I wasn’t going to document Sophia’s birthday this year on my blog, but I didn’t share anything last year and so because its her tenth birthday and she is now a decade I really wanted to. I have done this every year on her birthday from the year I started my blog in 2015 I will link them all at the end of the blog post. 10 Feels like such a huge milestone. Here is my letter to you my darling,
For your birthday this year we were in our new home and have been here for 3 months. You have settled into your new school and life here so well, I am so proud of you. You are so happy, you have blossomed here. For your birthday this year your granny from Kent came to stay and we celebrated your birthday at home as we were in lockdown. You didn’t mind and were happy with your day. We made the best of it. Your cousin and Granny from Wales also came over to spend the day with you.. and made your day very special. You are so very loved by so many.
I never dreamed we’d get to this day… 10 years, I mean …I knew we always would but I could never fully understand what it would be like or feel like to have a ten year old. A nearly teenage daughter. It’s a weird thought that does cross ones mind when holding their tiny warm newborn in their arms, at least it was definitely a thought that crossed my mind holding little you. The tears have started already while I am writing this. I love you so much and writing about you makes me so emotional.
It was a thought that popped into my head long after I’d given birth and the adrenaline from it all had worn off. We’d had a little sleep your dad and I and I could start to take in those beautiful moments fully, like starring at you while you slept, or watching your little hand movements as you fed from me. You almost always held your hands together as if you were praying. I’d watch you sleep often, watching your tiny little chest rise and fall I could never fathom how tiny you really were, how fragile each of your limbs and how small each one of your finger and toe nails were. So exquisitely made each little part of you. And without been told your healthy little body told you when to cry for food and when to cry for cuddles, you knew exactly what you wanted and when you wanted it. We raced over to you at every niggle, even before you cried and that was it from the moment you entered the world, I held you at every opportunity and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
It was a quiet evening at home, a week night and your dad had work the next day, he was working two towns over from our house on someone’s roof. We sat on the sofa that evening and I cuddled you while you slept cosy on my chest. I wanted you all to myself and really had a hard time giving you over to anyone else for cuddles.
It was that evening when the thought came to us, you may have been a few days old at the time and your dad and I sat on the sofa and we talked about how on your fourth birthday it would be the Olympics. That made us both slightly giddy at the thought, it felt very exciting and like a complete lifetime away, which made me feel content knowing I’d have you small for so much longer. (Then you turned four and we had the olympics and it didn’t quite feel like four years had passed when we got there. It felt like much much less time) and then your dad and I we sat and we said one day you’ll be 8 then 9 and then 10 and I said I still remember when I was 10.
On my tenth birthday I’d just had my hair cut into a short bob. I’d been begging my mum for so long and she finally agreed and I remember sitting on the swing my dad had made under our decking from some old wood and he’d screwed the chain on either side and hooked it on… it was sturdy under our decking out in the garden. I sat there on the swing a warm day, the sun was out, with my denim skirt and pink floral top with green and red flowers on with my new fresh hair cut and I felt so fancy and so grown up. Mum had even bought me a pair of tight flared trousers which I wore with my first pair of heels my aunty Ali had given me for my birthday. These weren’t heels as you’d imagine them but big chunky cream coloured heels. I didn’t think they sell heels like that anymore, but I was in HnM the other day and low and behold I saw a pair. I took a snap on my phone to keep as a memory and I shared it with everyone asking if they remembered these heels too. I treasured those shoes and I stomped and walked all over my parents terracotta and wooden floors with them, I am sure you can imagine the sound.
And you see you turning ten brings back so many flashes of my life at ten I remember it being my favourite age to be, I had a little more independence and I felt confident, I could swim and I loved swimming and I would play outdoors climbing trees at any opportunity up until I was 10 before we moved to England. Before we moved we had no computer I didn’t watch much telly as mum had strict instructions no more then one hour a day.
I spent cold rainy days making paper dolls out of cardboard and designing and colouring in their clothes by hand, which I’d then cut out and make sure I made little paper tabs on each piece of clothing so they would fit neatly around my cardboard doll. I had a book where I’d practice writing short stories and poems. I loved writing and I loved designing my paper dolls their clothes and shoes. This was one of my favourite indoor activities. This is what I did at ten right before my parents moved me to England. Ten was a huge year for me, I spent half of it with my best friend in the country I was born and had grown up, and then the other half in a completely new country with no friends, we moved in the cold of winter just before Christmas. It felt like my whole world had been turned upside down.
So as I sit here typing this and thinking about you and now that you are ten I can’t help but feel the next season of our mother and daughter life looming. I know you are not quite a teenager yet, but it’s not so far away now and while I know that you will be exactly who you are meant to be I can’t help feeling like I want to wrap you up from harms way and mean people and keep you close. Where I can remind you what a wonderful person you are and that you don’t need anyone or any job or grade to validate you and who you are. You are enough, more than enough just as you.
I hope you enjoyed the little I shared here about my life at 10 and your life as a newborn something I always think of on your birthday, the day you turn another year older. I know this for sure that you are more than I could ever have imaged as a daughter. You are more wonderful than all of my wildest dreams I love you so very much you have such a kind nature, you calmness and your assertiveness. I love how emotionally aware of others you are, how you include everyone. You have the best sense of humour and I know you get this from you daddy which I love so much. I love how you have learnt so much about who you are with our move to Wales and how you are learning to put your happiness first in relationships with others and that you deserve good friends who treat you well. You are so confident and such a happy girl and I cant wait to watch you blossom more and more just as you already have.
Happy ten years of life my darling girl and thank you for how you have enriched my life. Even though we are still learning together I am confident that anything life may throw at you, you will get through with your strength and beautiful heart. And with all your family right by your side. You are so very loved by so many. I love you so much, love mummy.