To mijn grote meid,
Today you are fifteen. FIFTEEN. Every time I see it written down, I have to blink. I have a FIFTEEN year old daughter. It seems so big, so grown up.
Fifteen years ago today you were born on Easter Monday, at home. A girl, just as I'd instinctively known all the way through my pregnancy but didn't want to find out during the scans.
Although I didn't realise it at the time, you were actually a very easy baby - you went through the night when you were two months old, you grew and developed as you were supposed to. It was me who found having a baby quite tough - it was so different from what I expected, I was tired, I had trouble breastfeeding but really wanted to (and succeeded in the end, but it took a lot of blood sweat and mostly tears), and what nobody ever tells you: babies don't really interact, specially in those first few weeks, and can actually be quite boring. Suddenly being stuck at home on my own after having worked fulltime for four years was quite a shock, let me tell you. And I always thought that once the baby stage was over, that was when it was going to get boring. Okay, toddlers were still quite cute, but school age children? Nah, not for me. It turned out all quite different, it wasn't till you started going to school that I really started to enjoy motherhood properhood. And it's just got better and better as you've got older.
You're in year 10 now, which is the year before you do your GCSE's. You're already doing GCSE subjects (History, Philosophy&Ethics, German and Fashion&Textiles) and show incredible motivation to do well. There is no 'have you done your homework yet?' with you at all and when you need help, you come and ask for it. I love seeing your strengths develop and how you're heading in much the same direction as I did. You pretty much know which A levels to take and you're already looking into universities.
In some ways you are the typical teenager - you'd sleep till midday if given the chance, your room is a complete tip 364 days a year, you never bring towels back to the bathroom after you've used them and when I run out of mugs in the kitchen, I can normally find them with a layer of mould in your room. O and your mobile is never far from your side. You've grown and grown and grown in the last couple of years and are now only just a smidgen away from my height, which feels very strange.
But you're not the monosyllabic, grunty teenager either. You're very good at keeping yourself entertained, you could from a very early age when I'd find you in the bookcase with all the books on the floor around you and you were pretending to 'read'. You're helpful at home (mostly!), you're great fun to watch telly with, you are the only person whose opinion on what I wear I trust completely, and I love our Saturday mornings when we have a couple of hours together and we go for a chai latte at Cafe Nero.
This year more than before I have increasingly felt that I can see the person you will be as an adult. And that person is someone I'm incredibly proud to have as my daughter.
Happy birthday grote meid,