My baby girl is turning thirteen! When did that happen and how do I feel about this?
As I sit in Grace’s room on the eve of her 13th birthday, I take a moment to look around and wonder when on earth did my little girl turn into a teenager!. I will unashamedly and with complete bias start by saying how utterly beautiful she is.
Now, getting back to the chubby, curly haired four year old we had when we moved into our house. Her two and half year old brother (or shadow!) always trailing behind her. I remember the excitement of decorating her room, oh so girly with ponies and fairies and everything pink! I think back to Polly Pocket, Littlest Pet Shop and those damn Beados!. To Barbie C.D players replaced now of course with iPods, iPads and mum’s old mobile phone. And although she is growing up the little girl is still there just, in teddy bears and photo’s among nail polishes, jewellery and make-up.
I miss the chatterbox and her endless questions, there are still questions just not ones I’m ready to answer. And as I think about her past I wonder what her future will bring. Every mother is proud of her children and I’m no exception. Grace has managed to achieve more in thirteen years than I have in thirty-nine. She is a Scholarship winner, a West Australian Young Writers Award recipient ( 3rd in the state! ) She’s won science awards and photography competitions. Every teacher she has ever had has loved her! She is the DREAM student because she loves to learn!.
She is smart and funny, kind and compassionate. She loves her family, (even her brother) and her pets!. She worries too much and cares so much for the welfare and happiness of others that I’m afraid her little heart won’t cope. But boy oh boy can she be stubborn and so disorganized! And asking her to do the smallest of tasks Is met with the usual answer, ‘five minutes’ which always turns into half an hour more!
There’s an aura about Grace that I can’t explain. People would always stop me just to talk to her or peer into the pram to look at her. Always drawing people in, always engaging them. She is quieter now. More reflective, constantly thinking with an imagination that often gets the better of her!. But thank goodness she enjoys a joke as much as I do and has a wonderful sense of humor!.
So what do I hope for her future?. I hope she stays true to herself and what she believes in, that she doesn’t lose her sense of humor!. She will always find the good in people because she always has. I want her to be happy and fulfilled no matter where she is or whats she doing. I want her to go and explore the big wide world but come home ( selfishly ) to me when she’s done. I have no idea how we are going to navigate the teenage years. The world is entirely different to when I was growing up. I only hope our many conversations and my pearls of wisdom are enough to get us through!.
I know she’s only thirteen and I will feel this way many more times. On her 16th, 18th and 21st birthdays. Through high school graduations and broken hearts. Right now as she grows up a little piece of her and I falls away. I’m torn between holding on tight and letting her go and grow. She will at some stage choose her friends over me just as I did with my mum but I know she won’t be gone for long, I know she will always come back!.
Just before my own mum passed away, she penned a letter to each of us four kids. In a part of mine she wrote,
‘ I love you Malinda, as high as the sky, as wide as the sea’
It’s the simplicity in the message that makes it so profound. This is how I feel about not only Grace but her brother Joshua as well. My love for them both is infinite
Today right here and now, I don’t want to turn back time. I want to halt it altogether. I want to freeze us the way we are now, while she still needs me. The years have passed far to quickly for me and I’m not ready to let her grow up.
A long time before she was born I decided that if I ever had a little girl I would name her Grace, and here she is. I couldn’t have chosen a more fitting name for her. She is, in my eyes everything the name embodies.
Graceful, eloquent and beautiful.
May your dreams always come true. May your highs be plentiful and your low’s minimal. You have taught me so much about myself and what it means to be a mother. I wish I had your level of compassion and maturity when I was your age. I also wish I was as smart as you!
It is my privilege and honor to call you my daughter.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PUMPKIN-HEAD
Love Mum xxx