Happy birthday to my beautiful daughter. You are 11 years old now, my not-so-little girl.
This year you’ve got just a little bit cheekier and feistier. You’re in year 6 now, that’s what year 6s do.
It’s your final year at primary school and our final year there as a family. Leaving will be very strange for all of us. But you’re making the most of your last few months. Year 6 is good fun. It’s the year you’re treated more like grown ups. Yes, the work is a bit harder and you’ve got SATs coming up, but you’re taking it all in your stride. You’re enjoying the SATs booster groups, where you work with people of the same ability. And you’re enjoying having your first ever male teacher. You were disappointed not to be made head girl, but you’ve thrown yourself into being the very best prefect you can be.
You seem to have more friends than ever at school, which is lovely to see. It’s a shame that you will all be separated in a few months, but I hope you will still get to see them. It’s great that you’ve started Scouts because so many of your friends are Scouts too. Whatever schools you all go to next year, you will be able to see each other every Monday.
A few months ago, our dreams come true, and all your hard work paid off, when we heard that you’d passed the exam to get into grammar school. It wasn’t a lot of fun having the work and the exam hanging over you last summer, but it’s all done and forgotten now, and it was definitely all worth it! You’re looking forward to starting your new school and we are looking forward to seeing how you grow and thrive there. I know it will be just right for you.
This year you’ve fallen out of love with running, and especially Parkrun. It’s a shame for me (and for you, even if you don’t believe it). Running is what this family does. I hope we can get you back into Parkrun soon. Stick at it for just a few weeks and you’ll reach your milestone 50th run before you know it.
You’ve continued to excel at your ballet this year and we’re so proud of you. Having taken your Grade 2 exam just days before your 10th birthday, you went on to get distinction in your Grade 3 only eight months later. Your teacher has recognised your talent and you are now working simultaneously on Grade 4 and Grade 5, with a view to auditioning for the Royal Ballet again next year. As a result of all the extra ballet classes, you’ve had to give up your contemporary class, but I’m sure that’s not forever. You are still doing street dance and your tap/ jazz class.
We were all very excited (but not surprised) when you made it into the chorus of the panto again. During rehearsals, the choreographer told the other girls (who were nearly all much older than you) that she wanted them to dance with your energy. When I saw you on stage, you were one of the two best dancers up there, despite being the second youngest. You dance with so much energy and control and always have just the right expression on your face. Now we know that whenever you are able to go back (whether it’s year 7 or year 8), you will be guaranteed a place on the chorus for as many years as you want it.
At home, you continue to argue with your biggest brother. It’s very draining and I wish the two of you would stop it. It starts within seconds of you clapping eyes on each other every morning. It’s a shame because you are such a lovely girl and your bond with your other brother and with Mummy and Daddy is so strong. I hope the two of you can put your differences aside and agree to live and let live one day.
This was the year that you discovered the horror that is Dance Moms on TV. Actually, I’ll admit I don’t mind it sometimes, but it does get a bit much when you watch it all the time. And unfortunately it gives your brother another feeble excuse to yell at you.
You’re growing taller bit by bit and the other day we met the first grown woman who was slightly smaller than you. Yes, of course she was very small, but it shows that you’re definitely getting bigger! You can’t wait for the day when you overtake me and I’m the smallest in the house (in the last two days we’ve discovered that I am now ‘fourth tallest’ aka second smallest in the house).
Over the last few months, your love of clothes has developed into a love of shopping. I’m not keen on shopping myself, but I’ve enjoyed spending time with you as you wander round the shops and ponder the many items of clothing on offer. But please don’t make me stay in Claire’s for too long!
It’s been another great year for you, with an exciting one coming up, as you become a grammar school girl. I just know you will take it all in your stride, because you’re an amazing not-so-little girl, who brightens up our lives every single day.
Happy 11th birthday, my beautiful girl.