The 15 year old

May 30, 2023

So 15 has leapt around the corner at an alarmingly fast rate, and instead of the small, blonde twirly little pixie, there stands taller than me my greeny-blue-eyed dark-haired beauty of a daughter. You smile devilishly at succeeding me in both height and foot size, though this doesn't stop you from borrowing some of my clothes (and I have pinched the odd cardi or two from you!). You often permanently 'borrow' my stuff, which most of the time aggrieves me but every now and then it does make me smile. I know that if I can't find my foundation, or hair straighteners, or mascara, it's most likely on the floor in your room or lost forever in the depths of all the chaos.

The teen years are harder than I thought they would be. So many times I just want to scoop you up and make everything easier, but with you trying to find your own path my outstretched arms are thwarted. As much as it pains me, I know that this is just a journey you are taking to discover who you are. My heart lights up on the rare occasion when you reach out to me still, and every moment I do have with you I treasure. Even our quiet, sometimes sullen, car trips to school. I know that one day I wont be taking you to school anymore, and it makes me just want to spend every moment I can with you. I know that inside, you are still twirling with thoughts and emotions, and when I reach out and squeeze your hand and say I love you, you say it back.

As quiet as you are, you can also erupt and be loud and giggly, larking about with Sonny and Elle, or shrieking with laughter as you gabble away on the phone. After deciding to take a break from gymnastic competitions, the relief has been obvious and it's been lovely to see you more relaxed. You still spin endlessly around the room, even after a 4 hour gym stint, but it makes me smile.

Your never-ending talent for art is a wonder and it has made me so proud to see your beautiful watercolour art adorned on people's walls. You've done custom creations for so many different people and every one of them has been overjoyed with what you have created. Your room is typical of an artist, all disarray, canvases splayed all over, paints laid out on the floor, endless glasses half-filled with paint-stained water. I often find you upstairs, sat on the floor, earphones on, painting away at some new creation. Some of them light and airy, but mostly they are dark and beautiful.

Our discovery of St Ives has awoken a light inside you, and seeing your entire face filled with your beautiful smile is enough to make us want to pack up everything right away and move down by the sea if it guarantees your happiness. You are a fish in the water, effortlessly gliding and commanding the waves on the bodyboard as if this is where you were meant to be. Exploring walks along the coast and being away from all the distractions gives you the opportunities to be carefree.

You will always be my little girl, and I am in awe when I look up and see just how beautiful you are, and what a wonderful young woman you are becoming. I get excited when I think of how bright your future is, and how you can achieve anything. I hope that you find the confidence and self-love that you are searching for, it pains me to see you so hesitant and unsure of yourself. I know this will come when you're ready and when it does the world wont know what's coming, for you will be unstoppable. We just need to help you spread your wings so you can fly.