January 21, 2018
Posted in View from the table
So my little one has hit double figures, where ten years have gone I do not know? But I do know that they’ve been all the more full of everything that is wonderful for having her in them. They’d have been so much duller without you, Lil.
So what can I tell you that will fare you well as you are now a huge 10 years old? You know so much already. You’ve already figured out the intricacies of human nature, you know how people tick, how to make things right. I see you, quick-as-a-blade, assessing situations, smoothing things over, making it all better. You’re a people pleaser, like me (usually), you like to make people happy, even when it may not be the right thing for you. But you’ve got a voice that you’re not afraid of being heard, and it’s such a pleasure to hear it, because it’s often quite crazy in its logic; quirky and unique – just like you my marvellous little one.
10 is a long, long time ago for an old lady like me but here goes for nothing:
- Keep on asking a thousand questions a day. Like to the surgeon who last week, when we were tired and scared and not sure if you’d need to have an operation in the middle of the night. You were so brave, my darling. The surgeon at the bedside asked – “have you got any questions for me Lily?” “Yes”, you replied. I could see your little/big brain ticking over. “If you never farted your whole life would you explode?” (Dear reader, the answer is yes. Hell yes.)
- Carry on being kind and thoughtful and caring, those three things are never, ever out of place
- Please keep being incensed by injustice, whether that’s in politics, in the news or in your classroom. You absolutely should be. Keep speaking up, your voice alone is so very powerful
- Stay your original self. It’s good to not want to wear the same things as everyone else. You’re an innovator, already. Don’t fall in line honey, you don’t need to
- Keep your music taste as eclectic as it is right now, this falls under not falling in line too. Putting Billie Holiday records on and chilling out on the sofa on your own is one of life’s great pleasures – discovering that at 10 is pretty impressive, my darling
- You already know that it’s a different experience for girls and boys. Keep asking the questions you ask, keep challenging things you encounter, always understand that your gender makes no difference to your abilities and capabilities, you’ve got an army marching with you, darling. I wish you didn’t have to but know that there are millions of people – male and female, who feel the same, who’ll walk alongside you for equality, until there’s no more need to. We’ll only get there if 10 year olds like you pick up the baton.
- Please never, ever stop finding magic everywhere you go. It’s always there but we adults need you 10 year olds to remind us. And we really, really need to be reminded. This is my challenge to you!
- ‘Dropping a Donald’ should be the universal term for farting, with full credit and royalties to you
- Don’t stop finding pleasure in the little things – you’re the only person I know who’s genuinely happy to be going to the optician or the dentist. You’ll be a happier human being for it. I promise you that
- Please, never stop telling me, when we’re snuggled up in my big bed, about the fox spirits that circle our house, weaving spells to protect us and keep us safe. You’re a great story teller, keep nurturing that skill, it’s a gift. I swear, I can close my eyes and see their magnificent red tails and trace their soft tread. Lifting people out of the everyday is nothing short of brilliance. Don’t stop
- Keep talking to me. I’ll always, always listen
- Let me always sing you Morning Town Ride, the same lullaby my mama sang, every night, I’ve done so for 10 years, let’s not stop now
- Don’t rush to grow up Lil. It’s not as exciting as you may think and it’s trickier to rock around in a cape and leopard leggings, though certainly not impossible
Your middle name is Joy for good reason, my darling.