Dawn saw a change of plan
Something new began
Traversed Saigon
Carrying one
Oblivious to outside reality

Sleep derived
Well survived
Discovered agape profound
Lives inextricably bound
Blissful normality

From tiny vulnerable baby
The journey to here is hazy
Confident little chatterbox is she
Soon a big sister to be
A little brother to add to our plurality

Strolled into school
This little girl who’ll
Question and query
Render us weary
With her inquiring vitality

Farewells to Viet Nam
A wave, a tear, a fan,
Thailand offered more
Than simply turning four
Whispers of sentimentality

A big, pink house is our lot
Overlooking plot after empty plot
Cabbages and cuddles
For now all a muddle
Not quite ready for that liberality

Growth gaining pace
Slow down, it’s no race
She’s eager to leave
Her destiny to weave
But wait, there’s still this locality

Dawning of a new decade
A home to be remade
She’ll turn seven in Nanjing
And now, here’s the thing,
With abandon and joviality

Settling in for the long haul
Continuing to enthral
Losing her teeth
To the fairy bequeath
(Or the mouse – a technicality)

Still childishly happy
(Sorry, too sappy?)
Her brother’s best friend
A complicit trend
And so we progress, sequentially

The year of double digits
Kindness and diligence explicit
Still character forming
Not without warning
Asserting herself indelibly

The ending of primary
And honing skills culinary
A forced to be reckoned
Seeking direction
Treading her path with fidelity

Independence emerges
Actually rises and surges
She’s off with a dance
To her own life in France
Such characteristic tenacity

A free spirit, no need to harangue her
Mountains, deserts, jungles, Taganga
Finding her feet, feeling alive
A thirteenth birthday night dive
Shot through with trademark perspicacity

Four and ten is here
And still she’s giving cheer
Wrestling on the couch
Upper-handed, no slouch
As she grows, lobe-frontally

And now she’s fifteen
She’s setting the scene
Of the person she’s building
The life she is wielding
This intrinsic congeniality