To my beautiful, amazing, strong-willed, daydreamer daughter.
I’m writing you this letter as you face what will no doubt be the first of many important and challenging moments of your life, a moment which, depending on the outcome, will determine the school you attend, the uniform you wear and, ultimately, the direction you take as you tread your path in this world.
As you take your seat in a strange classroom in a strange school on the morning of Transfer Test Day, I hope you’ll remember that the boxes you tick, and the answers you give to the questions printed on the paper in front of you, will never matter as much as you do to me.
From the moment I held you in my arms as a squawky, dark-haired, seven pound and twelve ounces little person, the only result I’ve ever wanted for you is that you are happy, healthy and fully aware of how loved you are.
Regardless of the percentage you achieve and the grade that arrives in an envelope on results day in February, the person you are can never be summed up in such simple terms.
That envelope will never be big enough to contain the joy you bring to my life as the daughter I dreamed of, nor can it explain the special place you hold as the apple of your daddy’s eye, or the partner-in-crime you will always be to your annoying but amazing little brother.
The grade you are given will never reflect your kindness to animals and younger children, your ability to sense when someone needs a hug or a helping hand, your love of music, art and singing, or your flair for fighting your corner and standing tall when you know that something is wrong or unjust.
I hope you’ll think of this letter when you need a smile, when you need to know that no matter where in this world you go, there will always be someone who loves you and is proud of you, and will defend you to the ends of the earth.
When I sat in a seat just like yours and took a different version of the same Transfer Test a very long time ago, my dad gave me a ‘lucky stone’ to keep in my pocket for when the going got tough.
I will never be able to say for sure whether that stone did the trick or not, but it made me feel safe and appreciated, and I hope you’ll experience those same feelings when you think of the words I’ve written just for you.
Love you lots like jelly tots,