I promise I will always have pennies in my coin purse in case we happen upon a fountain, for I will never stand for you missing out on anything upon which you can attach a wish. I promise to let you stay home from school every January 8th, and we will have Elvis sandwiches and watch his movies all day long. (We will tell your teachers it is a religious holiday.) I will sing you every sweet song I know, until they become the soundtrack of your safest memories. Maybe, if it’s not too much money, your dad and I will buy you a star and teach you where to find it among all the other stars. I won’t expect you to believe in their magical workings the way that I do, but I hope to goodness that you find something within the mysterious expanse of the universe to keep your eyes sparkling like the very constellations themselves. I will let you have your own little plot in the garden, and we can learn how to grow things together (including daisies for Gram). I will do my very best to take you to First Friday, if they happen to have one where we live, and maybe some of the art we see will help you appreciate unspoken parts of yourself, like it has for me. I will make you a dictionary wall like in The Book Thief, and hopefully you will inherit an appreciation for words and the graceful power that lies within them. We will have chocolate malts every Sunday and probably therefore diabetes as well. It is my most simple and earnest wish that we have a wise-kind-of-tree in either our front or back yard. I will teach you to read underneath its branches and maybe you will teach me to be brave within them. I promise to never stop learning new things, so that we will always have something to talk about. I will do my best to always have answers and if I don’t, we will seek them out together. I’m sure my lachrymose example will teach you all on its own that even though laughter is the best medicine, there are still some ills that require an elixir of tears and time, too, and that’s okay. I promise to hold your hand when you need it, and to let go when you need that too. I will do my best to keep your belly full, your feet warm, your heart tender, and your mind open to the breadth of possibility, perspective, and purpose that exists within each waking day. I will want to protect you from every shade of harm, but I will do my best to respect the varying hues of your growth. And, know that you will always have Home’s constant glow beckoning you, if ever those shades become too dark for you to navigate. I hope you will learn to always search for the ultimate good, and to have the courage to walk to the light you receive. I hope with all my heart that I can teach you that you are important, and that not even one foot step you engrave upon this good Earth could be filled by another’s. Most of all, I promise to love you, every last, teensiest little bit of you, for as long as I am Brittany.