A little something I shared at out family celebration honouring our Jillian who turned 16 today!
Jilly is our baby – and so it is a little hard reaching this point. In a couple of days she will most likely get her drivers license and will become even more independent. That is of course assume she passes the test – it took her two attempts on the written!
But she will always be our baby – she was after all – and always will be, little.
Maybe really we should say, beware the little one, because although to the larger population, many make the mistake of thinking she is quiet, really when you get to know her – she is anything but.
We have so many fond memories of Jilly. She has always been a bit of a mischief. Like watching carefully for her big sister to get all her dolls perfectly arranged – and then“accidentally” walking through the middle of them.
Or colluding with her big sister after bed time in “You play, I play”.And there is also the doting little sister, who used to wait by the door for Mallory to come home from school – and then be a little disappointed when her sister needed some alone time to recharge her batteries.
But just because she was little – and appearing to be quiet, did not mean she did not have a great depth of strength and determination. This has sometimes resulted in rather impressive standoffs – like the time in grade school when her space was interfered with and a substitute teacher refused to listen to her pleas resulting in a standoff to where the assistant principal was called in and phone calls were made to her mother, or the altercation over something at one of her birthday parties where again she refused to back down and spent time in her room.
There was a meltdown with a coach in under 9’s hockey that led to her spending the rest of the game on the bench, a feat repeated in the 10th grade in JV soccer where she felt the coach was picking on her and a friend and benched them. The coach held out an olive branch – but of course Jilly outlasted her and sat in silence (well that part is probably debatable) on the bench for the entire game! Given this game was in Kansas (well not literally – but close) and we had no idea what was going on, needless to say, we were not completely amused. There was one time I remember I made the mistake of offering her a choice – between a nap or a spanking. She without a moment’s hesitation asked for the spanking. It is so hard not to laugh at Jillian at the most inappropriate moment in terms of parenting! One thing is for sure – she has a mind of her own and just like her big sister – she will make her own decisions.
The great depth of strength and determination also shows up in some great ways. She excels in school and really – most anything she puts her hand to. This is a little different to Mallory, who also always does well, but has little time for things she does not find interesting. Hockey of course outside of academics is clearly one of her passions – from the very earliest of days. She was so disappointed when she went to the local club with a friend from across the street only to be told she was too young and needed to wait a year. That young boy now plays for Australian age teams – so clearly the advantage of that year was significant! But start the next year she did and they were oh so cute! Her second year was of course the worst year of her life – I was her coach and Joy was her teacher in school. Now of course she plays on arguably the strongest team Colorado has seen in high school completion for some years and is pondering options to keep playing even in college.
And so while she is about to turn 16 and become all grown up, we are glad that she like her big sister has grown into a beautiful young lady. She is passionate, graceful – when she chooses to be, full of life, and always enjoys doing things with family and friends. She loves for example babysitting her youngest cousins - who of course adore her. She also loves hanging out with friends and has really found her own voice.
Jillian, you have made the first 16 years of your life so memorable – we can’t wait to see what lies in store. You may be little in stature, but you live life so much larger!