The Big 1-0.

Laurel,

Today you turn 10. That’s a tough pill for me to swallow. I can’t believe how far we’ve come in the last 10 years. I remember holding you just after you were born, and whispering, “It’s just you and me, kid.” And that was the truth, then. I could never have imagined what would have happened.

My, how times have changed. And all for the better.

The past year has been downright amazing. It’s been a political year for you; you heard President Clinton speak, and shook President Obama’s hand. You did me proud with your public speaking abilities when you spoke to the Board of Education and blew the nation away when you asked President Obama about his environmental policies.

You participated in Old Newsboys Day, cut your hair for Locks of Love, and performed enough other tasks to rack up 100 hours of service so that you’d be presented with the coveted Triple Crown: the Presidential Awards for Fitness, Academics, and Service.

You ran your first 5K. You told me you planned to grow a unibrow. You racked up seven (7!) Junior Ranger awards at our national parks in one summer. You took to the violin with gusto.

You’ve shown more moxie than most girls your age; a trait that I know will carry you to the highest heights, if you let it.

You’ve given your little brother someone to admire and a high bar to hurdle.

We love you, and we are proud of who you have become. May this year bring even better things.

Happy Birthday, Laurel.

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