Miss Mucks, my middle child and only daughter, turned ten today.
She was a much longed-for girl baby, and has been a delightful, mischievous, funny, caring, daring, sweet, and at times challenging child. This picture was taken five years ago, while she was still at kindergarten. I'm pleased to report she still likes dressing up.
Now ten, she's thankfully not displaying too many tweenie attributes, much to my relief; most of the time she's still a kid, albeit one who's getting more interested in popular music, clothes and nail polish. She is intensely loyal to her friends, obsessed with animals and soft toys, a great sister to her brothers, and, without a doubt, the messiest person in this house. She is also great company, and I'm blessed to have her as my daughter.
That was an important point to remember when she woke us up this morning at 4.20am (eeek!), excited about it being her big day. We made her wait until a more civilised hour to open her presents, which were mainly books, clothes and Smiggle this year, with a Beanie Kid thrown in for good measure.
We gave her some great books this year. Some classics - the first Famous Five and a lovely illustrated hardback edition of Heidi - as well one of the Andy Griffiths books she's been devouring lately (Just Crazy).
And two highly recommended novels about animals. One is Best Mate: the many lives of one incredible dog, by Michael Morpurgo. She pounced on the other - Cat and the Stinkwater War, which is about a girl who turns into a cat (a trick that Miss Mucks would love to pull if she could).
So happy tenth birthday Miss Mucks. I suspect that the next ten years will speed by at an even greater pace ...