And now she is 14.

My big girl, my biggest girl, is 14. Max and I have spent quite a lot of the evening saying this in awe.



And she looks so beautiful in that picture too, growing into the young woman she is becoming. She feels like a young woman, another adult in the house really.

A grown up DVD, a set of dance clothes she chose herself, rainbow dance pumps that make a smile, a beautiful smile, like that.

14 years ago I was reeling and wondering if the little face I could see in front of me would ever smile in a way that made her happy. These days I don’t even think of things like that on birthdays. Fran is an inspiration to me; confident, comfortable, clever, convivial. She is everything I worried that her cleft would hold her back from being. She’s a marvel. A life full of friends, a body that can do whatever she wants it to do, a heap of dreams and ideas and excitement and a future at her feet.

I’m so proud of her.

I’m so proud that she still loves to spend time with us, that she is a beautiful sister, kind, loving, supportive and a leader in the making. She’s making having a teenager a walk in the park. I only hope the others are watching and learning from her lead.

I love that the best present we gave her today was letting her cook the BBQ, safely inside a pen to protect the visiting toddler. It looks a bit like domestic servitude 😉

I love that the friends visiting today and her sisters all made her limericks. I love that she shared her birthday sweets with her school friends. I love that she was pleased to be home and spending the rest of the day with us.

Beautiful girl. The girl it all started with. Love her.


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


  1. says

    I did wonder what the pen was for…… because you don’t have chickens and I know Ben is far off the ‘getting into things’ stage.
    She is very beautiful and looks like a fine well centered young lady.
    Love the snazzy shoes too.

    (You must also marvel at all the new baby gear compared to waaaay back in 1998, no?)

  2. says

    A lovely post, as always! She sounds like a wonderful daughter, sister, friend. I hope my 9yr old starts to lose the shoutyness and develops the calmness that your daughter eminates!

    Happy Birthday to you big girl! X

  3. says

    I love hearing about teenage years that are great. So many people are full of doom about girls going through puberty – it’s so irritating. I look to you and Fran as my inspiration. Happy Birthday Fran. xxx

  4. Evsie says

    Happy Birthday Fran!

    It is quite common (I think) for parents to do extra helicoptering for teenage years…they shelter and limit their kids interactions.
    I wonder if part of why you and Fran are getting along so well is because she’s channeling her teenage energy into discovering a new world of school instead of being at odds with you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *