You were in a hurry the minute you were born. Kicking in my tummy like a football player and when you popped out within a few hours the consensus at the clinic was « c’était sportif! ».
An easygoing baby who was happy as long as she had her food, you very quickly became Ms. Independent.
Your first word was « màs » which was quickly followed by « Who me? » and « It wasn’t me, it was my hand » which had us all in tears laughing.
True to yourself you never crawled but hopped along on your bum. By the time you reached the "terrible twos" you were conversing in sentences and squeezing your trembling handballs when you’d get mad… which was every time things didn’t go the way you had planned.
Daddy loved your bouncy curls and I fostered your curiosity. Expat boy was just happy he did not have any more siblings. « One is enough » his famous answer to the question « how is it having a little sister? »
You couldn’t wait to join your big brother’s school and I remember the disappointment when we announced we’d be moving 6 months later.
Lugano was your habitat despite no one realizing you understood but actually didn’t speak Italian when we first arrived.
Breganzona allowed you to spread your wings and live your independence in a safe way. You defined your values and made friendships for life. Many of these experiences have and will continue to guide you along your path. Trust your instincts, sweetie, while listening to people’s advice.
You are hard working, super organized and focus on targets. Remember not everything always goes as planned, the challenge is to find a way that works for you.
With your outgoing, kind and fun personality you captured the locals’ hearts and made Lugano your turf. “Home is where the heart is” was definitely your motto.
Moving to Paris was tough but as a true girl warrior you took it in strides and patiently waited for the next move… realizing it would not happen you changed attitude and dug your heels in declaring - after three years - that Paris wasn’t that bad after all.
By Middle School you regained a certain independence and found your groove. You made Paris your playground and the “velib” your vehicle of choice.
While you excelled at studying, the end of school year was always difficult as you had to bid farewell to your besties every single spring for a decade, nevertheless you always found new friends from all parts of the world with whom to share your energy and enthusiasm in whatever project you set your heart on.
The International School of Paris became your second home and you have been one of their best ambassadors in every way.
You convinced Papy to let you travel to New York (much to my delight) and ventured out to the Namibian desert a year later following your humanitarian spirit.
When I told you not to let the pandemic cramp your style you listened and your sweet 17 has been one of your best years so far.
It is your tremendous heart and your brilliant mind that has lead you to become an extraordinary young woman. Your charisma entices others to follow you happily. You have proven time and time again what an amazing leader you are, even at a young age. No one messes with Expat girl!
Never lose that vibe. Continue to believe in yourself and defend the issues you care about making your contribution to the world. Share that passion, don’t take no for an answer and never, ever give up!
I am so, so, so proud of you my love. Happy 18th birthday, poppet!