Today my daughter turns 12. She is funny, interesting, smart, beautiful and sassy. This is for you Lily!
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” K Stockett
This quote always makes me think of you. It reminds me of your new-found interest in social justice issues, our time snuggling up on the couch watching movies and that you are so kind, so smart and so important.
You are kind.
You have an uncanny knack in knowing when the someone is feeling down and when they need to know a friend is near.
When I have been sick you’ve made cups of tea and ask if I’m feeling better. Sometimes you quietly hop into bed with me and lie next to me to keep me company.
After the very first birthday party you attended, you came home and happily handed over your lolly bag without reservation to share with the rest of your greedy family and have continued to do that to this day. Always generous and always willing to share.
You are smart.
Sometimes you say you feel like you are dumb at school. What you don’t see is that the other academically smart kids don’t necessarily have the skills you have to make friends, get organised, take risks and make things happen. You have smarts that a lot of adults don’t have.
You can make new friends seemingly effortlessly. You know how people are feeling and can respond and emphathise with them. You can sense when someone is feeling fear, anger, joy or sadness.
You are super- organised. You have always know how to get to other people’s houses, what to pack for a dance concert and exactly how long it will take to arrive somewhere.
You are willing to try any new activity whether or not your friends are interested. Then you give it your all until you have mastered that new skill. You learned to ride a bike at 4, swim at 5 and to dance at 6.
You are fearless. You have ridden elephants, camels, horses and a yak. You have abseiled, jumped through canyons, trekked in Nepal and faced your fears riding rescue boards in the surf at Bondi.
You make things happen because you are determined and focused.
You are important.
Oh boy are you important! You are loved and admired by your family and friends. Having you in our lives makes the world seem a brighter place and and certainly a whole lot more interesting.
Now you are growing from being a girl to a young woman your gaze is starting to focus outwards. You have become interested in social justice books, people and films. You are interested in what happens to individuals in difficult circumstances and how they strive to overcome difficulties. You are fascinated about reproduction and soak up knowledge on that subject with enthusiasm.
This is the last year of your girlhood. Next year you will turn 13 and become a teenager and I can’t wait to see the brave, smart and strong young woman that you will become.
Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. A.A. Milne
With lots of love on your birthday xxx from your Mum