To my big girl
Today is your sixteenth birthday. Sixteen - it sounds as though it should be a milestone birthday. It sounds so grown up. And that is what you are, getting very grown up. You have become very independent, very self-reliant in the last year. It is an important school year, as no doubt school is telling you over and over again, taking your GCSE's. I always knew you were a hard worker but you have impressed me so much with your motivation to do as well as you can. An A isn't good enough, it has to be an A*. I don't have to ask you if you've done your homework, I know you're getting on with it. I love seeing how pleased you are when you come home with a better-than-expected grade, and I'm sure you're going to surprise yourself when you come to pick up your grades in August.
As you're getting older, you are becoming such good company. You are much quieter than your brother, and you and I don't have endless conversations. But there are lots of things we enjoy together. We both relish our Saturday mornings, with our ritual of a coffee in Cafe Nero, people watching, you playing Candy Crush and me knitting for an hour or so. I can always rely on you to give me an honest opinion when I want to know if I look good in something. You tell me off when I need telling off. You support me when I need a hug. You even make my cups of tea how I want them, even though we don't really agree on what brand of tea is the nicest.
I've always felt that when you become a parent and see your children grow up, to start off you need to hold your child firmly by the hand. As they become more independent, you can slowly let go of that hand, until you walk behind them, ready to catch them if they fall. That's where we are now.
It's only another two years until you go to university. You're so excited about this that you've already ordered some university brochures. And although I can't imagine how much I'm going to miss you, I'm also so very proud of the young woman you are becoming. The world is a better place because of you and it is an honour and a pleasure to be your mamma.
Happy birthday mijn grote meid, I love you lots.