1. For years she was always the tallest kid in her class–usually by a lot–but she hasn’t grown at all since the fifth grade. At 5’1″ she is shorter than her two younger brothers. Her baby sister might eventually eclipse her too, but that still remains to be seen. She does not like to be called short. She does not like being short. But she takes some solace in the fact that she will never have to worry about towering over her dates, even if she wears high heels.

2. She hates shopping. This is why I don’t take her shopping–because I also hate shopping. She and I go shopping, and it’s “See anything you like?” “No.” “Fine. We’ll leave, then.” Somehow her dad manages to get her to try things on and buy them. And he always gets things on sale. Okay, now this is saying more about her dad than about her, but all I meant to do was highlight the difference between her relationship with her dad and her relationship with me. I’m here for empathy. Her dad is there for persuasion.

3. She is mostly over the breakup of My Chemical Romance, especially since Gerard Way will soon release a solo album. But she is also getting into some other music. She is going a little retro. She is very into the Cure right now. She asked me if I’d buy Pornography for her. Now she says she’s addicted to it. “Mom, I think I may be a little too into Pornography.” She thinks that’s a very funny joke.

4. Her latest major obsession is Frozen. Her favorite character is Olaf. (As her 13-year-old brother admitted, who doesn’t love Olaf?) She pretty much has the movie memorized. You wouldn’t think the music would be her cuppa, but she sings all the songs too (although she is less fond of “Love Is an Open Door,” possibly because she hates Hans–and she says she never liked him from the start, even before [SPOILER REDACTED]). Her love of this movie has allowed her to bond some more with her younger sister.

5. There is a boy in one of her classes who has a crush on her, but she can’t decide how she feels about him.

6. I promised her I wouldn’t tell anyone about her latest crush, so you’re just going to have to use your imagination.

7. Politically, she has a wide libertarian streak, which isn’t surprising, given the political leanings of her parents. However, she is intensely anti-abortion–which is a little bit surprising to me, abortion not being a super-popular topic of conversation in our household (at least not until she became interested in it). She is adamant that she is pro-life not for religious reasons, but for scientific ones. In fact, she’s incredibly frustrated that most pro-life groups are comprised of religious nutjobs (her characterization, not mine–no angry letters, please!) and she belongs to all these Facebook groups like “Riot Grrrls for Life,” Secular Pro-life,” and “Badass Pro-life Feminists.” Recently an anti-abortion group protested in front of her high school for three days. It was one of those religious nutjob groups, which upset her, so she had sort of a counter-protest…or a counter…counter… protest, where she held up signs that said things like, “May the fetus I save be gay” and “For the embryology textbook tells me so.” It was probably one of the highlights of her life so far. My daughter, the nuanced protester.

8. When I picked her up from the aforementioned protest, one of the members of the organizing (alleged religious nutjob) group told me, “Your daughter has a very sharp mind.” Yes, she does.

9. She still hates church. I guess I’ll let you know when she stops.

10. She is taking a foods class this term, and one of her assignments was to make an entire meal at home from scratch. She made Indian food, including naan, from scratch. It was delicious. She only cooks vegetarian food, not because she is a vegetarian (she is decidedly not), but because she doesn’t like handling raw meat. And who can blame her? Raw meat is gross.

11. She is trying to incorporate more color into her wardrobe. Most of her clothes are still black, white, and red with a smattering of purple, but now that she is embracing nautical fashion themes, she has a little bit of blue in there too.

12. She still likes to play fashion dress-up games online.

13. She spent a great deal of time learning how to put her hair up in victory rolls. She has really long hair, so I’m very impressed with this accomplishment.

14. At the same time, she is still not very good at brushing her hair.

15. She worries a lot about the future of our country. Particularly the economy. She’s afraid she’s not going to be able to get a job that will support her in the manner she’s become accustomed to. This might be partly our fault.

16. She is sixteen years old today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PRINCESS ZURG!