12 years of my life on the fast-forward button. Especially this last year. These last few months which have just mooshed into one ginormous month. 2020 in lockdown where time seems to have oddly stopped and accelerated at the same time, a paradox I am unable to get my head around. And in these last however many months, this is the time that I have seen the biggest transformation in our eldest.
Last summer was goodbye to old friends and primary school, with the anticipation and excitement of starting secondary school only knowing a handful of friends. The summer was spent working extra hours at the gym, perfecting those twists and runs, loving every moment of being carefree. You thrived at the start of secondary school, so happy and finding your way amongst the many new faces. Already becoming favourites of some of the teachers, being chosen to join the sporting teams. You worked so hard and tirelessly, finishing at 330 and then racing off to gym until 830 in the evening. It was a crazy fast-paced life that consumed us all.
You absolutely smashed your gymnastics this year, getting gold in two competitions, and qualifying for the English Championships. Not only did you do so amazingly, but you just LOVED every moment of it. It has taken a long time to get to this point. So when the world seemed to stop on March 20th, and everyone held their breath, schools closed, shops closed, gym closed. To go from 100 miles an hour to virtually nothing in 24 hours, it was such a shock. I grieved for you, and your siblings. All that hard work, and this now wouldn't be your year to shine. To not be able to see your friends, your grandparents. To be told you can only go out once a day for exercise which seemed so cruel. And yet, I was proved wrong, because you did shine, you have shone, and you continue to do so.
You took it all in your stride. There have been a few wobbles, but I am just beyond proud of the person you have metamorphosised into. You have shown this other, more mature side. Ever since you broke your arm, we have always had a special closeness, but the last few months we have become so much closer. You opening up on a much deeper level and yet still light-hearted to sit and watch the entire series of Friends. We have shared walks, runs, workouts together and I love this new friendship we have built. You have taken care of your brother and sister, you have reached out to your friends and solidified your friendships, you have taken ownership of yourself, and have risen to the challenge. You make sure that every day, bang on 3pm, you and your 'main man' Roxy do your gym conditioning together. Every evening reaching out to your friends from school, just staying connected. I think this lockdown for you has released a more wonderful version of yourself.
I am sorry that this isn't the birthday that we had planned, but you said to me the other day you think this will be your best birthday yet. We have decorated the building-site-garden as best we can with bunting and painted murals, got everything tidy and ready for coffee and cake with your grandparents, and then a summer evening of bike rides, takeaway pizza, and ice cream with two of your besties.
I am just beyond proud of the little woman you have become. Your beauty shines within you as well as out. You have taken so much from this time in isolation, you have captured it and released it into something beautiful and colourful. While I see so many struggling during this time, you have found the positives and made them your own. You are always my inspiration, my carefree little butterfly. Thank you for spending so much time with me, I will never forget this time spent uninterrupted with you. All my love xx