My fifth child and I.
Her father and I put our lives on hold for her. We possibly kissed goodbye to our careers – being out for 2 years is not a good thing career-wise. And here we are, halfway across the world from the rest of the family, in Phuket. We have never lived in Thailand before.
But this fifth child is worth it.
She is self-directed, she is strong and she works very hard. In the previous years, she had never missed the 6am football training sessions. As captain of the Dragons, she executed her role with great strength and determination, taking her team to its highest ever ranking. As her sports coach said in a tribute to her on the Awards evening (which she won the Most Valued Player award for basketball, her second sport), this girl never gives up, she never says die. Where she lacks in natural-born talent, she compensates with sheer hard work.
She knows it’s going to be a tough start. After being trained to play football the English way, she now has to learn Brazilian style football which requires greater skill and flair, and less reliance on speed and strength, with new coaches and new teammates.
But we know she will make it.
Because she is English, born in the middle of London, and to wear our national colours with the Cross of St George is the fire that will spur her on. Am so proud of my unEnglish-looking English girl. She’s da bomb. Don’t know whether that’s nature or nurture, though. Her older brother Jack has more talent but lacks the drive, though both were brought up in the same family, with the same set of rules. Nature or Nurture, folks?