I look at you and I see every version of you. Thirteen years have gone by, and I can still see that little girl with the cheeky little smile and the animated face, cartwheeling her way through life. I see the beautiful young woman that you are becoming, quiet and contemplating, keeping your thoughts close to your heart. I also see the goofy care-free clown that you can be, care-free and silly. I see you in the future, breezing your way through life, head held high. I see a strong confidence in you, and it just makes me feel something I haven't felt before. It's unnerving in a way, because on so many levels you don't need me anymore, and yet I feel I need you. You want to let go and just be, and I want to know every thought and feeling, every movement. But these aren't mine to know. And that's something I struggle with because for so long I have been the centre of your world, I have been needed, wanted, sought out. It's wonderful becoming independent, and also scary and exciting. All these things on this ever-changing journey of life. Growing up is such a hard thing to put into words really. It's all things wrapped under one title. Ups, downs, firsts, frustrations, worries, excitement, pride, joy, unknowns, "what ifs". It's exhausting. And there's no map or 'how to' booklet. If there was I'm sure there would be a huge chapter on eye-rolling and the inability to communicate in any form.
Without a doubt though, I puff up with pride when I think of your talents. I am always in awe of the things you do. Your art is such a wonderful expression of your thoughts and feelings and I am excited to see where that takes you.
A year off gym, and you did not miss one single zoom training session. It was no surprise then that on your long-awaited return to gym you were like a duck to water and straight back on that track doing what comes so naturally to you. I ask what you achieved at gym, 'just a double twist' and here I am struggling to reach my toes. You keep your victories and accomplishments close to your heart which frustrates me as I want you to light up with pride at what you can achieve. But then you make me laugh, and also I admire, when you tell me you attempt a triple twist and land on your face. You laugh it off and say it's part of the process. Me? If there was any chance I'd land on my face doing something, guaranteed I wouldn't even try. That takes so much courage which you don't even realise, it's just another shoulder shrug and let's get on with it (is that another eye-roll?!).
As I get older, my view on the world and how we live in it changes. There's this balance to find between trying to impart what I have learned along the way, but also letting you figure things out for yourself. I see you roll your eyes when I try to explain something, this impatience for you to just get out there and sort it for yourself. I just want you to know that when the time comes when you do need me, I will be here always.
If we are to take anything away from us in these last 12, 15, 18 months of crazy, it's this. Life continues to go on regardless. Worries don't get us anywhere. Speak up and be heard, and ask yourself, what's the worst that can happen if I do this? Embrace every moment with every cell in your body, experience life and love, let yourself feel joy and happiness, which will also open up the door for heartache and sorrow. But to live is to love, it's to feel. I don't know if you'll ever know how much I love you, maybe one day if you have a daughter of your own. It's a fierceness that overrides everything and leads to such a mixture of emotions. I want you to be happy, and remember to smile. xx