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  • This year again I am in a different continent when my daughter has her birthday. She is at the age of contradictions, a child and a teen and an almost-woman.

    She curls up on the sofa next to me and shares her worries and joys. Still more on the side of science projects and soccer games. I hope I will know about it when the relationship-type worries come.

    I see flashes of the sweet baby and the curious toddler I had, they alternate with the face of the woman she will become.

    She is sensitive and strong, inquisitive and stubborn. She and I can bring each other to tears or to full-body, red-faced, almost-crying laughter in five seconds. She also knows how to get me hopping mad, better than anyone else.

    She is almost my height but lets me envelope her in a hug like a little girl.

    I have never loved anyone else with the same white-hot intensity. Happy birthday, by beautiful daughter. Grow up to be whoever you need to be. I hope you grow up to be as happy as I am about you.
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