It's been a few months since First Sprout turned 9 years old, but I am still loving this list that I wrote. I thought I would take a moment to share it here.
Nine Wishes for Your 9th Birthday
Use Your Voice Words are a powerful tool that you can use to connect with the world. Whether speaking or writing, let your voice shine through bright and clear. Use your voice to tell your truth, to share your feelings, and to protect others whenever you can.
But Don’t Forget to Listen You already know to treat others the way you would be treated. When you want someone to listen to you, you have to be prepared to listen too. Practice listening to really hear the person rather than listening to respond. This is the foundation of strong bonds.
Be Persistent From the beginning, you have had the ability to keep trying until you achieve your goal. Hold onto that persistence—it will serve you well for your entire life.
Embrace Mistakes Life is all about learning, and mistakes are some of the best learning tools available. As Miss Frizzle says: “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”
Feel Your Feelings Human beings have a whole variety of emotions for a reason. Big feelings teach us a lot about ourselves and each other. Know that it’s okay to feel sadness, or frustration, or doubt, or fear. It’s also okay to feel joy, or excitement, or peace, or connection. There is plenty of time to feel them all.
Find Your People Look for those who love you as you are. Cherish those who will listen to you, respect you, and challenge you to be a better person. They are your people to hold close.
Follow Your Bliss As you grow older, you will discover that you will gain greater freedom but also receive greater responsibility. Try to seek a balance between your responsibilities and taking care of your heart. Learn things that you love, do important work, and take care of your people—that will be your bliss.
Stay True to Yourself You are a bold, kind, and curious child. Hold on to your loving heart and brave spirit as you grow older. The world isn’t always kind to young women who take up space, but it’s important that you take your space anyway. You deserve to share the fullest version of yourself.
Know That You Are LOVED Always and always and always.