Monday will be my daughter’s birthday. At 5.34 pm she will be 36 years old. (Gosh, I feel old. But, in a warm fuzzy kind of way.) This post is by way of saying Happy Birthday to her.
Here’s what I remember.
She made her screaming entrance into the 80’s world on a snowy, Friday tea time. We were in a rather traditional, old hospital ( we had an extremely efficient and quite frankly scary matron! Think Hatty Jacques in the Carry on movies!) in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
I still vividly recall studying the tiny baby/ living doll in the crib at the bottom of the bed that I , YES ME ! had just delivered.
I’d waited so long for her to arrive. She’d made me sick just about every day of my pregnancy and as is often the norm, had performed gymnastics – whenever I’d tried to rest. I’d been pretty sure I was about to give birth to a football team.
We’d had a dress rehearsal with the first labour pains… when I was up a step-ladder, painting her nursery in neutral colours. ( We didn’t know what we were getting back in my day.)
We’d got the baby stuff together and had three of everything. One on, one in the wash and one ready. Generous folk had knitted me a huge collection of cardigans and booties in an assortment of colours. They’d made me bedding sets for her pram and cot and our tiny house was full of all things baby.
I loved pegging out her brilliant white terry nappies on the washing line. (In fact I made it my mission to get them the brightest white I could and soft… as, and for my baby’s bottom!) I could have watched that beautiful statement to the world that I was now a mum, blow in the breeze all day; except I had a few other things to do.
As she grew.
Sadly things didn’t work out between her dad and I and we went our separate ways. As a single parent there was challenges to be met and overcome. Money was tight and very carefully budgeted. We had a house that was well lived in. It suited us and our numerous pets. She once wrote about our magical house. I couldn’t have had a better compliment and I like to think that I got something right…though not everything. Does anyone?
I remarried and through the rebellious, teenage years we battled on. Aliens abducted her and left us with an argumentative. very messy and hormonal clone for quite a few years. They returned a more grown up, calmer version of her and peace returned.
Then she flew the nest.
” You see much more of your children once they leave home. “
Lucille Ball (1911 – 1989)
Now she is grown.
With a four-year old son of her own, she is a brilliant, working mum and partner.
Next September my grandson will go to school and I hope I will get to stand outside school with the other mums and grandmas, as I collect him from school.
I love my grandson to bits. My baby has a baby . I still find that amazing, even after four years. I’ll say it again… my baby has a baby! Because, as parents our children grow up, but they’re still our babies, aren’t they? They have their own children and we get to watch them from a different angle, as they parent their children. Feeling proud of them does not even start to describe how you feel.
I peered into another crib and saw a familiar tiny baby/doll with perfect little fingers and toes. Two beautiful blue eyes looked back at me. Seeing my grandson for the first time was the most amazing experience. I won’t forget it.
“There came a moment quite suddenly a mother realized that a child was no longer hers…without bothering to ask or even give notice, her daughter had just grown up.”
And so the cycle goes on.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful, clever and loving daughter. I will never be able to thank you enough for making me a mum and grandma.
So, how about you? How do feel about being a parent/ grandparent? Do you remember how you felt when they were born? Do they continue to surprise you? (I’m guessing they do.)
Thanks for reading.