This past week you turned ten years old, and the top of my head exploded. How did you get to be 10? How can it possibly be that time has gone by so quickly? (How can I possibly have been a mother for ten entire years? The universe quakes on its foundations...)
This past year has been one of much upheaval for all of us, but I think it's been a particular challenge for you. You've unexpectedly had to change schools, and go from the hothouse environment of a London private school, to the somewhat-less protected, vastly more diverse and chaotic life of a London state school. The upside of the move is that your confidence in your academic abilities has gone up, and we are hearing a lot less of "I can't" and seeing a lot more "I can".
Although it's been a tough change for you, you have weathered it like a champ. You've also managed very recently to face some pretty serious stuff head on and, with a bit of encouragement from your parents and your teachers, are doing a much better job of speaking out and standing up for yourself. I couldn't be prouder of you.
You have also begun to learn the ways of delayed gratification - you've worked hard to get on top of schoolwork so you could get access to The Game That Shall Not Be Named. You've also set yourself a goal of saving up a chunk of money so you could get your own iPod - this challenge brought out your entrepreneurial side, as you leafleted our street to get jobs walking dogs, and then followed up with neighbors, For someone who's natural tendency is a bit more towards passivity, particularly when interacting with adults you don't really know, this is a Big Deal.
As hard as it is to believe that you are ten, I only have to look at your face, getting ever closer in height to mine, to realize that time is passing very, very quickly. And its so important to recognize and take advantage of those moments when you are still my little girl who wants cuddles - they are becoming less and less common in the onslaught of impending teenager-hood and the overwhelming embarrassment of having me as a mother. Just you wait...
I love you so very much,