Today, 19 years ago Beautiful B was born at 11.06am after starting the habit of her childhood and taking her own time to decide when she was going to make an appearance. She was reflective from the minute she was born, led in her little fish tank crib staring at me nice and quiet, seemingly deciding if she liked the look of me on the outside.
Despite years and years of being handed other peoples babies and not knowing what to do with them, I was different with Beautiful B different from day one and we were attached to one another – she would lie on me for hours gripping my finger and refusing to let go; except when she puked up her milk each and every time she ate. Looking back now, I should have tried a different formula but at 21 years old I tried everything else but that.
Petrified that she had the blockage that they had forewarned and scanned me for throughout my pregnancy I worried when she was first sick in the hospital while everyone else thought the distance she projected it was impressive! I have weird friends and family! Watching her under the scanning machine while they checked her insides was heart breaking but the news was good and 3 days later we were home.
Within 6 weeks milk wasn’t enough for Beautiful B and she was too small to take the amount she needed to fill her up so the health visitor suggested baby rice. Cue the beginning of Beautiful B being weaned onto real food earlier than anyone else ever expected. True to form, she refused all baby food except stewed carrots and the fear of her turning orange at the amount of it she was eating I started giving her home made fare of spaghetti bolognaise, shepherds pie and stew etc.
Anyone would have thought that she might want to be an artist after witnessing her nice almost symmetrical square coloured in with a blue biro on a cream leather suite – one has to wonder what they put in baby wipes as those and milk got rid of that pesky square!
Beautiful B has always been small 5 lbs 10 oz when born, at 3 ½ years she was in clothes for an 18 month old and even now, 17 years on she has yet to hit 5 feet and I doubt she ever will. She is my little bundle of joy; the best things really do come in small packages.
As all mothers and daughters do we have had our ups and downs, boundaries have been pushed and at times we have gone through the same heart break and helped each other through. She has been my best friend since the day she was born and as I have said time and time again, she has enough empathy for all the people in the UK.
Learning to let go and accept that she has to experience heartache and that I cannot shield it from her forever because how will she ever cope when she moves out from under my wing has been both hard and heart breaking. Yet, she has done us proud showing the determination to see the silver lining in every cloud. Despite thinking that I haven’t purposely brought her up to think in such a way I have obviously done so by some other method, maybe osmosis, as she lives by the same values that I try and demonstrate daily.
I have had 3 conversations in as many days about how time flies, how it doesn’t seem that long ago that she was an 11 year old telling me that the Hubby I would marry in a few year was ‘most definitely not only 32 because his mother was far too old to have a 32 year old’. It doesn’t seem like 6 years ago that he moved in and Beth sat on the bed while we unpacked his belongings laughing at my attempt to show him how to fold a jumper ‘correctly’. It certainly doesn’t seem as long ago as it was when she told me that ‘she knew something I didn’t know’ because Hubby had asked her permission to marry me.
Yes, I wish I could take away the heart ache that she has suffered over the past 10 years, any mother would, and certainly over the last 2-3 years yet experiencing that heart ache, and hopefully feeling that she was supported through it, most if not all of the time, has helped shape her into the wonderful young woman that she is today. I can and do hate that she has had to go through it but I love the person she is turning out to be because of it – if only there was a way to do that minus the heartache.
She is a young woman who has listened to her mum when she told her repeatedly that she needed to find ‘another Hubby’; someone who would treat her like a queen but not spoil her, someone who would love her for who she is, what she has experienced and could help carry some of the baggage that she hasn’t yet been able to let go off. She has found him and to watch her be so very happy with him is magical.
One day my daughter will fly the nest, I won’t just have a house that has felt very quiet for 2 weeks, I will have it for an extended period of time and although I know that is what I am grooming her for, to continue to be the productive member of society that she is, to be loving and caring, respectful and empathetic and I am not quite sure that I will find that ‘quietness’ at all comfortable to cope with.
For now, I will enjoy having my daughter at home, who will forever be my little Beautiful B, both in nature, mind and body (as she can’t really help being a shrimpit), telling me about her day, coming to me for hugs and affection and I will savour every minute of it. If the rate at how fast the last 19 years have gone it won’t be too long before she leaves to live a life full of the lessons I have taught her.
I only hope that I have shown her, throughout the years, just how much she is loved and adored. That she has always known that I love her, no matter what and that she hears it frequently. I will always adore my daughter, until the stars fall out of the sky, and I hope that I have achieved a little of what I set out to do and that is to show my daughter just how much she is loved and that she passes that message on and more to her own children over time.
Happy 19th birthday my Beautiful B. The number of years that have gone by disappear in a heart beat as I can still see you as you were when you were given to me and my first words were ‘oooh I have a baby’.