I've decided that everyone needs an Eloise. I honestly don’t know where I would have been without our Elle during lockdown.
I remember last year on your birthday, going out for our ‘last dinner’ before restrictions came into effect and the whole world seemed to just come to a grinding halt.
It was all rather surreal, and we all reacted differently as we scrambled to adapt to this new way of living. Through it all, you brought the positivity, the hugs, the helping hands (and of course the questions).
I have seen in the last year how much you have stepped up, and I have been so incredibly proud of everything you have achieved in these last 12 months. Your determination to strive has astounded me. You have so much drive and passion, and don’t let anything get in your way.
You have been my little helper, always on hand to help with dinner, the chores, taking care of Sonny. And always with such a smile. I can't even begin to express my thanks for these simple gestures that may seem so small but mean the most.
Your resilience has been unfaltering. On down days, you have still managed to pick yourself up and carry on, often us with you. Giving us your classic big hugs, filling the entire house with your singing, or shaking the walls with your raucous laugh, we have always felt your presence, and that brings so much comfort. You pretty much taught yourself for almost a year, getting on with your work every day. The first lock down we all thought it would be quite fun home-schooling, but the novelty soon wore off and it was plain to see how much you needed school, your peers, and the praise and guidance of your teacher. You soldiered on though, and I think you have learned so much about yourself on that journey. The tears flowed, but they came with hugs, and your big blue eyes would sparkle through those tears and I could see your inner strength in them.
The summer months were full of long walks in the fields, picnics on your bikes, a sneaky little trip to France that was much needed to break away from the spell, with the promise of some form of normality on our return. This was short lived, and reality came back with a bump!
Homeschool take 2- you totally owned it this time round. You were there, 8am sharp bright as a button. You eagerly did your work and took photos of it to send to your teacher, delighting in the almost instant feedback she gave you (best teacher ever). You videoed yourself doing news reports. You wrote, and wrote, and wrote, and your creative soul just burst free. You suddenly had a way with words, your descriptions were moving, you connected with your characters. I truly believe you have unlocked a gift. You write from your soul, which is empathetic, full of love, full of mystery, and this is reflected in your words.
For the last 3 years you have asked, and been denied, roller skates. And with good reason as your clumsiness, though endearing, has stayed with you and simple tasks like walking down the road end up with a bruise or scrape of some description. However, it was difficult to say no yet again to that cheeky face and those engulfing eyes, so we (I) caved. This last Christmas, your entire being was brimming with pure joy as you unwrapped your shiny new skates. And all the protective gear that came along with them (we decided bubble wrapping you was perhaps a step too far but the jury still isn't out on that one). Christmas day, freshly out of their box, you had them on. Outside, just the need to be moving. Since that day, and every single day after, you have been out there, rocking those skates, come rain, snow, hurricane, wind, ice, you have not given up. Your sheer grit and determination has pulled off though, and now you glide along, effortlessly, your reward for your persistence. Even when you fall (which still happens as you have a tendency to be too absorbed in everyone else rather than watching where you are going), you pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and carry on. I honestly don’t know anyone as strong-minded. Well, one person comes to mind who you fondly take after.
I love so many things about you, I love how you make everything exciting, you make everything seem so wonderful and amazing. Nothing is out of your reach. We are both so excited for you and your journey into secondary school in the fall, how can that be already! I still look back with nostalgia at photos and videos of this little girl, with the biggest smile and even larger blue twinkly eyes and a mouth the size of an ocean, and I just can’t believe you are not that little person anymore. Instead, you are this beautiful young person, more in control of her thoughts and actions, so unbelievably kind and caring, and just an absolute joy to be around. Your life will always be an event, you create a world of drama around you with you at the core. Each chapter in your life is so exciting and wonderful, and I know you will just lead such a full life with endless possibilities.
I love you more than the moon pulls the tide, you are such a perfect bundle of everything good. Continue to always follow your heart. xx