This blog on New Caledonia is for those of you who ever wondered what life on a tiny island in the South Pacific might be like. Tired of bracing winter winds, the stress of an inner city or simply dreaming of a life change? This is a blog about what happens when, in the words of Yogi Berra, "you come to a fork in the road, [and] take it".

24 October 2006

Sixteen Going on Seventeen

Photo by Laurent Guaider, 2006.

Sophie turned 16 today - I stand amazed and humbled. For those of you who don't know Sophie, let me tell you a little about her. Sophie made her appearance in the world after 24 hours of trying to squeak through, in the home of Anne Bercot in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France. An extremely easy and happy baby, Sophie was a delight - and we called her Sophie-Soleil. She cried only when things got too quiet: she loved being in the middle of things. She quickly displayed untold social skills and within a couple of years had a social calendar that put Paris Hilton's to shame. Not only did she intuitively understand people (and uncannily read their minds), but she was a solace to them. From her godmother ("Let's talk about each other," she said one day at a table when they had a moment to themselves) to her class teacher ("Don't worry - it's all going to be okay", she encouraged shortly before a classmate tumbled down a cliff) to me ("Paul's okay" she offered up when she could see me worrying about a far away friend), Sophie was both a tiny tower of strength and a quiet source of inspiration. In school, she became the class centre. Her class teacher once explained that she wielded the greatest influence in the class: if he wanted to get the class to do something, he knew he had to convince Sophie first. But Sophie didn't tell others what to do - they just naturally followed her. Today, Sophie is surrounded by friends in Nouméa and continues to show many talents, from drumming to dancing, from blogging to physics, from fitting in to standing out. Who knows where she will go next. I have a feeling she can go anywhere!

Happy Birthday, Sophie!!!


sonia said...

Sophie est très belle sur cette photo et le texte m'a donné la chair de poule !! : c'est une superbe déclaration d'amour de la part d'une maman et qui porte en elle tant de justesse ! Julie, you may just have forgotten to tell how Sophie is also a great partner for adults ... : for me for example ! she only had to put her hand in mine for feeling in security, putting me on the right way, she often gave me strength, energy and power to go ahead and I tried to do the same for her whenever she needed. : isn'the "Real Love" (so hard to get sometimes) ? We did not need words to know the truth of our relationship and its intense sincerity. For me, even if Sophie was only 7 when I met her, it was a real meeting between us,just like if we recognized each other in the "casting" ... of life ! She was like an angel on my road, a lovely sun, and we shared more than time, that is sure. I miss her so much, hope to be near back her sun soon ... is it in Bordeaux she will feast her 17 next year ?? I'd like her so much to be the baby-sitter of my little boy, to make life a continuum ..
Happy birthday to you my Sophie-Soleil, hope you got my e-card, I thought about you all the day long 2 days ago ! Love, sonia

tiffany- said...

Sophie is definitely one of the most beautiful souls on earth. Happy Birthday, kiddo. We are all blessed to know you, and your mother, and have you, if distantly, in our lives.

Huge hugs!
Tiff & Alex- =)

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you both
what a lovely love letter

Stevie said...

What a perfect description of the most perfectly delightful young person - I miss my Sophie.