Birthdays are curious things, aren’t they, Gy? They are those days when everything is forgiven, all is celebrated and a whole new year opens up before you, filled with possibilities.

I love writing these posts for you. You don’t read them regularly but I’ve been putting them up here on the blog, both as missives to you and reminders to me.

Without ado, let me talk about the 11 birthday wishes that I have for you on this, your 11th birthday.

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I wish that you remain kind. This is an innate quality you have.

Don’t let anyone take it away from you; not your peers, not an angry teacher and no, not even us parents when we are firm with you.

I wish that you stay honest. I’ve seen you falter with this one, especially when it comes to unfinished homework or assignments.

I know you utter that white lie when you want to get out of a scrape. It’s normal, a part of growing up. But your conscience pricks you and you come and confess later. I love that.

I wish that you remain compassionate towards those less fortunate than you.

Every year, we’ve tried to give away books, toys and clothes which no longer fit you and while you’ve been a bit grudging on occasion, a bit of gentle reason has helped you understand why this is necessary.

I wish that you stay witty. Your #GySpeak has been the stuff of legend, you know?

Okay, maybe only 15 people feel that way, but it’s brought delight to so many, the way you best me with your impishness and your responses. It’s a quality you will find endears you to many people.

I wish that you defy stereotypes. Whether you like playing with Barbie dolls or monster trucks, help out in the kitchen or wash your dad’s car, do it because you enjoy it.

Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your choices. Ever.

I wish that you never stop trying. Failure is a peculiar thing. It devastates you when it happens, but it holds valuable lessons in its wake.

Pick yourself up, dust off the sadness and keep going.

I wish that you keep play-acting. It’s a marvellous skill and I can’t do it!

Yet, you stand for hours in front of the mirror, becoming different characters, sinking into their skin comfortably, seamlessly and passionately channelising their spirit.

I wish that you never stop talking to me. This one is dicey, I know. Kids change as they grow up.

Parents are gently replaced by peers as their confidants. I won’t stop this, mind you. But on the occasions that a friend can’t help, I am always here for you.

I wish that you remain fit and healthy. I’m the worst role model when it comes to this aspect, so please, please follow in your dad’s footsteps.

Watch the energy with which he cares for himself and how he makes health a priority. Put your health first every single time. Health is wealth.

I still recall how you squealed with delight when we got you a fitness tracker! πŸ™‚

I wish that you embrace change with a smile. You’re entering the tricky stage of adolescence. Your body, your emotions, your hormones, everything will go haywire.

It’s part of the package. Change can be frightening, but knowing how to respond to it will keep you ready for every new challenge.

Finally, I wish that you work hard, towards your dreams, your goals and your aspirations. All of these will change many times over in the years to come.

The one common thread that will bind them together though? Your determination, your perseverance and your self-belief. You need to work on this, so don’t wait too long, all right?

Some of these may sound redundant, especially if you recall this post I wrote for you last year or this letter I wrote two years ago.

But it only means my core wishes for you don’t change much over time.

Happy 11th birthday, my dear darling child. Stay happy every single day!

*Featured image for this post was chosen by Gy via Shutterstock