This week, my youngest daughter turned 16. As always, we got up an extra half-hour earlier in order to be able to have breakfast together as a family and open presents over a cup of tea. Just as every year, we lit a candle at her specially set place at the table and rubbed our eyes as we sang Happy Birthday – never failing all 4 versions in four languages! Despite the bone-shakingly early hour, we all enjoyed a little bonding and a few laughs over the presents and headbands were worn:
How does time go so fast that she can be 16 already?! Especially with her little niece presently parading all those pretty baby clothes that her auntie wore, it seems like yesterday that we came home from the hospital in the snow, just as early in the morning so that her sisters would see her before they had to go off to school and kindergarten.
From a little doll of a baby to an angelic 3 year old in her first ballet production (in nappies!), a gentle and considerate little girl emerged, a true peacemaker – but with a hell of a sense of humour and considerable ability as a clown, with a huge laugh to go with it! From excrutiatingly shy and not even able to look at people, this little charmer has developed into a young woman of compassion and smiles, popular and conscientious and able to wrap her dad around her proverbial little finger – much to his delight 🙂
This school year is her last, and a busy one, full of exciting events – from a pilgrimage to Assisi to the production of a musical next summer, plenty of tests to study for and nailbiting over semester reports, and there will be snowboarding, oh yes, there will be snowboarding! There will be the harsh reality of applying for apprenticeships and some rejections, the excitement of getting an interview and feeling oh-so-grown-up and then hopefully, a war dance when she’s successful – so much to look forward to and yet I hope there will be some times to be in the moment and enjoy the here and now, time to veg out and do absolutely nothing except play with crazy eye-shadows and nail varnishes, sleep, listen to music that she’ll still know off-by-heart in 30 years, dream and above all, laugh and enjoy…
Despite the glum November mists, it’s rainbow time, time for an exuberance of teenage colour and giggles and one unanimous wish –