Brought to you by the Number 11


Such a journey this eleventh year has been for this girl. Especially the last 3 months. This has been the year where childhood intersected with the sometimes unkind reality of preparation for adulthood. She is physically growing at an incredible rate, experiencing growing pains in her arms and legs and an inch or two short of outstripping me. My shoes are now too small for her. Her emotions have had to do some stretching too, as she has been forced to outgrow the confines of young childhood and take up the space of something larger. She has mourned the loss of being little and able to comfortably coast along without conscious care. But the event of attending intermediate school has forced her to confront this reality and she has had to say goodbye to comfort and hello to new, scary and overwhelming. It has surprised us all, how tough this step has been for her, how unreachable at times, how tempting to give up. But she has plodded on, crying more in the last 3 months than she has the previous 10 years. This stoical, determined, cheerful lass became somewhat of a stranger, especially to herself. The tears, anxiety and perpetual distress flummoxed all of us, but she kept going. Towards the end of the term, she had a week at home with me, when her appetite suddenly dropped and she became listless and forlorn, but the next week she gritted her teeth and we tried again.


What we have seen of her character in this time has been remarkable. Yes she has been desperately sad to be in the situation she finds herself in, short on solid friendships and big on expectations, but she has not changed on the inside. She has still been polite and respectful, despite feeling at times, completely misunderstood. She is incredibly intelligent, funny and responsible. She is developing a tender heart towards those who hurt because now, for the first time ever, she identifies. And she has stretched in her leadership, choosing to serve those around her who need support.




Her favourite place is still her bed, tucked up under preferably a pale yellow duvet with a stack of books beside her head. She devours over and over the same tatty manuals, the Jungle Doctor classics, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, Secret Seven and the Dragonkeeper Chronicles. She will quite happily whiz through 3 books in a morning before wandering through to find food. If I take her a cup of tea and toasted hot-cross bun to eat while reading, she nearly passes out with delight.


She has no girly streak in her, no flicker of interest in jewellery or makeup and fashion has to be functional and contain no pink, no buttons and certainly no ruffles. She has an alarming appetite for sweet things, and ordered her version of a Lolly Cake for her party (a chocolate sponge, pale lemon icing and a veritable mountain of sweets piled on top). She loves apple crumble, roast chicken and roast potatoes are her ultimate home-cooked meal. Fish and chips is still the fav takeaway for her and she campaigns on a regular basis for this meal.


Reluctantly, she will drag a brush through those long honey-gold locks, and half heartedly straightens the mess that her room becomes, as neatness is not her second name by any means. She is willing to help me with anything, if I am sensible enough not to drag her away from the pages mid battlefield or spy mission and she is a dab hand at hanging up the washing for me now that she can reach :) She bakes without dramatics, some very acceptable and much appreciated delicacies.


She is still child, delightful in her innocence. She also carries an awareness of maturity that adds a beautiful dimension to her sweet nature. This girl can interpret her thoughts better than any other adult I know, and is very sensitive to her environment. She has practical and insightful wisdom and contributes very worthy solutions to our daily family hiccups. We enjoy her company deeply, and value her voice in this, our team.


Happy Birthday Sweet Girl, may this year hold as much joy for you as it does for us in having you.

sarah  – (April 19, 2010 at 9:19 AM)  

what a lovely portrait of a delightful young lady. Happy birthday to her, and many blessings for the year to come. It's a hard time of life but it sounds like she is negotiating it with sensitivity and grace.

PaisleyJade  – (April 19, 2010 at 11:43 AM)  

What a beautiful daughter - hope her day is wonderful!

Simoney  – (April 19, 2010 at 1:04 PM)  

She is grogeous, isn't she??What a stunner, and you have described her so beautifully. Congrats on the #11 being reached and hoping the year improves outa sight from hereon in :)
xx

Simoney  – (April 19, 2010 at 1:04 PM)  

Oh I meant GORGEOUS. Not Grogeous. Whatever that means. xx

Sarah  – (April 19, 2010 at 1:27 PM)  

What a beautiful post and a very beautiful sounding daughter you have. It's such a difficult age, as we all remember. My big girl is turning 11 very soon. So far so good. Fingers crossed x

Widge  – (April 20, 2010 at 11:28 AM)  

How wonderful to have a mum post something so beautiful about her daughter at this sometimes horrific age (I remember only too well!).

She is absolutely stunning and your description of her adds so much more to her already strong beauty.
Happy Birthday to you both xo

Cat  – (April 21, 2010 at 3:32 PM)  

I am in love with the way you write about her...so touching

I echo what everyone else has said here, she is a beautiful young woman who has a lot to offer this world
blessed are you both to have one another!

Happy Birthday beautiful angel

Faith  – (April 28, 2010 at 4:00 AM)  

love love love the beautiful perspective in these shots!! so inspiring!

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