make me very proud.

You love Build-A-Bear and playing games on your computer. And email, as I’ve mentioned. You also love to play with Will even though he doesn’t play the way you like to. It’s still really nice and big sisterly of you to be so good to him. I know it feels like he doesn’t deserve it sometimes, but trust me, he does and you and he will always have a very special relationship because you are each other’s first friends. Just ask Unkee!

I love that you are mature for your age, but still a kid. We get complemented on how great you are all the time and while we love that, we really love you. I don’t think that either Daddy or I could think of one thing about you that we’d like to change. You are just perfect how you are and you are our treasure and our joy and our hearts.

You are the best daughter in the whole wide world and I am so happy to be your momma.

Signa is at Gramma's this weekend and so we needed to do something special with William. Marc was in a sculpting mood, so I coerced William into taking me on a date. We went to the bank and I let him take out the cash. Then he took me miniature golfing, to lunch and to the bumper boats. And skee ball, where he scored a tiny back-scratcher and soccer ball eraser. He graciously paid for everything and proudly told the people, "This is for my momma and me."

I will never ever forget Will's first date. I even got a big hug and a kiss at the end.

Tonight he is taking his Momma AND Daddy on a dinner date. He wants to have shrimp (and white wine, although, we veto that).