So this post was originally written two years ago, to celebrate Bella’s eighth birthday. On the day of her tenth birthday, I don’t think I can improve on the sentiment contained, except to say the words grow more concentrated with each passing day x
We’ve been in the garden county of Kent for the first week of half-term (it’s a two week break for us) – and I thought I was prepared for the black hole of social media that this part of the UK has historically proved to be by taking a dongle with us, but even that was no match for the rich eiderdown of life that seems to squash the very lifeblood of the internet to nothing in these parts. On the plus side, life without the internet is a lot simpler..more old fashioned..and in the end, there was really nothing for it but to embrace the holiday spirit and go with the flow..it’s been a great break!
We also celebrated Bella’s eighth birthday..it’s hard to believe, it seems only yesterday I was holding that tiny baby, watching the face of Big Ben tick round that first night we spent together in St Thomas’ hospital. I look at her now and have the most enormous chest restricting rush – she is my open-heart production – vibrant, living, learning..I never used to worry so much about life, now there’s more grey..I’ve become an observer, teacher and pupil too. it’s weird – you think your helpless child will be totally reliant on you and you have your experience and the need to guide and help, but it’s just not true. Instead it’s a constant balancing act that I don’t think anyone can get totally right: You want to lead, but you don’t want to helicopter. You want to love and cuddle, but you don’t want to smother. There’s an undeniable pleasure in growing together in habits, tastes and socks…but the easiest thing as a parent is to see your child as a mini-you where you now have the ability to correct all the imperfections..or to see the person they are now as the character they will always be and deny them the space to grow..thoughts like that just end up passing the negativity down the food-chain, or so it seems to me..but then who am I to say?
I know I don’t want her to be the child that has everything – but even deciding that is choosing a course of action, adding an intrinsic quality, another detail. I don’t believe that love is materialistic, instead I believe adversity supports initiative – one of the greatest gifts a parent can bestow. To that I add manners, self-respect and confidence – far more important in real life than examination certificates. I want her to have the space to find out who she is away from any expectations of mine and to be able to express that in any situation. I want her to have the confidence to stand up and say her opinion whether it’s right or wrong. I want her to make mistakes, whether it’s in her maths homework or something bigger, to learn there are always solutions if you look hard enough and mistakes are part of the stepping stones of life and shouldn’t be avoided…sometimes they lead you forward.
Life is as delicate as a falling feather but should always be a glorious caper..I hope she has a wonderfully misspent youth with sunshine smiles and audacious bursts of laughter, she is my joy, my love, my heart…and I hope that when the time comes, I have the sense to set my treasure free..
Does mother know best? You dream about it..but ultimately kids appear from nowhere and have wills of their own and you’re just ordinary people trying to get through life the very best way you can, showing them life and hopefully a way of looking at things that opens the door to where the magic lies….
Laters, Kate x
It’s the last day before half term starts..seems to have whizzed past. I can remember standing at the school gates thinking I thought this day would never come..I’ve been standing at the same gates for the last week, praying for half term. The kids are on their knees…so am I…we all need a break, chill-out time and long walks by the sea..
We’re hoping to head back to Kent, the husband’s work permitting, for a bit of nostalgia and basic living. I can feel my heart singing just at the thought..
So I’ve just got to get my act together today…2 coffee dates, 2 playdates, send back a pair of boots that arrived in the wrong colour, wrap Bella’s birthday presents (her eighth birthday on Sunday. Can’t believe it), pack cake ingredients n tins, source creative stuff to take with us (requested by Bella: Another heart singing moment) and a few board games and a football, pack for everyone (still hate)…and then leave the house spotless as we have relatives arriving whilst we’re away..shouldn’t be too hard!
I’ll just keep looking at these dream kitchens and pretend it’s my reality…or that I have staff!
Laters, Kate x
Sitting here with a hangover from hell..I blame you Miss Fairy! It was her birthday last night…and there was a moment, a sliding doors moment when we were in a lift heading in the right direction away from the roof top bar till she turned to me with a cheeky grin and said, go on..let’s just have one more…personally I think it was less my scintillating company and more the rather handsome gentlemen she’d eyed. It’s always so much easier to break the ice when you have a married wingman at your side..and my, we work well as a team! Poor man didn’t stand a chance. Which brings back memories in itself as it was at a birthday party of Fairies all those years ago that I met my husband-to-be – he didn’t stand a chance either…and that’s probably the start of the slippery slope..instead of learning from experience, you revert to youth and all it’s antics. Until the next day when you feel considerably older than your considerable years…it’ll probably take me a week to recover!
But the good news is he’s asked her out for dinner! Yay!
The bad news is I’ve run out of asprin..
Laters, Kate x
Today is my daughter Bella’s seventh birthday. She was my IVF baby, born after six years of heartache, seven miscarriages and 2 years of no pregnancies (which I am sure was psychological..but it really didn’t help). With her birth on this day all those years ago I finally became a Mummy.
I still carry the scar tissue..infertility is a time I wouldn’t wish on anyone – you beat yourself up for the futility of hoping, nose permanently pressed against the glass, it becomes personal. A retina searing pain that makes you disappear under the burden of inner reflection..the only person to blame being you. Something so simple, so natural…so unachievable.
We literally threw everything we had at it..and we were oh so lucky. The tides finally turned and she arrived..the most beautiful baby I had ever seen..a fairy child. And she remains the most beautiful inside and out child to this day…the rarest and most delicate of gifts. I celebrate.
Laters, Kate x