18 years ago today you came into our lives; you were long awaited, as we had tried for a baby for about 5 years and finally, after 17 1/2 hours of labour, there you were.
I remember my mother telling me that I would soon forget about the labour pains as the joy of having you would overtake the memory of the labour. Not true, if I ever tell you this, please refer back to this post; you will always remember the pain you go through to give birth to your child, but I can say that the memory, over time, grows dimmer each year!
You were the perfect little baby, when I say little I mean, smaller than a toddler, but bigger than the usual small bundle of joy; weighing in at 9lbs 6oz and being 20 1/2 inches long you were, let’s say, not petite. Thankfully we had not bought any tiny baby clothes (we must have known what was coming). However, you were our bundle of joy and we just could not stop staring at you. I remember the first night in hospital with you; I would doze off only to wake up suddenly and remember that you were there right next to me. I would check that you were breathing more times than would be considered normal and sleep was something I tried to evade (two weeks later no evading of sleep – I had learned by then!).
We were lucky, you were the perfect baby; you slept through the night from about 2 weeks onwards, hardly ever cried, slept through the hoovering, and kept us all entertained. Quite clearly you made up for all of this during your teenager years, as karma caught up with us and delivered this almost alien human being one day which claimed to be our daughter. The alien seems to have slowly disappeared over the past six months (thank heavens!).
You have put up with a lot during your young life, moving countries a few times, flying all over the world because your parents love to travel, living half of your life in Army Quarters and learning to cope with Dad leaving on a regular basis to do those mysterious Army things you didn’t quite understand. They say children are more resilient than we give them credit for, and you are one great example of that. You took it all in your stride and even when you were placed into Grade 5 in Canada, when all your friends in the UK moved to Year 6, you carried on trying to get to grips with a new country, new school, new people and figuring out your path in life.
You have given us so many laughs during these past 18 years, some headaches and heartaches as well, but I guess that all comes with the territory of being a parent. We are very proud of you and know that you will be a success.
Inevitably at this juncture parents have a list (usually a long one) of advise they impart on their young adults and I could follow suit by listing 50 items that I want you to know, but that isn’t really me any more. I will leave you with one piece of advise I wish I had learned myself when I was much younger, but alas have only really learned in the past 5 years or so: Always be true to yourself, never compromise on that!
Love you always,
Your Mum xxx