To my daughter on her 20th birthday – So here we are at the next stage of your life, hitting the next milestone and arriving at your 20’s. Who knew that you would grow up so fast and that I would not have time to savour every stage of your life!
I remember your arrival like it was only a few years ago! You went two weeks over your due date, and I ended up the size of a whale, literally! I was not sleeping at all and spent most nights padding around the house, hoping not to wake anyone.
When your day finally arrived (yes, I ended up having to book in to get you induced) you were by far the calmest baby ever. You slept through the night almost straight away, and it wasn’t until the arrival of your baby brother that your real personality showed it’s head.
You were mischievous beyond belief and repeatedly went to his crib to scare him awake, which you found highly amusing, I think even at the age of three, you were always going to stir the pot. You slotted in as middle child quickly and ruled your father’s heart as his only daughter from day one.
Although I tried very hard to dress you like my little princess, you were more inclined to be out there playing tackle rugby with your brothers. Almost every day I clothed you in skirts and pretty little dresses, but by the end of the day, you had a rugby kit on, tackling Blaise in the backyard or dressed up as Robin so that Blaise could be batman.
As you hit your teenage years, your true love became gymnastics, swimming and athletics where (bragging mother here I know) you excelled in everything you touched. You had no fear, which made you the perfect candidate for netball, basketball and rugby later on.
You naturally went on to try absolutely everything! From Gaelic football to tee-ball, there wasn’t a sport you didn’t try at least once. Although my dream of dressing you like a little doll did not come to fruition, I would not have wanted you any other way.
Your firey personality and strong women’s rights allowed your passion for equality to shine through in many things you have done, and many things you continue to do. You never back down in an argument (much to my grief when you were younger), but it is why you are who you are today.
I have seen you go from a passive baby to a mischievous toddler and then on to be a caring and thoughtful little girl. Although we have lived in so many countries, you have made friends everywhere that you have lived. Accepted many different cultures and never saw a person’s colour or race just their personality and kindness.
I am so proud of the sister you have become because I have seen you step in when I am not there and take on the role as protector of your little brother. For that, I am forever thankful!
Although at times (especially those teenage years) we did not see eye to eye, we are now in a place where I knew we would always end up. You have become not only my daughter but at times, my confidante and friend.
I could not be prouder of you right now, to have truly blossomed into the most beautiful butterfly, you are not only a gorgeous young lady but also a beautiful soul. There is a lot a mother can teach their daughter, but as I have found out recently, there is so much more a daughter can teach her mother.
Love you always