Dear Tallulah, best beloved middle child, or as you would have it, my ‘baby angel child’. (Ha, ha).
You are thirteen today.
Finally, after years of waiting, you get to officially be the teenager you always have been at heart.
You will excel at thirteen my lovely. This is your coming of age moment, and you have worked hard for it, just as you work hard at everything you do and are.
I really don’t know where to start with your birthday wishes. I wish so many things for you in the coming year. If I had to pick one wish for you though, I think it would be that you find a moment here and there to be at peace with yourself. You deserve it, an oasis of calm, every now and again.
You are brilliant, funny, clever and beautiful. My second wish is that you could know that, the way I know that. I wish you could see yourself the way I do. You would be amazed, because you are amazing.
Having said that, I am in awe of the fact that you never give up trying, no matter how difficult and painful things get for you. If you have decided to do something, you will do it, regardless of the obstacles that stand in your way. Your drive and ambition are a wonder to behold. I bow down to your tenacity and your fighting spirit.
I have learned so much from you, my beautiful girl. Not only have you taught me what ‘on fleek’ means, and how to apply blusher properly, you have also shown me how to persevere. If I ever think of giving up, I look at you, and redouble my efforts at whatever I am doing. You are my warrior queen, role model.
I know that you want to make your career in music, and I have no doubt that you will. Your voice is glorious, and you are starting to learn instruments with alarming ease. It genuinely is a pleasure to listen to you sing and play. Particularly now that you are embracing all kinds of music, as well as Taylor Swift. My favourite time to listen to you is when you think nobody else is listening, and you give it everything you’ve got, with no performance nerves. You have an incredible gift, and I know that you will find your own way to make the very best of it.
I also know that should you ever decide that music is not for you, that you could easily make a career of being a comedian. I have never, ever met anyone who can make me laugh as hard and for as long as you do, Tallulah. Your talent for mimicry, physical comedy, and surreal flights of fancy is unsurpassed. Your ability to work every moment to the absolute maximum of absurdity, until it is so funny it is almost painful, is genius. Your timing is sharp, your understanding is on point and your ability to keep a straight face is second to none. Music’s gain will be comedy’s loss I feel.
Your ability to empathise has grown over the last year, and your sense of kindness is really beginning to blossom in all sorts of ways. It was always there, it just needed a little bit of coaxing to the surface, and I am so incredibly proud that you have worked so hard to understand yourself and others. It gives me great hope that you will be able to use it to cut yourself a little slack in whatever challenges you face over the coming year.
You really have become a young woman over the last twelve months, finding your own style, your own voice and your own, unique way of doing things. I know you will continue to blaze the trail, and I can only follow, slightly awestruck in your wake, hoping that every now and again, you’ll need a cuddle from your mum just to keep yourself steady. I’ll always be there for you, when you do.
I love you, fierce child of my heart. You make my hair grey and my heart swell with your daring and your passion. To me you are brilliant in every sense of the word, and the world is a much brighter, better place with you in it. Since the day you were born you have been a challenge, a puzzle and an absolute delight. You stretch me to the limits of my understanding and beyond. You keep me sharp. You show me how to keep learning about myself, about you, about everything that matters. You are never, ever dull, and you make my life richer beyond measure just for being in it.
Happy birthday, beautiful.