I’m breaking a rule of mine and this week there’ll be some posts in non-chronological order. We had a jam-packed Bank Holiday weekend…But that can wait. Today my baby turned nine.
Nine! My smart, articulate and yes, demanding young lady of a daughter started out like this:
Ah, look at her. Gush gush gushy gush. And she’s spent the last years growing even more beautiful.
She had friends over for a birthday tea which meant dancing to Taylor Swift, a lot of giggling and eating way too much party food. She didn’t even know these girls a year ago but looking at them all together this evening you’d think they’d always been around each others. They make her so happy and that makes me happy.
This kid, like many others, has had to deal with more than a kid should. She has cuddled and wiped away my tears when really she shouldn’t have seen her mummy cry. She’s become a fiercely protective body guard that watches me intently when I become quiet. She breaks her little heart every time she has to be away from me and visit the other side of her family, asking why I make her go. She has no idea that it breaks my heart to have to watch her go.
Single parents who become the main parent after a relationship breakdown live with enormous guilt. I’m not saying that other parties don’t, but I can only tell my own story and that’s from this angle. We feel guilty when they don’t see their other parent and we feel guilty when they do and they’re not with us. Parents in general live with day-to-day inadequacy complexes and from experience I can tell you that it intensifies ten fold when you’re doing it solo. So if you know someone who right now has to be both mummy and daddy to their littlies, for whatever reason, go show them some love. Even if they give the impression that they have it altogether. Especially if they give the impression they have it altogether (spoiler alert – they very probably don’t have it all together!).
Within all that confusion, insecurity and pain though, my biggest little-bear is growing into a confident, intelligent and sensitive soul. Against the odds. Her past would have her withdrawn and angry but she’s choosing her own path. Yes she will continue to battle with previous circumstances but there is a determination not to be dictated to by her past. This child can be silly and vivacious in the most wonderful, carefree and innocent way and sometimes I kick myself when I forget and take for granted what a gift that is in this world.
Above all, this daughter of mine make me strive to be a better person. I know in not too many years from now she’ll find these posts and she’ll read them. That keeps what I write in check because I want her to be proud of me as a writer. She keeps my attitude in check because I want her to be proud of me as her mother. And she keeps my behaviour in check because I want her to be proud of me as a woman. For that I’m forever indebted to her.