7 is beautiful. She really is. One of those truly lucky kids, with gorgeous clear skin, lithe long limbs, flowing golden hair, lovely features and a pretty face and smile. She is one of those girls who just radiates good health. She glows with it! One of the things I love the most about her is that she doesn’t give a s**t about all that. She cares not for fashion, hairstyles or anything remotely to do with her looks or the way she is perceived because of them. She will brush the front of her hair for school, while the back is a rats nest. She will go days in the same clothes, just because they are comfortable.

She is confident in her skin enough to not need all the “girlie” accoutrements that we sometimes indulge in. She hates them. She is most content dirty, in shorts and a t shirt, laying on the floor just chilling out. Hair a big pile of messy bun. Not a styled messy bun, a real one.


doing what she does best, being awesome!

doing what she does best, being awesome!

I am so incredibly grateful to have a chance to impress upon this lovely young girl all the things I have learned in my life. That it’s far more important to be “nice”, than “pretty”. That it’s more important to be “intelligent” than “sexy”. That life is far more interesting when you are “well-read”, than when “well connected” to social media sites. That the number of friends I count on one hand are worth so much more than the hundreds on Facebook. That being a mother is the most irritating, hellish, thankless, absorbing, boring and most beautifully selfless act I have ever committed. That loving her and her siblings is one of the most pleasurable side effects of my relationship with her father.

my lovely step kids, Fitty's greatest creations!

my lovely step kids, Fitty’s greatest creations!

I have known 7’s mum for a long time, since she was a girl herself, and I know that we both want the very best for her, and are mostly agreed about how she should see herself as a strong individual person, and not blindly follow her peers or seek attention for the way she looks.

7's Mum and Nan. Wonderful, strong ladies!

7’s Mum and Nan. Wonderful, strong ladies!


When we first met, you were a wild little thing. Your mother and father had been split for some time and you were driven from one home to another, barely old enough to understand.

You resented me at first. I kept my distance. Knowing you could hurt me. Knowing that you couldn’t possibly understand why I was there in your life. With your daddy.

I remember the day that you first tried to manipulate me. It must have shocked you that it didn’t work. I was wise to the ways of step children, I knew it had to be because we liked each other, no other way would work. Bribing you with special things was not the way I wanted to win your friendship and love.

I watched your brother and you play and I was so heartened by the love and friendship you had for each other as little ones. You were so proud of him, and you would do anything for him. It’s such a shame that you are going through this stage you’re at now where you are distant, and irritated by him, because later you will find that closeness and friendship again, and you will treasure it and him. He looks up to you, you are one of the most constant influences in his life, (along with the rest of us), but you especially will have an impact on his future life as a man.

7 and 8

7 and 8

You are a funny, special, beautiful and smart girl who is only just beginning to appreciate the true power of your feelings, beliefs and knowledge. You recently told me that you really appreciate the way I “let” you argue with me. You will never truly understand how much that statement meant to me. I raised my own children to be clear thinkers who never accepted the way things just ARE! I encouraged them to debate with me and ask questions about my expectations and beliefs. To see you fully grasp your own power and continue to develop a very strong personality and belief system is so stimulating for your Dad and I.

Ella assertive blog

Sometimes your arguments are ridiculous and reflect your age and unwillingness to move away from your tiny world of staring at your phone, but they always make me laugh and I always listen to them. Sometimes groaning inside – not washing your hands will NOT save you from being a victim in the event of a Pandemic!

When I talked to you about redecorating your bedroom, you face-palmed my fantasy of finally decorating a traditional Pink Frilly Girl Wonderland, in favour of your own funky, cool bright coloured style, and yet you loved my interpretation of your style when I surprised you on your 12th birthday with a brand new bedroom suite and bedding! I respect your individuality even though it has taken my very girly fantasy world away from me!!

Ummm... NO!!

Ummm… NO!!

Taking you clothes shopping has so far been a cringe worthy experience, but I long for the day when (like your big sister 4), I can pull from the rack something so perfect for you that you immediately snatch it and try it on, beaming with gratitude.

You are so not the fantasy my mind constructed when you first came into my life at the age of 5 years. I longed to have a girl, and it looked as if finally I would have the chance to co-mother a tiny frilly pink girl. You very quickly shattered my fantasy with your brave boyish play, your very athletic prowess and your scathing intolerance of anything girly and pink!

ella blog active

You have taught me so much lovely girl. You have taught me that real life way outlives any fantasy, and that loving you and being part of the team that watches over you and helps you on your journey to adulthood is one of the most rewarding experiences I can have.

You may not feel that love when I nag you to brush your hair before school in the morning, or nag you to wash your hands before dinner. You may not feel that love when I tell you to get off the internet or to clean your room. But I do these things because I do love you. I want you to benefit from the routine and training that all children who grow up to know success have.

I want you to excel at what you put your heart into. I want you to have a childhood and remember the wind blowing through your hair as you ride a bike and have outdoor adventures with your brothers. I want you to stop staring at your phone and live a little before you are expected to work and contribute to the “adult” way of life. I want so much for you, and you don’t seem to understand that all these supposed “limits” I put on you are actually freeing you! You will be enslaved to a screen before too long, just to earn your living!

7 with 4 and myself at her brother's wedding.

7 with 4 and myself at her brother’s wedding.

You are a fantastic step daughter. Because we moved into our relationship slowly, (your father and I being very careful to move slowly and deliberately), you and I have grown a love for each other based on respect and honesty. The last year or so has seen us grow even closer together as you get older and can begin to relate more to my life, and me to yours. I have so loved watching you become a young woman, start high school and begin to show your individuality as opposed to just being one of the “little kids”, (as we tagged you 6 and 8). Being the youngest three of eight kids must have been tough for you guys? I’m so glad for you and 8 that you get to go home to Mum and just be a 2 kid family that other week that you’re not here!

Any step-parent has a choice. There are no rules or regulations to follow, I don’t have to love you, but I choose to and that is what makes our relationship so special.

I love you because of the person that you are.

ella love blog