Another year has flown by and my youngest child, my baby, my beautiful daughter is into double figures! How did that happen?
In my head, my beautiful girl is still tiny, but then I see that she seems to fill her bed. How did she get so big? And then I look at her hands and they’re still cute and tiny. She’s not so big, after all. But she’s definitely growing. Will 10 be the year we see a growth spurt and puberty? I’m not sure I’m ready for that just yet, but what parent ever is?
My girl is still the amazing hard working, dedicated daughter she has always been. Over the last year, her dancing has gone from strength to strength. She achieved distinction in her Grade 2 modern exam and has just taken her Grade 2 ballet exam. The results aren’t in yet, but I would be willing to bet good money she’s got herself another distinction (she has never got anything less). She is a truly beautiful dancer, who captivates anyone who watches her (not just me, honestly).
It was her wonderful dancing that led my daughter to what may have been the best experience of her life (and I’m not exaggerating) – the panto. Over the course of eight weeks from November to January, my daughter rehearsed and then performed in a professional pantomime, averaging six shows a week. She loved every second of it and so did we. It was hard work, but it was so worth it. It really exceeded all of our expectations. We saw our daughter grow in talent and confidence, in the nicest possible way, adding singing and acting to her dance skills. It’s now 10 weeks since the panto ended, but there isn’t a day goes by when she doesn’t talk about it. Strangely, she still talks about it in the present tense, as it is still so real and vivid to her.
The panto ending understandably left her feeling down and we had a few days where my lovely, happy daughter wasn’t herself. She didn’t want to go back to normal school and normal dance lessons and was looking for something else. In the end, we didn’t find the something else and she has settled back into real life.
Over the last year she has discovered a love (and sometimes love-hate) relationship with running, particularly Parkrun. We started Parkrun last spring and slowly got hooked, to the point where it is pretty much a necessity every Saturday morning. Taking a break from Parkrun for the panto knocked my competitive daughter’s confidence a bit as she wasn’t achieving the times she had achieved previously. But I’m very proud of her for being able to run three miles, in a time that beats many adults.
Last year, we got a very unusual holiday in Amsterdam with just our daughter, while my boys were on a 12 day Scout camp. I missed them, but having that bonding time with my daughter was amazing. She is such a loving girl who adores both of her parents, but rarely gets as much attention as she would like. She has to fight her brothers (literally and metaphorically) for attention a lot of the time, so to have some individual time with both of us was so good for her. She loved that holiday, as we all did.
Talking of brothers, the last year hasn’t seen an end to the fighting. There was a brief period when my eldest was nice to her as he was so proud of what she achieved in the panto, but normal service was soon resumed. The two of them fight from the moment they set eyes on each other in the morning until after my daughter has gone to bed – my son usually goes into her room to wind her up, even though he knows it isn’t allowed. My daughter doesn’t take it lying down and will give as good as she gets. It all gets rather noisy sometimes, but who can blame her?
Over the last few months, my daughter has had to get used to getting up earlier and leaving the house earlier to get her middle brother to his new school. It has been a big change for her, but she hasn’t complained once.
This will be the year when she takes the dreaded grammar school entrance exam. And she’s determined to pass. I would like nothing more than to see her at the same school as her brother. She’s not as naturally bright as he is, but what she lacks in natural ability, she makes up for in sheer hard work and determination. She is working towards the test every day. That is her choice, we aren’t forcing her to do it. She will be a credit to whatever school she goes to and will completely suit a grammar school, which will value her work ethic and all of the other skills she can bring in sport, dance and drama.
My 10 year old daughter continues to make me smile and make me proud every day and I’m sure she will continue to do so over the coming year. Hopefully she will get into another panto this year and I’m sure she will take whatever being 10 throws at her in her stride!
Happy 10th birthday, beautiful girl! You are the best daughter anyone could ask for.