Another year and another stomach bug to mark your big day. You spent the day before your birthday laid on the sofa and when you woke on your birthday you were fine, but we had to observe the 48-hour-post-puke rule. For your ninth birthday, you got the day off school.
We watched Hairspray, ate poached eggs and just as we were planning our next pursuit your Uncle and Auntie bobbed round to give you your present; In their car, ten new chickens en route to their field. As you had boogied your way through Hairspray, earlier, and felt better you went with them for the afternoon. You rode a horse, fed the pigs, settled the chickens in and held their kittens for longer than was probably necessary. Your day off, your birthday which was going to be pretty rubbish, ended well.
I look at you, gentle, caring, kind, sensitive, peace-maker, funny, out of tune pub singer with your sparrow legs and wild untameable hair and wonder how it happened. After 9 years you’d think I got this parenting lark, but I’m still bumbling through. It’s a scattergun approach that has earned me the title of Slackest Parent at Brownies’ as voted by the leaders.
We made it though, to nine. Nine makes me panic, it’s how old I was when I lost my Mum, your Nana, the lady you never met but who shines through in all she left behind. I look at you, and it’s hard not to see me at the same age. I have no motherly reference past this age, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.
I have to cast aside the panic, we’re going to be OK, I’m going to carry on doing what I do best, bumbling along.
All my love, Mum x