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There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way.-Christopher Morley
The Sweet Sweetheart Turns Nine
By David
Posted May 30, 2011

Meanwhile, time moves on and the Sweet Sweetheart is about to turn nine. She's extremely excited about her birthday and, actually, it's a little misleading to call it a birthDAY celebration. You see, in our family, the birthday process can span over a period of, literally, months. There are discussions, plans made, early gift acquisitions, online gift research, haggling over gifts, creating gift "wish-lists," ordering the gifts, waiting for the arrival of the gifts, wrapping the gifts, preparing the kitchen with posters, decorations and, of course, the presentation of the gifts.

Then, there's at least one more after-birthday celebration, for some unexpected reason, not to mention that we have birthday weekends or birthday weeks, not just birthday days like normal people have. Ah... These kids have no idea just how good they have it...

This year, we spent three action-packed days in Las Vegas in honor of the Sweet Sweetheart's birthday. Seems extravagant (and it actually was), but it beats planning and throwing a class party, which is still the norm for children her age. I don't know, but after ten years of throwing two class parties each year, I'll pay almost any price -- even escape to a different state -- just to avoid that scene.

So, we enjoyed the Venetian hotel, its gondolas, shops, great food, spectacle, and luxury. We saw the Blue Man Group show, and toured Madame Tussaud's wax museum. The kids absolutely loved it, and the Sweet Sweetheart was just bubbling over with joy that this was being done in her honor.

* * *

Viva Las Brithday!
Viva Las Brithday!

The Sweet Sweetheart is exceptionally intelligent, creative, and adorable. I'm her father, so I can say so!

She's also a very dedicated and loyal friend, as well as very generous and charitable. Nothing makes her happier than donating her toys, time, and even some of the money she saved up from holiday gifts she received. This year, for example, she donated the $20 she received for finding the Afikoman on Passover to a charity dedicated to helping children who were born with disabilities. She also worked at a lemonade stand set up by her classmates, for which she created colorful promotional posters, to raise even more money for that charity.

The Sweet Sweetheart's dream for her future involves having a romantic wedding and living a lifestyle similar to that of Beautiful Eema who is absolutely adored by the whole family. The Sweet Sweetheart has agreed, until recently, that Beautiful Eema and I will need to pre-approve all of her future suitors. Our plan is to require each suitor to write a comprehensive response to the question "Why do you think you're the one to marry the Sweet Sweetheart?"

But lately, the Sweet Sweetheart has notified us that she will be the one to decide whom she will marry and she will not ask her suitors to submit to the parental pre-approval process. When she mentioned this, I pretended to be shocked.

"What??? Of course we need to approve any boys you might marry!"

"No. I will know who's the best one," she says confidently.

"No way! We know our Sweet Sweetheart and we know all the fine qualities the lucky man needs to have."

"Abba (Dad)! That's embarrassing!" The Sweet Sweetherat rolls her eyes dramatically.

"Well, we need to do a complete financial analysis, career counseling, and to make sure he has a retirement plan and a good health insurance policy," I say flatly.

"Awkward!"

I laugh at the Sweet Sweetheart, who rolls her eyes again, then smiles back at me. In a way, I'm glad that there are many years ahead before the Sweet Sweetheart will be given away at her wedding. And, on the other hand, I'm glad that she has such a positive impression of marriage and family.

Yet, there she is, a formidable nine year-old. A force of nature since birth. Adorable and sweet, yet fiercely determined to succeed when she sets her mind to any task.

* * *

Normally, I'd end this post here. But, as this is a birthday post I'll say just a few more words:

Earlier this year, the Sweet Sweetheart insisted on being placed into the advanced Hebrew class, which is designed for Israeli-born children who speak Hebrew since birth as their first language. But the Sweet Sweetheart was willing to make the extra effort needed to keep up with the class and persevered for the rest of the year, earning top grades.

And, when she decided she wanted to dance, she was willing to take dance classes for about 5 hours a day last summer. Even though her legs ached at the end of the day, she went back and excelled.

In math and English classes, she and only one other student are separated from the rest of her class and given a special advanced curriculum. She then often comes home and solves even more advanced math problems, which I prepare for her.

She also writes her own songs, makes fancy, beautiful get-well and birthday cards for teachers, friends, and family.

I'm so proud that the Sweet Sweetheart is blossoming into an amazing young lady, which is obvious even at the age of nine.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sweetheart! Just in case you read this one day when your ninth birthday is just a distant memory, remember: Beautiful Eema and I love you and your brother more than anything in the world.

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