Thursday, 15 September 2016

a brand new teenager

It is official, we have now o two teenagers in the house. Annie celebrated her thirteenth birthday with friends on Sunday and with us on Monday, when it was her actual birthday.
Yes, it is Annie and me. This is one of my favourite photos ever

Annie had to be delivered by C-section baby and we were in hospital from seven am that morning, thirteen years ago. The waiting was unbearable, two emergency C-sections delayed our own. When the gorgeous baby was delivered - finally - she was whisked away after just a short while to be assessed in the neonatal unit. She spent the next five days in a blue light box to help her beat neonatal jaundice. She slept a lot and I read 'Satanic Verses' by Salmon Rushdie. Bizarre, I know.



Fast forward thirteen years and see the beautiful young woman Annie has turned into. The photo is a few weeks old but definitely my favourite of the year. You have seen it before. Doesn't she look happy? Like all teenagers she is difficult to photograph without a scowl, rolling eyes and the face hidden behind a mop of hair. This photo captures the essence of Annie.

I love the gap between Annie's front teeth and her broad smile when she is happy. I love the way she hugs me. I love to watch her grow up and imagine the woman she will be one day in the not too distant future. She is very nearly taller than me.

Annie reminds me a lot myself at this age although I have only the vaguest of memories. Being a teenage girl was not easy and it must be even more difficult now with added social media pressure and all. I hope I can help her experience these difficult but hopefully exiting years in the best possible way by being there for her if she needs me and standing back when she doesn't. There is of course the issue of not being quite sure what is required and when...

Annie is strong and independent. She confidently cooks a meal for six, takes charge of her little brothers and is always on top of her homework. She knows exactly what she wants (except when she doesn't).

Annie likes to be organised and in control. Sticky notes and are her friends and every thing in her room has its rightful place, except dirty clothes that is. She writes a lesson plan of sorts when she looks after her younger brothers! Her need for order doesn't extend beyond her own very specific needs and like any other teenager, she kicks her shoes in a corner, leaves cups and plates with half eaten food sitting next to the computer and thinks wiping the crumbs under the chopping board is cleaning.

Did I mention that she is kind and has a strong sense for fairness? She is and does.

Annie is the most gregarious of our children, she spends a lot of time with friends, at home, in the park and sometimes online. She is a loyal friend but is is also open to new friendships and I felt privileged to be introduced to one of them a few weeks ago when I was passing the school at lunch break (on the other side I of the road I hasten to say) and she spotted me and waved me over. I am really pleased that she didn't ignore me.

We don't always see eye to eye. We argue a lot and wind each other up far too often. I have noticed Sam and Richard exchanging knowing glances rolling their eyes when we disagree on something rather inconsequential. Still, we know when to apologise to each other and settle disputes with a hug.

Annie sometimes leaves little notes for me saying something nice. I find them on my pillow. She gave Richard a stack of tiny envelopes with different moods as labels, for him to open when he is in said mood. I am of course jealous!

Annie is adventurous and loves trying out new things. She is a ballet dancer and a rock climber, loves campfires and exploring and she bake a mean cake. I like how she is not girly girly but also not overly tomboyish and chooses to do what she likes not what she thinks she should like.

All in all, an amazing girl!

Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. If I haven't left a comment on your own blogs lately, don't think I have abandoned you, I haven't. I have just been tired. xx




23 comments:

  1. That is such a fabulous contrast of first and last picture. Congratulations on bringing up such a well rounded young girl. Jo x

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  2. Could a Mum be prouder of her girl? It sounds like you've got a friend for life there :-) xx

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  3. Such a wonderful tribute, you certainly have every reason to be proud. Belated birthday wishes. I loved the photos such a stark contrast but both beautiful. Take care.

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  4. Happy birthday Annie, what a lovely post; she sounds like a true friend to you. That is always something I would have loved. The mother daughter relationship. Enjoy yours, sounds like its a good one. I don't suppose she would like to drop round and cook a meal for six for us sometime. I do have a spare room! B xx

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  5. Happy Birthday to Annie! What a wonderful post! Your pride and love come shining through.

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  6. What a lovely post, and two gorgeous photos. I hope she had a fantastic birthday, she sounds like a truly amazing girl. I'm wishing her a very happy year. CJ xx

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  7. Such a beautiful post, happy birthday Annie! Hope you've all had a lovely time celebrating, she sound like a wonderful young lady xx p.s. hope the kitchen is coming along well :)

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  8. Happy Birthday to Annie 😀 She shares a birthday with my Little Tomboy who was 9 on Monday 😀
    Jillxx

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  9. What a lovely tribute to Annie. I always think she seems like the most interesting girl, so many different kinds of interests. I enjoyed reading about her birth. My children are both September babies and while not born via c-section, their births were arduous and took forever (early inductions because I had health problems). They also spent a lot of time being monitored after they were born because they had issues of their own. So I can definitely relate to your birth memories, even the time of year. It's just one more thing we have in common, among so many. I hope Annie had a wonderful day. Here's to a great fourteenth year!

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  10. Lovely pictures and words. Here's to the most brilliant year ahead for your birthday girl.

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  11. Oh Christina, you write so lovingly about your children. Annie sounds and looks like an absolute treasure. Good luck with the kitchen extension. I thought your pale pink walls were so pretty - I have a pinky plum-coloured kitchen Venetian blind which filters the morning light beautifully.

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  12. Lovely tribute! Happy Friday ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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  13. Hey Christina,
    Happy birthday Annie. How wonderful to have so many skills and talents under one's belt at such a young age. Annie for PM!
    Leanne xx

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  14. I love that photograph of you with Annie as a baby and her covered in mud. She sounds just great and you obviously have a good relationship. Just getting to end of the teenage moody phase with my daughter who will be 17 next month and while there have been plenty of disagreements, there have been lots of hugs too. x

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  15. What a super post, your daughter sounds lovely and great fun to have around. Belated birthday wishes to her:)

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  16. Happy belated birthday to Annie and what a lovely post, she sounds like an amazing daughter. I love that she leaves you little notes on your pillow.

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  17. What a beautiful post for your amazing young woman. Happy belated birthday Annie. x

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  18. What a wonderful young woman you have, Annie sounds just about perfect. I like her ability to car about others, yet be independent and responsible. She is growing up to be a wonderful woman, with your help her possibilities are endless.
    Meredith

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  19. what a lovely tribute to your birthday girl xxx

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  20. Such a lovely post Christina and a fabulous tribute to your gorgeous young woman. She obviously makes you very proud!

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  21. Happy Birthday Annie. A beautiful post Christine. You look phenomenally youthful in the top photograph, you must have been a very young mum. X

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  22. Lovely to hear you saying sweet things about your daughter. I too have a 13 year old daughter, and know how they can be! I'm new to your blog, having been sent hear from Jo@three stories high x

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  23. She sounds awesome. Many happy belated returns to Annie. X

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx