This morning was a normal morning. I had to shout you to get up, persuade you to rise from your warm bed and stumble into the bathroom to brush your teeth and wash your face ignoring your protests that you needed just 5 more minutes snooze. The same routine we have carried out nearly every day for the 4139 days you have been here. I saw you though. A slightly tense expression and the nervous hair twiddling. Today was different for you.
4140 days ago the world was a little less bright and a lot less fun.
You more than anyone else have made me think about how I see life. About more than myself. How women and girls are treated in our society and whether I can adapt my behaviours and my thoughts to try to make life easier for you and girls like you.
To teach you to live freely holds the same importance to me as teaching you to read and write. I hope you can be a little selfish in your choices for your future. I know that you will find it tough to not put others before yourself always because you are just that sort of a person. A good person.
You should know that even at age 11 you are already one of the smartest people I know. I am pretty sure that you have barely been without a book since you were a toddler and your thirst for learning seems to be unquenchable. This, coupled with your kindness is my most favourite trait of yours.
You see, dear daughter, this week you have no need for nerves. I tell you the same thing which my Mum told me and her Father told her;
Ok so it’s perhaps not worthy of inclusion in the top quotes of all time but that doesn’t make it any less true. I hope you remember these words.
The fact is that I know you will be amazing this week.
Not because of what you know but because of who you are. You are so strong, so able and so determined to succeed. I have seen how hard you push yourself and you deserve every single accolade. You have earned them.
I asked you this morning how you felt about this week. Your answer was perfect; “Mum, they’re just tests” you said with a shrug. “I’m just happy school are doing free breakfasts”. You went on to admit that though you had woken up a little bit anxious, you felt like you had listened in class so you were confident you would do Ok.
I know that you are in the best possible hands this week. The adults with whom you spend the bulk of your day will be there to remind you to keep smiling and that these tests do not define you. I am so grateful that your teachers and headmistress ensure that they help to empower you and your friends with a strong sense of self worth. They tell you to:
We all want you to do the best you can do but remember always that no matter what your scores in their tests are, you are enough. You are loved.
SAT’s cannot see how much you enjoy reading or writing stories.
Tests don’t catch how kind your heart is and you demonstrate that – often.
They don’t hear you question the fairness of the world around you and not just question it but actually talk about what can be done to change things for the better.
An SAT will recognise how well you do in Maths and English but it won’t know your ability to make music or be an amazing friend to those who need you.
You are growing into an able, beautiful young woman and no matter your SAT’s results I know that you make the world better just by continuing to be yourself. I hope you know that too.
Now go and smash it!
Mummy & Moose