Tilly is SIXFECKINTEEN

Darlingest Tilly

Girl of the pom pom lion hair. Girl of the ineffable style that is so perfectly you. Girl of the kindest heart in the world…

You are sixteen.

SIXTEEN.

I have been writing to you like this on every birthday for about eight years now. What can I say that hasn’t already been said?

Let Elizabeth Barrett Browning have a crack at it first:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s 

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life; and if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

That’s pretty good, no?

Let’s try it again, Tillificated.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the nests and burrows and kennels

my pets can reach, when feeding goats

For the need of alpacas and quiet mice

And things that squeak and purr.

I love thee to the level of the biscuits in the tin

And your quiet need to eat all the buns, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee dappily, as you impersonate a Hopi ear candle.

I love thee madly, as you dance like a loon.

I love you with the passion of a thousand Morrisseys

Wailing in grief, and with On Jovi Bon Jovi’s Bonjos.

I love you with a love that I have never lost

Since the day you were born. I love you with every breath

I will ever draw, all of my life, and I will haunt you

like only a mother can after death.

You are aces.

Thanks for making it so easy to be your mum.

Love you.

Mum. xx

4 responses to “Tilly is SIXFECKINTEEN

  1. Beautiful.

    Happy birthday Tilly, That’s all I can say because your Mum has said everything else.

    xox

  2. Katyboo, I’m moved. This is beautiful.

  3. Beautiful post.Happy birthday Tilly x

  4. Happy Birthday Tilly – a Pre-Raphaelite beauty. x

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