1. She loves dogs. L-O-V-E-S dogs. She loves them so much, she even pretends to be a dog sometimes. And by “sometimes” I mean “some part of every day.” If there’s any child in the world who ought to have a dog, it’s Girlfriend. Unfortunately, neither her father nor I is willing to accept the responsibility of pet ownership. She will have to wait until she’s living in her own home to have a dog. In the meantime, she has to make do with doggy play dates (with dogs belonging to other people) and playing with stuffed dogs. She has suggested maybe getting a robot dog, but I just don’t think that would satisfy her. She needs a real dog. But I am not a good enough person to give her one.

2. She enjoys sports. She’s not especially athletic, but she likes to play soccer and basketball. This year she is planning to volunteer as a peer facilitator for the basketball program for children with disabilities that Elvis plays in. She went to basketball camp this summer to work on her skills.

3. She gets embarrassed easily. Sometimes she does something adorable and we’ll laugh because it’s so cute, but she’ll think we’re making fun of her and will hide under a table or whatever and won’t forgive you for at least ten minutes.

4. She loves to read. She’s the only one of my children who really, really loves to read. She especially likes mysteries.

5. Our next-door neighbor of ten years had a black dog named Sugar, and Sugar died in August. Girlfriend had a black plush dog she had originally named “Blackie” but she re-christened it “Sugar” in honor of the late Sugar. (And also made it a girl when it had originally been a boy, because the late, real-life Sugar was also a girl. It’s easy to give plush dogs sex changes.)

6. She’s very nurturing. In addition to having a dog, she should also have a younger sibling, but I’m not a good enough person to give her that either.

7. She likes to do everything perfectly. She doesn’t like to lose.

8. She is eight years old today.

When I started this blog, Girlfriend was not even a twinkle in her father’s eye. She was hardly even a theory in her mother’s. She is therefore the only one of my children who has been blogged about her whole life. But she hasn’t been blogged about a lot because she isn’t outrageous, just freaking adorable–and that’s a lot harder to put into writing.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GIRLFRIEND!