A note to my first born daughter …

So it’s happening.

After the years of sleepless nights, of long cuddles, giggles and tickles, endless batches of pancakes, baking disasters, painting chaos, crazy hair days and so much closeness…things are changing. You just turned 10, and…I won’t lie…it’s all come as a bit of a shock to me. I really wasn’t expecting things to change this fast, and certainly not so soon.

10!!! Practically a baby still. Except…not. You are suddenly different. Distant. You often take yourself off to your room. You want to be alone. You spend hours in your bedroom – reading, experimenting with make up, listening to music, FaceTiming your school mates. And me? All of a sudden I am not the most important thing in your life anymore. It seems like 5 minutes ago that you constantly demanded my attention. You wanted me to help, you wanted me to look, you wanted me to kiss better, you wanted me to do. From the minute I fetched you from school you chattered. A long stream of chitchat that was both exhausting and so endearing. I confess that there were (very occasionally) days where I escaped to the bathroom desperately seeking 5 minutes peace. Where I groaned when I heard you stampeding up the stairs behind me, still chattering away. But mostly I loved it. Now? Now I crave it. I puff up when I hear your footsteps coming towards me and I deflate when you pass my door and head into your room. Now you only want to be alone. And let me be clear – this is a good thing!! You are confident. You are independent. You are brave and you are going to go so far in life and I am so proud of you.

But it still hurts.

Yesterday I wandered into your room to say good morning and found you dressed all in black. From head to toe. There was a time when I winced at your choice of colours. A massive clash of bright colours and bold prints, yet suddenly those have vanished without a trace and your choices have become far more subdued. Almost adult. Rather than wearing whatever makes you happy you are suddenly spending hours weighing up your options. You are aware that other people will be formulating opinions, and possibly expressing them – sometimes unkindly. You are becoming careful. Self conscious even. Your innocence is shattering and the real world is starting to intrude far too soon.

How I miss those bright colours. I miss the diatribes. I miss the carefree grins. I miss you singing at the top of your lungs without caring who could hear you. I miss you asking me to help, to look, to kiss better and to do. I miss being needed.

All this his time people have been telling me how fast time goes. They have been telling me to “enjoy this special time”. I can’t even count how often I was warned that “It goes by so fast”, and though I nodded and agreed and smiled in all the right places I had no idea. None. When your child is a baby or a toddler everything seems to go. so. slowly. Each night seems like an eternity and many days (and nights) are actively wished away.

But now I get it. That part of my journey with you is over. And I need to grieve for it…I need to grieve for my carefree little girl with the irrepressible giggles. For the bouncy curls and the terrible (but adorable!) dress sense. For the mispronounced words (“Farmer Christmas” and “strawbabies”..be still my heart!) and the sheer, beautiful innocence and egocentricity of youth. But at the same time I know that all is good and that this is the way it is supposed to be. I am so very privileged to be going on this journey with you, and I am so grateful that I get to watch you grow into the amazing young lady that you will be soon. And I say again I am so fiercly proud of the young lady you are becoming.

I wasn’t expecting any of this yet. I really thought I had a few more years of childhood in the bag. But times are changing and this is the reality I am facing right now.

Be patient with me as we find our way through this new ground. I know it’s so easy to assume a parent has all the answers but I really don’t. This is all just as new to me as it is to you and it won’t always be easy but we will find our way together.

I love you so very much my precious child. Thank you for being you.

Days 19 & 20 (AAC)

Neither days 19 or 20 have pics attached to them I’m afraid!

Day 19 is one of the children’s firm favourites and Mommy’s least favourite – “Tonight…eat dessert before dinner”.  They had some lovely Thornton’s choccies left with the note and munched them happily just before their pizza dinner (Mom’s Night Off!) – fantastic!

Day 20 is Mommy and Daddy’s favourite 🙂 Santa left a note requesting that the children buy Mommy and Daddy a christmas gift.  He also very generously left 2x £10 notes behind! The children are in charge of buying the gifts, wrapping them and making special cards for them – the idea is that they are to be a complete surprise to us on Christmas Day.  Yay!!! We were told about the note and the money so that we could take them to the shops this afternoon.  Hubby and I loitered around the shop entrance while Caeli and Jamie ambled and argued about what we would and wouldn’t like.  All I know so far is that they considered a Lever Arch file for me (in which to file some photo’s), and when hubby suggested something I *do* want (a new clutch bag) it was instantly veto’ed as apparently “Mommy has plenty of handbags already and she doesn’t need more!” Love it!!!! They finally agreed on a couple of things and left the shops clutching their bags very proudly – Happy Days!! 🙂

On a vaguely related note – you’ll remember a few days ago we had a day of doing Random Acts of Kindness for others, and one of the things we chose to do was to leave out some packs of biscuits for our lovely Postmen and women that do such wonderful work for us every day.  The kids made lovely cards to go with the biscuits and really put a lot of thought into everything.  Well it was with GREAT excitement that we received a *lovely* Christmas Card from our very Postman through the letterbox today! It simply made our day – he was so very appreciative of the gesture and the warm and fuzzies we got today truly showed us that giving really can be better than receiving, as well as showing us how far a simple Thank You can go.  This will definitely have to become something we do again soon!

Day 18 (AAC)

Today Caeli and Jamie were asked to make a hand- and footprint reindeer which was great fun.  We finally got to use paint, sparkly pom-poms AND the bells….what could be better?! I was absolutely shocked by how big their feet are already, Caeli’s reindeer didn’t even fit on one A4 piece of paper any more – we had to tape two together! Time is going waaaaay too fast! 

Enjoy 🙂

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Day 17 (AAC)

Today the kids were asked to make a Christmas Craft – any christmas craft! Alongside the note they were also given a book of Christmas Crafts to use for inspiration – I totally left them to their own devices and leave you with their creations.  They decided to hang them up on their bedroom doors alongside their other decor – it’s beginning to look a LOT like Christmas around here 🙂 I LOVE it !

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Day 16 (AAC)

Today Santa requested that the children get creative and decorate their bedroom doors! Unfortunately due to time constraints (Jamie had his school concert tonight so we were busy busy – he was BRILLIANT by the way…the best, in fact!) they did not have time to finish but they had about an hour in which to get their creative juices flowing and have made a jolly good start.  I do think Santa will be most pleased 🙂 

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Day 15 (AAC)

Monday’s are busy days for us and so it was very lucky that Santa chose a fairly easy yet VERY enjoyable task.

We were to gather together in the lounge in the evening with the christmas lights on, enjoying some christmas books along with hot chocolate and freshly baked chocolate muffins.  Was delicious and loads of fun.  We chose 4 story books – and each of us read a whole book to the rest of the family! So proud of my clever reading children 🙂 🙂

(PS for some reason our light-reindeer does not photograph well but he is GORGEOUS is real life, hee!)

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Day 14 (AAC)

Today Santa returned the kids puppets from a week or two again with a note saying that he was grateful for their hard work, that the puppets were perfect and that he was now done with them.  The puppets were back for the kids to keep and their job was to make up and perform a puppet show for their lovely parents.  It was very entertaining, a show that ended off teaching us about the true meaning of Christmas – being kind, cheerful and giving.  Very special.

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