Bella Bella x
So this post was originally written two years ago, to celebrate Bella’s eighth birthday. On the day of her tenth birthday, I don’t think I can improve on the sentiment contained, except to say the words grow more concentrated with each passing day x
We’ve been in the garden county of Kent for the first week of half-term (it’s a two week break for us) – and I thought I was prepared for the black hole of social media that this part of the UK has historically proved to be by taking a dongle with us, but even that was no match for the rich eiderdown of life that seems to squash the very lifeblood of the internet to nothing in these parts. On the plus side, life without the internet is a lot simpler..more old fashioned..and in the end, there was really nothing for it but to embrace the holiday spirit and go with the flow..it’s been a great break!
We also celebrated Bella’s eighth birthday..it’s hard to believe, it seems only yesterday I was holding that tiny baby, watching the face of Big Ben tick round that first night we spent together in St Thomas’ hospital. I look at her now and have the most enormous chest restricting rush – she is my open-heart production – vibrant, living, learning..I never used to worry so much about life, now there’s more grey..I’ve become an observer, teacher and pupil too. it’s weird – you think your helpless child will be totally reliant on you and you have your experience and the need to guide and help, but it’s just not true. Instead it’s a constant balancing act that I don’t think anyone can get totally right: You want to lead, but you don’t want to helicopter. You want to love and cuddle, but you don’t want to smother. There’s an undeniable pleasure in growing together in habits, tastes and socks…but the easiest thing as a parent is to see your child as a mini-you where you now have the ability to correct all the imperfections..or to see the person they are now as the character they will always be and deny them the space to grow..thoughts like that just end up passing the negativity down the food-chain, or so it seems to me..but then who am I to say?
I know I don’t want her to be the child that has everything – but even deciding that is choosing a course of action, adding an intrinsic quality, another detail. I don’t believe that love is materialistic, instead I believe adversity supports initiative – one of the greatest gifts a parent can bestow. To that I add manners, self-respect and confidence – far more important in real life than examination certificates. I want her to have the space to find out who she is away from any expectations of mine and to be able to express that in any situation. I want her to have the confidence to stand up and say her opinion whether it’s right or wrong. I want her to make mistakes, whether it’s in her maths homework or something bigger, to learn there are always solutions if you look hard enough and mistakes are part of the stepping stones of life and shouldn’t be avoided…sometimes they lead you forward.
Life is as delicate as a falling feather but should always be a glorious caper..I hope she has a wonderfully misspent youth with sunshine smiles and audacious bursts of laughter, she is my joy, my love, my heart…and I hope that when the time comes, I have the sense to set my treasure free..
Does mother know best? You dream about it..but ultimately kids appear from nowhere and have wills of their own and you’re just ordinary people trying to get through life the very best way you can, showing them life and hopefully a way of looking at things that opens the door to where the magic lies….
Laters, Kate x
Beautiful Post, wise words and great shots 🙂
There’s got to be a gusher once a year! xxx
Every time Bella comes up in your blog: Most beautiful photographs!
She’s easy on the camera lens! Unfortunately she doesn’t really like her picture taken…but I try! xxx
I’m going to blame the hormones, but at 36 weeks pregnant with my first child you’ve just set me off in tears. Good tears, happy expectant tears! Absolutely beautiful words. Thank you for being so honest to write this. X
Wishing you all the luck in the world for this exciting time..it is such a giant leap into the unknown but very, very special xxx
Stunning photographs, lovely reading.x
It’s always lovely to have the time to take pictures..and the time to think.. xxx
My goodness Bella has stretched out! Mom, I hate to say it, but the baby fat has stepped away. Charlie is looking bigger, too. Nice surfer dude hair! XO
You do the best you can with what you have – no one can ask any more.
She is one lean, mean fighting machine! Not an ounce of fat there..but she is very active..netball and swimming at school and gymnastics and her ice skating out of school..and we walk or cycle everywhere. Charlie is on a growth spurt and does rather need a hair cut..I just don’t want to lose the last of his blonde bits..might be the final year of blonde! xxx
Poetic as always my dear. God bless you and your beautiful family
xxx for you xxx
that red hair! sooo gorgeous! beautiful family kate! 🙂
She’s not quite at the age when she see’s it as a blessing…she’s getting there! xxx
Lovely photos, lovely daughter, lovely mum 🙂 x
Thank you! It was a fabulous break…back to basics was ruined as a concept by politicians..but there’s an element of truth there xxx
What a beautifully-written post! I’ve listened to my sister, over the years, as she has struggled with the same decisions in raising a daughter. Shes done a great job and it is so apparent that you are, too!
I’m up here on the computer..I have them downstairs designing halloween outfits..Lord knows what they’ll come up with! But it’s always a balance.. xxxxx
Happy Birthday to Bella! Her hair is nothing short of amazing!! You are an amazing Mom, and this is a great letter to her. She’ll LOVE reading it later on (and now, I’m sure!) xx
As it’s growing longer she’s looking more and more like the girl from Brave – in fact children in playgrounds have thought she was her! We always laughed about having a redhead as there’s red on both sides of the family..but I never, ever thought it would really happen..it still makes me smile! xxx
Fabulous Mum….beautifully written…gorgeous girl….how perfect that you found each other. Enjoy!!! Xxx
I am utterly biased..but she is my very special girl! I’ve enjoyed each stage of their childhood..but this half term we’ve sat down and learnt to knit together..I think I was in heaven! xxx
The first time Ami picked up an old book and smelt it i knew my job was done! Xxx
Stunning photo, Kate!
I took many more – the light was so good and I can never resist when water reflects back the sky! And there were some moody, grey sea days too..another post me thinks! xxx
Happy Birthday Bella!! Beautiful open letter to your daughter Kate!!
Lovely post Kate xxx