My daughter is about to turn 16 years old and I couldn’t be more excited for her. She is a great kid, headstrong, compassionate, determined, funny as the day is long and has a lot of ambition.
She came in to the world in a bumpy fashion. I was told that without intervention it would be unlikely that I would fall pregnant. Within 6 months we found out she was on the way. It was a difficult pregnancy with scares and pre-eclampsia and 9 months of all day sickness and acid reflux. I should have seen these constant concerns as an omen of things to come!
We didn’t find out the gender ahead of time, I was sure I was carrying a boy. When she was born and the nurse declared “It’s a Girl!!!” I asked them to check again I was so sure I had been right.
Turning 16 in educational terms this means that she is in an important year of exams which prove whether she is bright or not, allowing her access to her preferred careers, and also choosing subjects to study to a higher level in the next two years which we call GCSE’s and A-Levels respectively. She is finding the seriousness and future consequences are weighing heavily on her mind, much of our conversations revolve around how she is feeling and what she is thinking she might chose so far and which school to attend. “I am just a little Bean, they can’t ask me to make these choices so young!”
Also on the romance front, Mormon children can date, if they choose to, from the age of 16 onwards, so she has the possibility of future romances on the horizon. However, she thinks Michelle Obama’s talk to a girls school in London to be completely on point, that no boy at this age is important enough to detract from your studies, that the right boy will respect you and support your decisions (Yay!). I am delighted that she is not yet boy-mad.
So while she frets a little about the enormity of adulthood looming before her, I will continue to make birthday plans which involve a longed for day trip, a shopping spree, cake and candles…. After all, we cannot have her growing up too fast.