my fearless first child


Happy, happy birthday to my brilliant, beautiful, confident first child today!
Asya, you never cease to amaze me with your bravery and determination…At the age of 14 you have already managed to surprise me so many times with your decisiveness, courage, and strength! Whether it was the (many) times I ended up having to put you in the shower fully clothed because you had decided NO BATH that night, or the way you pretty much signed yourself up for a full session of summer camp at Rockbrook at age 9, or the way that you have conquered the (very scary to me) strenuous sport of show jumping, I am constantly in awe of your ability to decide what it is you want- and do your best to make it happen!

This year has been a tough and busy one. Preparing for the TEOG exams while juggling the demands of eighth grade and an ever busier riding schedule has not been easy. The serious pressure of eighth grade in Istanbul can be overwhelming all on it’s own; yet you have, as always, managed to take it stride! Your social life has been almost as busy as your school life and while we have sometimes argued over how to balance the two, I am proud to see you coming to understand the importance of creating and maintaining good friendships.

Your love of animals is endless. There isn’t a dog that we pass that doesn’t get a loving look or a horse that doesn’t get a tongue click and a long pat. Anyone who knows you knows that a membership to the Worldwide Wildlife Foundation or PETA is always the perfect gift. Although as a teenager right now showing your feelings isn’t always “the thing to do”, I know that your love for people runs just as deep. You have a giant heart and so much compassion for anyone who needs it. Your friends are lucky to have you in their lives, and I am so impressed that you constantly find different ways to make sure they know that you care.

At home you have been a fabulous older sister to both Alara and Alegra. I think that in Alegra’s eyes you can do no wrong and all she wants is for you to think that she could EVER be as “cool” as you! Things with Alara are always a bit more complicated, as you know, but know also that she has always, always, got your back; and I can’t think of a better ally to have if you are ever in a jam.

For me, and for your baba, it has been the most amazing pleasure to get to watch you grown and mature this year. We couldn’t be more proud of all your hardwork and your amazing maturity and calmness over the past couple of months.  Your quick mind and big heart will get you very far in this world and I am so lucky to be along for the ride and get to watch it all unfold. I love you so much my wonderful, sweet girl.  Happy, happy birthday.