Happy Birthday daughter.
The title words were the first you uttered from your first grade reading primer. Your mom and I were so thrilled and we laughed at the sweet innocence of your first reading. After all, it was quite an accomplishment for a little girl who lived the first four years of her life in Vietnam and for whom English was a "second language".
Because you would soon have two brothers and a sister, and being the oldest, you had to grow up and help far earlier than anyone would have wished for. But you were magnificent and you've never stopped growing and spreading your wings in order to do more and more.
When you were growing up you were always so self-conscious about your ability to achieve in school. It was harder for you than the others but you always worked harder and that effort has made you what you are today; a bright, intelligent, ambitious and savvy young woman. Your mom and I admire what you have achieved and we're proud of you.
Now you have a daughter of your own and she too is ready to spread her wings and set off on a course which will take her where it may. Stage one of motherhood has now been completed. She will do as she will do but be assured she will carry with her the lessons you have taught and the example you have set.
This is your special day. It marks the smallest of turnings, as you, and the world get another year older. It's a day to contemplate where you are, where you've been, and where you wish to go. But it is also a celebration of a life well-lived and earned. So baby, go out and drink from the cup of joy, blow out one extra candle on the birthday cake and accept our wishes that all the days of your life are golden.
Dad and Mom