Tilly is Nineteen

Dear Tilly

You are nineteen today. I thought about whether I should write you a birthday blog now that you’re an adult. It took about sixty seconds to decide that because you’re still my girl, no matter how much taller than me you are, that I should.

Parenting an adult is, I have discovered over the last twelve months, a peculiar beast, and one I have yet to tame fully. It turns out that it’s really hard, when you’ve spent almost two decades basically micro-managing someone’s life to step back, sit on your hands, close your mouth and let you get on with things.

I know I don’t always manage that successfully, so thank you for not bashing me over the head with a spade and burying me under the patio every time I check you’ve got a clean vest and a hankie.

In the last twelve months you’ve graduated from your university course, participated in an art show, built a fledgling business and got yourself a full time job. You’ve started travelling the world on your own, both for work and play and you’re about to start seriously looking for your first home. You’re navigating grown up relationships and all the heart ache and joy they bring. Everything is moving so fast,  and you’re dealing with all that life throws at you, far, far better than I ever did, or do now.

I don’t mention you much on the blog any more, because your life is most definitely your own, and it’s not for me to chronicle, but I am paying attention. I notice how brave you are, how much you push yourself, how much you worry about getting things right. I notice how hard you try to stick to your principles, to your essential Tillyness in a world that tries to squash us all into little, uniform blocks.

I know it all seems terribly overwhelming sometimes. It does for all of us. Just know that you are doing a fantastic job so far and I am so proud of you and all that your Tillyness entails.

Know also, that if it all goes wrong tomorrow, that you you will find your way, and you will learn what you need to learn and you will pick yourself up when you’re good and ready and you will succeed on your own terms, because those are always the best terms to deal with life. Know that I will continue to be proud of you, prouder even, because it’s the hard times that test our mettle most.

Know most of all, that we love you, no matter what, and that we are always here for you, whether you come home showered in glory or covered in shit.

Sometimes it’s hard, letting go of you, but it’s also glorious that you are so ready for your life.

Even though it’s hard, I know that because you are always in my heart, you’re never quite gone and that will do in between the times you come home.

Have a wonderful birthday, and then keep having wonderful days, one after the other, because that’s way more fun than having one good day in a sea of mediocre days.

I love you.


6 responses to “Tilly is Nineteen

  1. Happy birthday Tilly!
    It sounds like she is already doing much, much better than I ever did – or indeed ever will.

  2. Hurrah for Tilly in all her Tillyness!

  3. wise words xx

  4. My goodness Boo, this bought a tear to my eye x I know exactly where you are coming from with this x

  5. Belated Birthday wishes to Tilly of the magnificent hair! You are an extremely talented artist and I predict great success for you. I hope you had a lovely day.

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