Monday, April 5, 2010


To mijn grote meid

You were born 11 years ago today, on Easter Monday, 4 days early. I knew throughout my pregnancy that you were going to be a girl, even though we didn't get told at the scans, and that we'd get to use the name we'd chosen years before.
Before you were born, I always thought I'd really enjoy babyhood. I'd be one of those earth mothers, cooing over their baby in the pram, you'd be wearing only handsewn or handknitted clothes, you'd smile back at me and then go to sleep. I thought that when you turned one, motherhood would become a bit boring - well, all the major milestones were out the way weren't they, so what else could there be that could be as exciting as your first smile, you learning to crawl, taking your first steps? And then being a mother to two school age children, well surely that couldn't be any fun at all - what milestones were there to be passed?
Reality couldn't have been more different. I found babyhood hard work, the toddler years interesting but sometimes mind numbingly boring. But when you and your brother left those years behind, something changed and I gradually started to enjoy being a mother. Really, properly enjoy. When I first became a single mother, I'd need my weekends without you two to have some time out and recharge my batteries for the week ahead. But now I miss you and will relish the extra days I get with you.
You have changed so much over the last year. You're not a little girl anymore, but not yet a teenager either. You suddenly don't like the magazine anymore you've had a subscription on for the last 2 years, but most of the other magazines are still a bit old for you. You love looking at make-up but don't use it yet. You're becoming more independent, wanting to go off in town on your own, but needing reassurance that I won't stray far from you. You are becoming extremely good company. You tell me when I look nice or when something I've thrown on that morning doesn't look good. You are my most enthusiastic WeightWatchers supporter. You enjoy watching trashy television with me and we've become real EastEnders fans together in the last year. You're very helpful around the house and like nothing better than when I say 'you can tidy up my room for me if you like?' So much of what we have together, reminds me of what I had with my mum when I was growing up, and I'm enjoying it so much. And maybe there aren't huge milestones anymore as you get with a new baby, but I can't wait to see what you're going to be like in a year, 3 years or 8 years from now.

Happy 11th birthday mijn grote meid.