Happy Birthday, Eight!

So! Big girl!

You will remember this birthday, I think. I remember my eighth birthday – we were in Trinidad and it was Carnival. I borrowed a rainbow costume and won 3rd prize in the children’s costume contest with another little girl. Our outfits were not particularly spectacular ┬ábut we were so thrilled to be on stage that we danced the wild rumpus and played to the crowd, winning them over with sheer showmanship/glee/desperation.

It’s amazing to see you grown so big and thoughtful, to watch you lost in a book, so utterly absorbed that you can’t hear me asking you questions or repeating instructions for the 33rd time. Unless, of course, I mention ‘doughnut’ in which case your ears prick up immediately, sugar being the medium of telekinesis.

You are still yet small, wanting to be held upon my knee, cuddled and soothed when you feel lost and lonely, yet you are also big, so clever and full of reasoning. I see the baby in you, and I also see the woman you will become. I see how I will lose you bit by bit, how you will grow away from me, as you should, and I hope very much that by the time that natural space comes I will have not made so many mistakes that you won’t want to come back and be close once you have a choice in the matter.

I love you, my sweet, my sour, my delight, my maddening, my charming, my chastening, my exasperating, my exhilarating, my life changing, life affirming, mirroring, illuminating, wonderful, beloved child.



8 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Eight!

  1. “…my sweet, my sour, my delight……..beloved child.”

    The rest of it was wonderful, too, but when Eight is grown, I think she will treasure that sentence always.

    I would.

  2. sian berman says:

    this mad me cry! mine is 14 now and jsut got caught drinking! i love her just a much……my boy is 7 and still wants kisses and cuddles i dont want him to grow up even though i am also exasperated! i am still crying…………

  3. Beautiful post – I hope she reads it when she is older. I wonder if our children will turn to our blogs as diaries one day? Littleboy 1 just turned 7 and I can’t believe he is growing up so fast.

  4. Lovely. I get worrying glimpses of the 13 yr old my 3 yr old will become; she steals my lipstick, took twenty minutes to choose an outfit for nursery this morning and has four boyfriends.
    I love the thought that by allowing them to grow away, as they must, we give them space to return as we hope they will…

  5. Thanks NVG. I wonder if they will read them, and if they will be amused/touched/disgusted/outraged.. I don’t know. I wish I had a log of my mother’s experience of me as a child. I feel mostly forgotten.

  6. I have tears in my eyes, beautiful post. My baby girl is 14 months old and I can’t believe how much she has grown up already! Now walking and saying her first words. It’s just amazing to watch your children discovering the world in their own unique way.

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