Be prepared - this is a long post. It is about and to Beautiful B and she deserves every word and more...so suck it up!
Well by now, you all know she is fabulous even if she is short.
Last night we had her first parent's evening at college. I knew what was coming, nobody enjoys the course and feels like she has "come home" as much as she does and fails miserably at it. I was kinda expecting praise to rain down on her and it did. Before y'all start I can be a bugger - trust me, she has to work hard sometimes for praise of me. Mum was a hard tasker master, ergo so am I. She has never been told off for any grade, ever in her entire life. She is told off if she does not give 100% to her school work and attitude towards it.
Essentially Beautiful B is on a cadetship for nursing spending 2 days in college and 3 out on nursing placements and she absolutely loves it*. It is so wonderful to watch and makes me feel all squishy inside because the poor baba went through a few HUGE troubles a few years ago and worked her little rocks off to come out of the other side, and boy did she come out of the other side fighting.
She pulled herself out the other side and with the loving support of Hubby and I and a load of other lovely people (and y'all know who you are) she has been determined to make something of herself. She is forever fighting to let go of the past. She continues to fight issues that are a direct result of some decisions I made before she was born (but I cannot be truly sorry because I wouldn't have her if I hadn't and I wouldn't swap her for all the stars in the sky).
She is determined to have a career, to have that career before she has the kids she so desperately wants. She refuses, says she will not, be stuck in the same rut as others she knows and fights every single day to make a career and to be a better person than she already is. She has a multitude of emotional issues to deal with as a result of others creating lots of worries and angst and yes sometimes it gets her down, sometimes I have to step in to remind some people that she is a teenager and needs support and not arguments but she fights to be bright and positive every single day.
So.....yesterday I was told that she was the shining star in the class, that wherever she is her smile lights up a room and makes everyone happy because she is infectious. That she is a wonderful mediator, cares immensely for everyone in her class and her patients (politically correct name "Service Users"!!!!!) especially and is an outstanding ambassador for the course. She completes her work before everyone else, that she is more motivated than anyone they have ever met and that the only criticism they could give her was that she can be a little impatient when she has completed her work and is waiting for others to catch up.**
They told her (and one of them was a qualified nurse) that they have no doubt that she will be a nurse and a bloody good one at that.
One of them said "we are not telling you anything you don't know, are we?" I had to admit they weren't. She is content. Happy. In her element. Has found her true calling. and that is evident every single time she comes home and tells me about a lady who sits in a day care centre knitting all day, dancing in her chair and singing along with songs using her artificial voice box, or that she hugged someone, or how she loves the old war time stories. Who would have thought it; my baba grew up and became one of the most compassionate people I know.
Yes, some of her "friends" have used her as a result in the past and she has cried and asked why. Worse, some people associated with some family members still do it and part of me thinks that one day that straw will break the camels back and she will cut them off but deep down I know she won't because she will forgive even if she doesn't forget because that is my Beautiful B.
I taught her to show empathy. I taught her to not get involved in teenage arguments and to sit back and listen, to everyone, to not take sides and to not give an opinion unless it was requested and warranted. She has watched me counsel Angel time after time and never give advice unless it was requested and just to be there as that shoulder that is so often needed. I'll tell you what though, my back would have broken a long time ago and I'd have totally walked away from some of my family and friends had they treated me the way some treat her so she is a better person than I will ever ever ever be.
We have had our issues; there are times I have walked out of the house and just left her screeching at the top of her voice before we got her help we had been asking requesting over a year, left her with Hubby to mediate because I was at risk of losing my sanity and fearing above all that I might end up saying something that would live with her forever when I didn't mean it and I would never forgive myself. Now, she is all grown up and such a shining example to all of those around her.
Hubby played a huge role in shaping who she is. He is not her real father but he treats her like his own daughter. He has never tried to replace her dad and her real dad sees her every week.
Hubby automatically knew when he took us on with 2 boisterous puppies to boot that he would become her friend before her parent. He did not step into any of those arguments until he had lived with us for 8 months and since then has raised his voice only twice at her. That is enough to stop Beautiful B in her tracks, because Oh Dear if Hubby shouts, someone stepped over the line. Now he is her is her stepdad, he gained that respect the hard way and he first taught Beth how to calm down and think rationally about what went wrong*** and then to sit down as a family and discuss it and come out the other side with hugs and kisses. So I have Hubby to thank also for being the wonderful natural father that he is.
Now she does all of this automatically. I have not raised my voice to Beautiful B for nearly 12 months, I haven't had to. Yes, I get frustrated sometimes and I let the lack of chore completion go more than I should but then I was mean and made her get a part time job to learn some responsibility on top of her college work.
Those worst days were truly awful. Awful for her, tremendously so and awful for me when counsellors had to tell me time and time again that I had been a good mother that she needed some coping skills. That she had those family issues to learn how to cope and deal with and I couldn't teach her that but felt guilty for none the less. That it was natural to feel so totally and utterly useless as a mother. But seriously, looking back on it the troubles helped shape her to be the person she is today; to be that person who I truly wanted her to blossom into - someone who will without a shadow of a doubt put everyone else before herself.
She is not like other kids, she thinks like an older person and as she has grown in confidence so has her friend base and it is truly lovely to watch. At the same time, she has a wonderful childish giddy nature about her that is totally and utterly infectious.
Of course, she didn't turn into that person all on her own. I know that and I don't for one minute think it was just me that did that, I had a huge possy of people that helped but yesterday when the nurse said that it was clear that she had a good role model and having talked to me it was evident that it was me I was shocked but a teensy weensy bit proud even if I did feel guilty for feeling proud****. When Beautiful B said she couldn't have done it without me I told them all off for making me cry.
Truly I used to be ambitious career wise. Now I don't care. I did what I was put on this earth to do and that was to have a child who grew up to be a wonderful human being. That, despite every adversity that she continues to struggle with, she picks herself up, dusts herself down and continues to put everyone else first knowing that one day, like yesterday, someone would notice it and tell her just how wonderful she is.
It's not quite the same thing when your mum tells you....
So B, Beautiful B - you came into my life and turned my life upside down. You were born and were quiet, while the nurses were worrying about your lack of cries you were busy staring at me like I was an alien. You still do, though now it is more understandable. I love that you turned my life upside down and continue to do so. I hate that you go through what you do and I will forever forever feel a little guilt over that at the same time as knowing that I wouldn't have you had I made different decisions and so I know that for me it was worth it. I only hope that you will look back in years to come and think the same thing.
You make my heart flip. You make my soul (if I have one) rejoice and I am immensely proud of you and hubby for help shape you and a teensy weensy bit of me for you turning out as you have.
I have no idea where you got your looks from because it wasn't me or your father. Your lack of height you can blame on me though as I am taller than you I have licence to make jokes about your inability to reach normal countertops.....
I think I do not show how much I love you as much as I should (and you would probably get sick of it if I did) but I do try and work on it. It's hard to put that emotion for reasons I will keep to myself (unless I am crying at Greys Anatomy or similar) but know that I love you with every single fibre of my being and I know that you know it. I would walk to the ends of the universe for you (and that is saying something seen as I find it hard to walk 3 miles) always for any reason.
You are my world, you were the minute you came into it and you will be forever. I am so proud of the way you are, your loving caring nature, you put the rest of us to shame. Know that, as a result, some will use you and walk all over you - dust them off and don't let it teach you to treat people with any less love and respect than you do now. More people will love you as the person you are than those that will use you.
At the same time (I have to say this because I am your mum) don't take so much sh*t off people who treat you badly. You are a wonderful person and deserve to be treated as you treat others. If they cannot do that, they don't deserve you.
Now go and feed the dogs, put the bins out and do the back garden.
Love you munchkin, til all the stars fall out of the sky! xx
* to the moon and back (because it can't be til the stars fall out of the sky because that is how much she loves me)
** now I couldn't even begin to imagine where she gets that from....
*** Trust me, he taught me the same thing. I have lost count over the number of times he has let the situation calm down and then asked me whether I thought what I did/said was right
**** yes, I am aware that I have a guilt obsession, I even know what helped cause it, now at least I recognise the guilt for what it is, I just haven't learnt how to let it go yet