This time seven years ago I was lying in bed in hospital, tucked up with my brand new baby girl. She was a couple of hours old, everyone had left, the lights were dimmed and we lay there . The nurses kept trying to bring her to the nursery. I kept insisting she was staying with me. So they left us be. We lay there all night just the two of us. I was sore and exhausted and felt quite bruised and battered but my overwhelming feeling was awe. I could not take my eyes of her. Nothing prepares you properly for meeting your first child. I should have fallen asleep instantly as I was so exhausted but I didn’t sleep at all. I couldn’t. It was too exciting………She was perfection.
Looking back I hadn’t a clue, not a notion of what having a child actually meant. I’m looking at her today on her seventh birthday and contemplating how much she has grown up and how she has made me grow up so much in the last seven years.
Your first-born is hero worshipped. My daughter is the first grand child in my family and the first grand-daughter in my husbands. Every smile, grimace and nap was photographed and recorded. Hour long conversations took place about her day when she was a couple of months old. I don’t really know where the detail came from considering at that stage all she would have done was eat and sleep. Coordinating outfits daily. In fact she probably only wore most things once those first few months. We shopped a lot. It was 2006 and like I said I really didn’t have a clue. Her first Christmas morning was filmed. We watched it back a few weeks later and cringed at these two over enthusiastic gobshites ( me and her Dad) who made Barney look like a manic depressant we were that bouncy and happy and in her face. We haven’t been able to bring ourselves to watch it since, our behaviour was that embarrassing.
With the hero-worship came the mistakes too. Like I said, clueless. No major mistakes just learning curve ones. We learnt a lot quickly. She has thought us a huge amount. She made me grow up. Now she is seven.
It’s a lovely age, seven. It’s an on the cusp age in some ways. She is a contradictory mix of still a little girl but with glimpses into how she will soon have no traces of being a little girl. The small mood swings are amusing now but no doubt that will change soon. She loves clothes and One Direction and dancing and her friends. She still sleeps with her me-me ( comforter) every night and sucks her thumb when she is exhausted. Recently she has started walking up to me at the car after school instead of me collecting her from her line. She thinks this wee bit of independence is amazing you can see in her. It’s also a bit nerve-wracking for her too. She has big dreams but has recently started to realise her limitations too. I suppose this is part of growing up, becoming more aware. Its a little bit sad though too.
She has started to stay up a bit later and takes a bit longer to get out of bed in the morning. She is showing signs of having the same very very dark sense of humour that I have. This delights me.She has learnt to read and is devouring books. This delights me more. She is good company. She talks too much. She understands sarcasm and uses it.
Her hugs are shorter. She prefers a chat to a cuddle. Her legs are long and lean and I get small snapshots now of what she will look like as an adult. This makes me want to freeze time some days.
She’s lying fast asleep beside me in bed now just like we were this time seven years ago. We’ve both grown up a lot since then. I couldn’t be more proud of her. She is still perfection and I am still blinded by precious first born-ness seven years later. If I lived another seventy years I imagine I would still suffer from it.
Happy 7th Birthday my big little girl x