Out of all my children, I would say Isabelle has always been the most easy-going. She has a personality to please, a go-with-the-flow air about her. She gets over things easily, she flicks her way through dramas and life as if it's all a dream cloud. Sometimes a little too quiet, not speaking up, or not showing interest when deep down it's been there somewhere. Her gift for most things she touches hasn't waned over the last year, taking up piano and within a few weeks playing with both hands, hearing a song and mastering it a few hours later, learning to write with her left hand she found a challenge for perhaps a day, then mastering it and having better writing than me! Naturally being gifted at sports. It must annoy the hell out of Eloise! She will be one of those lucky kids who finds everything easy.
This last year she faced her biggest challenge in her life, one that involved solely her, something that only she could deal with and make right. That one evening when I raced to get to gymnastics, to watch her proudly from the stairs, her dreams and goals in front of my eyes. And in that split second, that wrong move high in the air. That fall, that bad landing. When everything else in the world just disappeared and my heart felt like it was trying to rip out of my chest. I couldn't think, I couldn't see, but I could hear her. My tiny little mouse, who I was always constantly telling to speak up, found her inner lion and she roared. Her eyes searching for mine, she made it clear this was not OK. She was not going to be passive in this, she was going to be heard. She found this inner strength, she didn't put up with any shit, she made it clear what was OK and what was not. She called the shots, and she let everyone know it.
After it all, and as the days, weeks, months went by, I noticed her quieter, passive self being more at the front again, but she hadn't lost her inner lion that she found that night. She had us all in awe as just days after, she was up, wanting to be at gym, wanting to see her friends, needing to move, to write, to feel free. It was a hard time for her, but she didn't ever grumble. I am so amazed by her strength and courage, her ability to get on with everything, without moaning, without ever asking, why me? Instead, she will take the good from everything that has happened. Look mum, I can do all this stuff with my left hand now. Mum I can show you how to get dressed really quickly with one arm. Mum I did the most amazing end skills today at gymnastics (rewind... what?! are you supposed to be doing that?).
She continues to be the energy source of the house. We have noticed that when she wasn't at gym (all of a few days over the last 5 months), she just had too much energy to be sat at home. She went a little crazy. So we had to send her back in. When no one is looking she is doing things she shouldn't be, but I know she knows her limits, and deep down I'm SO proud she wants to be there, I'm happy she has found a love and a passion for something. I could write forever about her gymnastics, as I am one of those 'gym mums' who sacrifices a lot for what she does, and I ask others to make sacrifices too.
I look at my girl who is 10, I have become so immensely close to her over these last few months as we traveled this journey together, her leading the way, but keeping me close in the wings. I want to just hug her all the time, cherish her, be with her. She has such a beauty about her, so delicate and small and fragile, but I know inside she is fierce and courageous and strong. These last few months have shaped her into a powerful young lady, she has taken the best out of a crappy situation and made it her own. She has done what others said she couldn't, competing this year for a spot at British Championships only a few months after her last operation, despite the doctors and surgeons telling her she wouldn't. She pushed through both mental and physical boundaries, showing others she can achieve what her heart desires. And I admire her immensely for that. If everything else went away, I would still think so highly of her and her attitude towards life. She is my inspiration, and my hero. Happy 10th to my funny, goofy, crazy-talented utterly amazing girl. xx