Thursday 24 January 2019

Growth & Pride: Halie From 11 to 12

Growth and Pride. 

Tanner is still her first love and he made it on her birthday cake this year.
Their birthdays are just one week apart, so they share a party and a cake each year.

Growth.  Pride.  These are the two words that come to mind when I reflect on Halie's past year.   Last year when Halie turned 11, she was still teetering that line between my little girl and that next step.  She checked in often.  She picked up a doll here and there.  She sought out our permission and advice.  She showed her insecurities.  One year later  and I am so proud of the maturing she has done.  Let's take a peek at the year and start out with the most typical coming of age changes, to the biggest impact.


1.  Babysitting.  Halie took a babysitters course last winter, shortly after turning 11.  This was a big step for her that I encouraged her to pursue (more like pushed, but you know).  She went without a friend to the course and learned a lot.  Through experience with her sister and support from friends who offered her some experience with their little ones, she picked up some hours and started feeling more comfortable.  Now she babysits pretty often and is earning her own $$$.


First job!!!!


2.  $$$.  Speaking of $, Halie has developed some pricy habits such as discovering Starbucks.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree as I discovered flavored coffee (more sugar than coffee) early on as well, but I wasn't about to hand her cash to spend on such things.  Make-up, coffee, extra clothing,  body lotions, etc. she has taken on buying herself.  Babysitting money is coming in handy and I am happy to let her start to make decisions on what is worth spending money on, what is worth saving up for.  Slow and steady she is managing it all really well and even has offered to pay (half and half) for private horseback riding lessons.  I am pretty proud of her.


Mother-daughter date.  She treated me with her Starbucks GC.

3.  Friends and communication.  Yup.  In my day, that meant I was tieing up the only phone line we had for hours.  No calls were coming in or going out.   Fast forward to 2017, our kids now communicate via chats, FaceTime, something called Musically (????), etc., you get it.   How do we deal with it?  Well we just take it one step at a time.  We learn alongside her.  We try to stay open to new suggestions and new ways, as long as she can explain the  purpose to us.  Sometimes we say yes, sometimes we say no.  One rule is not negotiable is that we have absolute access to all technololgy.  She still has to ask us when she wants to use it and there is a limit to how much.  She has a phone, but no data, and it's use is also limited and not prermitted during family time.  We feel fortunate that we have gotten to know her friends.  We have them over.  We connect and text with their parents.  We feel comfortable with all of them.  It's a great feeling.  When the girls come over they no longer need crafts or games  to be entertained.  They don't play with toys instead they talk.  They listen to music.  They do hair and make-up.  They are kind and respectful.  There is little girl drama and usually Halie is pretty open about it.  Honestly, we feel really good right now.

Best group of friends.


3.  New Experiences!  This is the BIGGEST one of all.  Halie not only took on a new experience this school year, but she sought it out herself.  My insecure, hold back until I know I am going to do it right, girl took initiative and voiced her desires to apply for a special program in our city.  This grade six program runs out of a community center for elders, who may have disabilities and/or special health needs.  The students who apply and are selected by a lottery system, learn from the elders that live in the center.  They listen to their stories, they seek academic help, but also participate in various clubs taught and led by the elders, along with many community experiences that they may not have had access to in regular programming.  It's truly a citizenship and humanities based learning program. This has been the greatest gift to Halie thus far in her life.  We have seen confidence, humility, compassion, empathy, realization, motivation, respect, understanding, all grow from this experience.  She has befriended not only new peers, but the elders, and has created a special bond with one particular elder.  When I went for a visit,  Halie prepped me in the most mature and companionate way.  She explained that some elders are difficult to understand when they speak, but to be patient, to take time to talk to them just like you would your friends, to sit with them, to laugh with them, and to just be.  I was so moved by her leadership and openness, and as I began to meet the elders, I was once again filled with pride.  As the  elders described my daughters characteristics, the love, respect, and friendship that they have built with her, I was moved me to point of tears threatening to come up to the surface.  I couldn't have asked for a better education, because my daughter is not only a kinder human being, but also one that's aware and more open to learn from people who have led a  different life than her.

Loving all the elderly in our lives.
Baka and great-baka.

Halie with Muzerka.  She loves him so much.
Her first horse show earned her a first place, 2nd place and a couple of third places.
Finding her own fashion sense.
Finding out that her heart is big enough for two dogs. 

So with that, I am beyond proud to be her mother.  I am in awe of the young person she is becoming and I know that her heart of gold will continue to grow and to reach out to others.  I feel confident that she will strive to make her life, our home, and her community, a better place.


  1. Wonderful post it is so heart warming. Priceless keepsake for her! Happy Birthday and many many more.
    Have a great week, Kippi #kippiathome

  2. Happy birthday to Halie! They grow up so fast and what a difference a year makes. Love all of her accomplishments and cheers to another year!

    Maureen |