Advice to my niece on her 7th birthday.
Never call anyone stupid. You’ll forget that you said it, but they never will.
Don’t try so hard to grow up so fast. The makeup can wait. Wear braids and bows and pigtails as long as you can get away with them.
Learn how to accept the word no. Learn when it’s appropriate to say it too.
Play fair, and share all your toys.
Spend as much time as you can with your grandparents. They are interesting and exceptional people with many valuable traits to pass down.
Use your brain, your talents and your manners.
Expend your energy engaging in all the verbs that make childhood delicious–skip, bounce, sing, jump, spin, and twirl. Do them all as often as possible.
Don’t waste your energy comparing yourself to others too much. Instead of wishing to be more like them, find gratitude in the joys of being you.
Ask your dad to teach you to play guitar. Not only will you have a great time together, but one day when you’re grown and someone asks how long you’ve been playing, you’ll be able to say, “Since I was seven,” and you will feel like a total bad-ass.
Always lobby for the window seat. There’s a lot of good stuff in this world to see.
Don’t let pretty be the only word people think of when describing you. You are smart and kind and wonderful. Live in a way that makes everyone notice those things.
Play all you want with Barbie. Just don’t expect to grow up to have waist-length platinum hair, a disproportionately tiny waist or permanently pointed toes.
Don’t talk to strangers…unless they’re Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber…or whoever 7-year-olds are into.
Dream really, really big. Like, Texas-big.
Turn off the TV. Power down the computer. Ask a friend to go out and play. Ride bikes. Build forts. Pet animals. Count stars.
Keep a journal. I wrote one when I was your age, and you have no idea how happy it makes me to read it as an adult.
Don’t be in a rush to shave your legs. It’s not as glamorous as it looks.
If a pony ride is available, take it.
Listen closely to your parents, your teachers and your elders. Tune out bullies, whiners and pessimists.
Don’t fight your mother on the sunscreen. You’ll thank her later.