Our wonderful brave, kind, funny, crazy, passionate, independent, loving, beautiful daughter Scarlett had her 14th birthday today.
From the moment she was born Scarlett has been a force of nature, persuading the world around her to see things from her perspective. As a feisty, spirited toddler I knew that the very characteristics which made her a tricky little girl to negotiate day to day life with would be the very ones which made me proud of her as a woman – she cares not what other people think but cares deeply about other people, has no vanity yet shows herself daily to be a person worthy of praise and admiration. That small person who struck out for independence is now capable and mature, responsible and able. That adventurous spirit and curiosity that led her to clamber on worktops and see what might happen if she tipped a full bottle of hair conditioner on her bedroom carpet carry her through her life as a young woman experimenting and learning as she goes.
There is still much of the child in Scarlett at 14 – often to be found with a soft toy, always ready for a cuddle and with no great desire to strike out on her own any time soon she is nonetheless a partner in our family unit with a big loud voice, strong views and able to be counted on, depended on and relied upon. She is thoughtful, hospitable and quietly observes what needs to be done and gets on and does it. Scarlett makes things happen, champions the underdog and would fill the caravan with all of the animals on the croft if we’d only allow them indoors!
Animals remain the big passion – as they have forever. Her first birthday trip was to a petting farm, she was a junior zoo keeper for the day aged 6, visited the Sea life centre for her 5th and 7th birthdays, the safari for her 8th and has been ticking off animal related experiences and encounters for her whole life from seeing dolphins and whales in the wild to hatching and rearing ducklings. This year is no exception and ferries and weather permitting we’ll be tying in a belated birthday treat trip to a safari next week where she is thrilled to be seeing polar bears.
The most recent addition to her interests is cake decorating. She enjoys the baking side of the craft too but it is the icing, decorating and topping which she is really keen on. So along with a few fun gifts came an array of cutters, moulds, tools and sprinkles to indulge this interest which she has spent much of the day experimenting with.
In the same way that watching our children as babies was amazing – seeing the acquisition of new skills every day, and the first steps of toddlerdom was thrilling as they learnt they were separate beings from us and started to explore just what that meant we are loving being the parents of young adults. Seeing how that amazing little girl is becoming a woman is wonderful. Happy Birthday lovely Scarlett, you are more than living up to your promises.