Happy birthday, adored one!

I couldn't let February get away from me without telling you that my baby, my youngest girl, my very last child, turned thirteen years old this month.

This girl has always been my funny, sunny, early Valentine -- she brightens any room with her cheery smile, her goofy sense of humor, and her flair for the dramatic pose.

Of course the important task of the big day was to get her ears pierced -- our traditional rite of passage. Her birthday was also a snow day, in advance of the Blizzard. Since we didn't know how quickly the storm would blow in, we scurried to the mall to git 'er done, rather than journey to Pincurls and the fabulous Lynda Lee.

Another tradition -- dinner and milkshakes at the Silver Diner with Coleen and her urchins -- also went by the wayside, as we all freaked out just a tiny little bit in advance of the storm. People abandoned their cars that day before a single flake ever hit the ground. It was madness, I tell you! Instead, the family celebrated with lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise.

But even though her day did not go exactly as she thought it would, my sunny girl carried her glad heart and spunky, funky humor with her -- as she does every single day.

The child never met a rubber duck she didn't adore -- her collection is extensive, and includes glow-in-the-dark duckies, multi-colored light-up duckies, ducky pajamas, a quacking ducky trashcan (very loud, given by Coleen as payback for the time I gave the seven-year-old Jolie Blonde an extensive grown-up makeup collection), and -- troubling -- a "devil ducky," who sports cheetah spots, horns, and a very sketchy leer.

The sunny girl is surprisingly knowledgeable about ancient Egypt, and loves the one measly mummy owned by the Smithsonian, with a pure and abiding love. She and I recently traveled north to spend a day in Manhattan, and she almost passed out when she found the Egyptian collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In case you were wondering, her favorite Egyptian god is Thoth, the god of science and literature. Go figure.

People, I could go on and on . . .

. . . about her graceful way of moving . . .

. . . her sacrificially loving and generous heart . . .

. . . and her loyalty as a friend.

I will just stop -- but you can see why I know without a doubt that I am the luckiest mom.

Here's her theme song, useful for brightening any day: