Pristine is eleven


It can’t be helped. I have a preteen under my wings now. My oldest child turned 11 just before Christmas. It’s always difficult around Pristine’s birthday – year end hectic schedule at work, last minute shopping for presents, preparations for Christmas, etc. Year after year, I tell myself I should plan early but year after year, I break that promise.

At least this time, 3 of Pristine’s friends came to our little party to greet her. It’s always heartbreaking for me to see her sad on her birthday after inviting friends and many of them won’t even show up even after saying yes, they’d come. It’s the busiest time of the year so I understand, most are out of the country too but for a young child? She once told me it seems that none of her friends want to celebrate her birthday.

She got some gifts from us and her friends but I was moved by this handwritten letter from one of her close friends, a girl who joined her class last year. Pristine said they instantly became friends and she constantly talks about her every day.

ajwa letter 1

Has anyone told you that “nothing can ever be combined to make someone like you”? Maybe when you were 18, from a prospective boyfriend. But not when you were younger, from a girl friend. This girl – how very sensible! The last two lines on the next page stopped me at my tracks.

ajwa letter 2

The words got heavier and heavier on the third (and last) page.

ajwa letter 3

I like what she has written in the last. I think, she meant it like this: “TRUE friends are like stars. You may not see them everyday but you know they are just there. ALWAYS.”

This is a girl who speaks and writes what she feels, intensely. She is only eleven. I am already looking forward to all other written notes from her sent to my daughter in the years to come. Now I know why daughter cried when she read this letter, and the two friends tightly hugged each other. It’s easy to say, this was a very memorable birthday for her.


  1. What a beautiful letter…and handwritten at that! That really is a memorable gift that I’m sure Pristine will treasure.
    I admire her friend for her very thoughtful and deep words. But I also admire Pristine for being the kind of person her friend described her to be. Truly you and your husband are doing a great job in raising her. She’s now a preteen, but I’m sure you’ll do fine as she grows older.
    Belated happy birthday, Pristine! And belated happy birthday, Grace. After all, it’s your birthday as a mom too =)



    1. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! How are you? How’s Christmas?

      Sometimes, I feel I do not know my daughter or that I have this bad habit of seeing the little mistakes instead of looking at the bigger picture. She is VERY loved at school, looked up to by younger children, especially the new Japanese students who are still struggling with English. Pristine translates for them whenever needed and the teachers say she really likes to do it.

      She got so many heartwarming letters though this one is the most intense. So yeah, you are right, she must be a wonderful friend and I should give her more credit for that.

      As for the coming teen years, to be honest, I am not really worried. And I am worried that I am not worried!! I hope we don’t get any nasty surprise!

      Advance happy new year and hope to bump into you soon.



  2. Beautiful Grace… and I can so identify with it as my elder one turned 10 a few months back. Wishing her all happiness. This is a beautiful picture – she looks like your friend, which is really nice:)



  3. What a beautiful and heartfelt letter! Your daughter is a blessing to your family and to her friends. You must be very proud.

    Belated happy birthday to your darling Pristine!



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