I'm sorry. I should have said, "Madi." The honored change in spelling of one's nickname is, I realize, highly important at your age. Which is now 10.
I won't waste your time or embarrass you too much with the memories of your birth. Know that it seems both yesterday and longer than ten years ago. You are simultaneously my baby, my little girl, and the grown-up You all in one. I can see hints of what you'll be like as an adult in your tween self, and I cannot tell you how beautiful and amazing I think you are and will be.
Your kindness with your friends, your love of laughter and seemingly endless pursuit of all things fun, your sweetness, empathy, your intelligence and street smarts... It's so wonderful to witness all these qualities in you, the innocence you still possess, the simple love of life.
I can't take credit for who you've become. You are your own human being, and at your age, are growing ever more responsible for your own experiences.
A bit of advice, as you near your teens (please - humor me):
Hang on to that sensitivity of yours, but don't let it overwhelm you. Be confident in the knowledge that you are an incredibly kind human being, and know that you can't please everyone all the time.
Be yourself, because you're the only You there is in this world, and she's pretty damn cool.
Focus on the positive things in life. Disappointments are everywhere, but try to find the beauty in the challenges of your life. Think of them as triple dog dares, and see how easily you're able to overcome them. I know you can do it.
Most of all, know how very much you are loved, by more people than you know. I haven't always been the best Mom, but I am whole-heartedly, happily, gratefully yours. Thank you for teaching me patience and for showing me the incredible rewards of selflessness.
You are even more beautiful, inside and out, than I ever could have imagined. My beanie burrito, my little Bug, my world, my life, and my heart. Blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh - keep kickin' ass. You do it so well. I am so proud of the person you are.
Happy birthday, sweetheart.