Today on International Women’s Day, this day of celebrating women, I’ve decided to think about the one female who is most important to me.
I usually use this occasion as an opportunity to spread love through the wonderful women on the internet (we are so good and I couldn’t be prouder to be one) but today I thought I’d take a moment to celebrate my darling, my Elfie.
Elfie may not be a woman yet (though she sometimes has the attitude of one – that’s my girl) but she is truly the most inspiring female I know, and I know more than a few of those.
Elfie was incredibly poorly when she was born and was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition at two months old. Looking back it’s terrifying how close she came to death and it’s taken me a long time to come to terms with that; according to her specialists her heart was under extreme strain when she was finally diagnosed and she was only days away from a heart attack.
I am so proud of the person she is becoming.
Her strain of the disease is so rare that she’s one of only about 180 people in the world with it, which makes her a very fascinating specimen when it comes to her brilliant Consultants and Professors at Great Ormond Street. But she’s always been a fighter, from when she was a tiny baby who was so very ill to last week when I told her she wasn’t allowed to get her ears pierced. She’s a fighter, a spirited fighter.
Elfie is such a clever girl and so much of her brains are her own doing. Her favourite things to do include story writing and maths problems, devouring books with a voraciousness I could only have wished for in my daughter. I’m so proud of her intellect and the work she puts into it – even more so because she had a lot of ground to catch up on after being so poorly – and I hope she continues to use her intelligence as she grows into the wonderful woman I know she’ll be.
Elfie reminds me so much of me, and I’m really proud when I’m told we look alike. On the outside she is headstrong, independent, feisty and knows her own mind yet she still needs the occasional hug of reassurance, a cuddle and a talk with her mummy. She tells me I am her best friend and nothing makes my heart swell more than when we climb into bed together and have a heart-to-heart.
Day-to-day Elfie really gets put through a lot. Blood tests and daily medications while she’s at school and at home, wearing a special medical ID, being that little bit different from her friends. Dealing with a mother who is a big worrier ;) But she takes this in her stride, not once complaining or asking ‘why?’. She knows she is special, I tell her every day, and that I am so proud of the person she is becoming.
She inspires me daily with her resilience, with her spirit and with her loving heart. She makes me want to be a better person: kinder, stronger, more thoughtful. Sometimes I can’t believe that I made her and for that I will forever be thankful.
Elfie, you’re my very best friend too.