The Wonder YearsDear daughter,
At this moment in time I am shouting upstairs to you yelling at you to go to sleep. You are shouting back telling me how many hours and minutes you have left as a 10 year old.
Some (everyone) may (will) describe me as a shouty mum:
"GET DRESSED, HURRY UP, CLEAN YOUR TEETH, LISTEN, I'M NOT TELLING YOU AGAIN, IF YOU DON'T GET A MOVE ON, I WILL MAKE YOU GO OUT LIKE THAT......"
The list is endless. Even now the night before your much anticipated 11th birthday I am shouting at you to go to sleep or you won't get your birthday breakfast.
How time's change?
11 years ago I was to be found wandering around this living room with a somewhat mahoosive bump thinking that the twinges I was feeling perhaps meant you were going to make an appearance three weeks early.
As I was wandering round wondering whether labour was going to hurt (how naive), the rest of my family were sitting in the kitchen eating mum's macaroni cheese to celebrate the occasion and having a sweepstake as to how long I was going to be in labour. (three-ish hours)
At midnight, we hightailed it to hospital and at 3.37am you were born. I remember spending what was left of the night simply staring at you, just watching you breathe, unable to believe that I was now a mum. That feeling has never left me.
From that moment on my life changed.
Even now when I probably spend 90% of my time shouting, yelling and occasionally swearing, I thank my lucky stars that you are mine. Every night without fail, the last thing I do before I clamber under the duvet is to kiss you good night and watch you sleeping, watch you breathe, just like I did 11 years ago.
Back then my main worry was that you kept breathing, and now my worries range from making sure that you keep breathing (yes still) to your schooling, your friendships, whether you can walk to school on your own, whether you eat enough veg, whether you will ever wear a dress, if you will be happy at high school ...worrying is a constant, a niggling, gnawing, tapping in any mum's mind.
I do miss you as a baby, your gurgling smile, your inability to put your feet on sand and even those hideously humiliating moments including carrying you out of a supermarket under my arm with your legs kicking and screaming (you didn't visit a supermarket for a long time after that). I don't miss the fact that you didn't actually sleep a full night until you were 17 months old.
But I mainly love watching you, watching you grow into a beautiful small thing sometimes at war with your own developing personality but always kind, always loving and giving.
I am mainly hugely proud to be your mum and tomorrow I shan't be shouting at you on your birthday, I shall be spending the day feeling blessed and trying not to shout at you on your birthday. And then when I take you and your friends out for tea, I shall mainly be drinking wine to dull the noise of six excited 11 year olds.
This time 11 years ago I started on a journey where I learn something new every day, where I spin more plates than I ever thought was possible, and where I have a reason to smile every day.
Tonight when I kiss your sleeping face goodnight and I am the first person to whisper Happy Birthday in your ear, I shall be sending a silent prayer of thanks that I am so blessed,
Love you my beautiful girl,