My eldest turns nine years old tomorrow. It’s monumental. 

Their first birthday  is exciting it’s a real milestone – you didn’t kill them wihoo! so is five, you survived toddlerhood. Ten is big – double digits, and thirteen wow teenager big day. But nine. Nine is half way. I read about the concept of half way through life before but now it’s my girl we’re talking about and shit has got real. 

I remember so clearly the moment she left my body and was placed in my arms. The heat she carried was on my chest and her little exhausted eyes looked in to mine and BOOM there it was, the feeling I had waited my whole life to feel, it was real, it existed, it was all true. Indescribable love. Belonging. Understanding. Acceptance. Pride. Realisation. Responsibility. 

I would take care of this creature with my life. I was in wolf mode. She was stunning and perfect and precious and I would treat her like a Fabergè egg. For 18 years this perfect thing was mine. 

So far, we’ve done good. We negotiated eating, sitting, standing, walking, toilet training, speaking, reading, writing. She is a kind, happy, smart little queen and she taught me how to be a mother. She loves me unconditionally and thinks I am perfect. Or at least she has done all this time. I wonder what’s coming for us in these next 9 years? Different challenges no doubt. I dread them and I’m curious. These days I’m down with babies, 3 more followed her and I am good at babies I’ll rare babies all day long! But tweens? Teens? That’s new and scary. 

If she’s anything like me she’ll go rogue, think I am a fool and hate my guts for about 3 years then come out the other side and realise, like I did with my own mother, that I am the best friend she’s ever had (mental note must go hug my own mam).

Whatever it brings, I look forward to the learning curve.  So far she has taught me patience and brought me unfathomable joy and worry, we carved our own little path and lined it with love and respect. I’ve strived to fill up her cup of confidence and to teach her that self love is the foundation for all love and my hope is that these skills will stand to her in these next 9 years when she starts to navigate the world outside our nest more and more. I can’t keep Rapunzel in this tower forever much as i would love to – the older she gets the more I find myself sympathising with mother gothel ‘poor woman wasn’t a witch! She was a mother of a pre teen daughter for gods sake! Misunderstood that’s all’. But no, now I need to start preparing to give her wings. 

Half way. It’s hard to believe. It’s true what they say about raring ‘the days are long but the years are short’ I’m so thankful to have another 9 years to be her anchor, her steady port in a storm. I will cherish them.  For now, I will hold on tight to the hand that still wants to hold mine and I hope she will always want to get under my duvet in the earliest sliver of the morning light and snuggle into the body she came from. It will always be hers.