Guide to growing up

TOMORROW, my darling, you turn 12; a girl, still. But sometime when I wasn’t paying attention, the pudgy-cheeked baby skipped away and here you are, a soft sketch of the woman you’re going to be.

I want to freeze-frame you so I can say all the things I’ve missed, that the words may be indelibly inked like a suit of armour around your soul. But soon it’ll be your own voice, not mine, that matters most. So here’s something to pop in your pocket or file on your bedroom floor: 12 things I want you to know on your 12th birthday.

Your body is the only one you’ll ever have. How blessed are you, that it works perfectly and has barely given you a moment’s pain. Some people aren’t so lucky, so respect it – even when those around you are hating theirs. I can’t protect you from the stinging winds of the beauty storm about to strike your shores, but don’t take the weather with you. Photographs, as we’ve shown you, are not truth. Dress in whatever bonkers outfit you like. Your skin is the most beautiful thing you’ll ever wear, but you don’t have to show it all. Poise wipes the floor on fashion.

Someday soon, you won’t want to hold my hand. That’s fine. Part of becoming you is separating from me.

Read the rest of this column here.


  1. Liz Simcock says:

    You made me cry: thanks Angela!