Nettles update: eight years

You were born a bullet train, and eight years later, this is still an express line.

If I hem and haw on a decision, you take it into your own hands (and footstool, and cellotape, and whatever you need to get it done when my back’s turned). You’ll get it done, if you want it done. That’s a strong quality, Nettles. Use it for good.

Something incredibly fun about your kids getting older is you can get them really specific gifts suited to their personalities and interests that you just know they really want. Getting you a proper sewing machine a few months ago, and now a hair mannequin for your birthday – it feels like we’re putting the puzzle pieces together over these years. You’ve ramped up your openness and interest in these specific areas – clothing, hair, makeup. Physical things you can make and do with your hands. Testing your styles on my hair, helping abba with his outfit, testing baby hat sewing with the Bernette. You put on a carnival with your siblings and ran the ‘face painting’ station.

I wonder if this is your path – it’s ok, too, if it’s a phase – but I am also in awe at your certainty that it is.

Being into this stuff, plus having a fantastic older sister – and being head over heels adoring her – I think there’s a part of you that wants to get ‘bigger’ a bit too fast. I don’t think being thrown a few years of pandemic (and lots of American teenage TV) has slowed that down.

There’s so much about you that’s just eight, still so childish, in the best ways – hold on to it Nettles. Getting so muddy at school ‘forest day’ that I have to repeatedly ring out your clothes in a bucket for a quarter hour. Getting way too excited for lollypops. Your hilarious rubber faces, made up words, and general hilarity – that can stay with you as long as you want, I hope forever.

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