Sweet 16, And What a Journey It Has Been


I can hardly believe it’s been 16 years since you were born…since I first became a mom…since I held you in my arms for the very first time. I can hardly believe how swiftly the years have raced by, how quickly you’ve grown, that my little girl has blossomed into this beautiful young lady… I can hardly believe that you’ve already reached the threshold of 16!  But here we are, still side by side…and what a journey it has been.

Despite the transformation from six to sixteen, I still catch glimpses every now and again of the little girl I once knew. The one who liked to do cartwheels and running (but hates the gym now) instead of dressing up and doing her hair. The one who had a pretend band and sang in the shower and did product reviews of her latest Clicks haul. The one who loved pyjama days and flapjacks and copious amounts of coke (everything is sugar and dairy free these days). And I still see that little girl in certain expressions and reactions and with that same infectious laugh that permeates through the air when you and your brother (still) get up to mischief. Yeah, despite the frequent occasional mood swing and moody scowl that has become somewhat of a default expression that is almost always aimed at me…I still see so much of little you. Or perhaps it’s the little you I constantly search for as I watch you evolve into your very own person.

Mother and daughter relationships are often portrayed as tumultuous so I feel glad and a great deal relieved that we managed to build one that is strong, trusting, honest and magical. To think I used to be afraid of these years! To think I used to worry and fret a lot about this territory that is the teen years – worry that it would drive a wedge between us and tear us apart. But I think the complete opposite has happened to us. I think our bond and relationship has transformed and blossomed and strengthened for the better over time.

In you I see a lot of myself; but I also see a strong and solid identity of your own coming through. A while ago I might have described you as stoic (which you can still be at times of uncertainty)…but slowly you have broken down the walls and given us a good glimpse of the light that radiates from within you. You are so much more than you like to let on. You are smart, sassy, funny, homely, compassionate, witty, wise, caring, kind, intuitive, fun. You have unlimited potential and so much to offer the world – and not in a “fit in a box” kind of way. You have the ability to completely redefine the boxes and limitations. You have the capability and resources to use your talents and do something great with it. I know you believe you can do it…now you’ve just got to get on with it and do it, ok!?

To celebrate you reaching this monumental age of 16, I wanted to do something a little extra special – so I put together a gift of 16 things (some big and some small), each symbolising something important about you and  significant to the journey of life that lays ahead. I’m going to write them down here, only as a means for you to look back on it from time to time and reflect on the message that lies therein…

Sixteen things for 16 years

  1. A momento for turning 16 – After thirteen, Sixteen is quite a significant year; so gift number one was some sugar  free sweets and a “16” charm for your bracelet to signify turning sweet 16.
  2. Love –  An infinity ring…to symbolise our infinite and unconditional love for you <3
  3. Family – Having a family that embraces you wholly and completely, and where we all help each other prosper, evolve and grow , is a gift you may not know the true value of just yet…or maybe you do. Either way, this was just to remind you that a loving family is a gift on it’s own – and so we framed all the quirky pictures we could find for you to put up as a reminder that we’re all in it together…forever <3
  4. Flowers – To signify how you’ve started to blossom and bloom
  5. Memories – I know that old memories will always be replaced with new one’s and that someday all of this will just be a haze – and I know it may not have been perfect, but I’d like to think we gave you a childhood to remember. The only thing with memories is that they sometimes fade. For this gift I compiled a memory book where everyone in the family got to share their favourite pic and memory of you. For me, I chose the picture of your first scan and the memory of discovering I was having you. Because that’s really where it all started. Finding out, listening to your heartbeat, feeling you move, holding you for the first time, your first words, steps accomplishments and downfalls…all equally important to me and all started with that simply discovery that I was having you.
  6. Friendship – You’re at a time right now where friendships mean everything. And the friends you make now will always share a history with you. Enjoy your time together, value your friendships, and always remember that besides being your mother, you’re MY best friend too.
  7. A pen – because you are the author of your own destiny
  8. A heart shaped Marquee with LED lights – because you have a heart of gold
  9. Something sparkly – to match your sparkly personality
  10. Shoes – to walk your own path and follow your dreams
  11. Glow sticks – one to signify your “glow up” and the other signifies your inner glow
  12. Crayons – Because you are beautiful and your colourful personality brightens up the day
  13. Balloons – Just to make you smile
  14. A scented Candle – To brighten up you path when the road may seem dark
  15. Stars – Because you shine bright
  16. A mirror – Because the biggest gift is You! You have a special and unique gift to offer this world; so always be true to yourself, always be kind to yourself and always be authentic…Because when you do, then you will be offering the world the most amazing gift of all,  and that gift is You as you truly are!


Happy Sweet Sixteen!


Love Always,





  1. This is really special and the 16 gifts are so thoughtful! Love it! It’s such a beautiful bond you’ve described, may you guys always have this amazing connection InshaAllah ❤️❤️

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