Today is the eve of my eldest daughter’s 7th birthday. Although logically I know 7 years have passed – I can hardly believe it.
I’m trying to write without being nauseatingly sentimental and sugary – I will probably fail at that though. Do I care? Not really.
She is like a mini-adult right now – with all the good bits – none of the complicated, embittered, cynical parts. Her outlook on life makes me want to be a better human being. We were in the car earlier today, just her and I, getting some bits and pieces for her birthday tomorrow. Whilst chatting away, she announced that yesterday and today had been the best days of her life! The reason being, yesterday we had made pizzas and had been cooking all day and today she had a special moment with just me, shopping for last minute things for her birthday the next day. I felt as though a vice had gripped my heart. Such simple things had made her feel like she had had the best days ever. How long will she stay like that, I wonder? Hopefully, forever!
She was born with a wise head on her shoulders, constantly curious, wanting to know what was going on around her. She hated sleeping – I knew it was because she was sad about missing out on anything. I watch back videos of her as a toddler, at the time, I was always amazed by how much she was able to communicate with me, she always just seemed to ‘get it’. A very practical, problem solver – I guess that came from her being so observant all the time. Watching those videos back, my heart aches – she was still such a baby. I never treated her like one though.
Even now, she asks me how I am, when I’m sad, rubs my back, offers to bring me things that she thinks might make me better. When I get home from work, feeling tired from the day, my youngest wants to jump on me straight away – whereas my eldest will try to reason with her and explain, ‘Just let Mummy relax, she’s just come back from work, ok? Mummy, do you want me to make you a cup of tea?’ I’ve never let her make me a cup of tea – but I know she knows how to make one, and if I asked her, she would. Reluctantly, my youngest will give me some space, and my eldest keeps a sharp eye on her sister to make sure that she does the right thing.
My husband and I often reminisce about the moment that she was born. She didn’t cry. She wasn’t angry or sleepy, (unlike my youngest), she was simply bemused. The midwife confirmed that she was indeed a little girl, let my husband cut the umbilical cord and placed her straight onto my chest. Tired, overwhelmed and excited, I gazed into the biggest, most beautiful brown eyes that I had ever seen, a little doll, with a mass of black hair covering her head. A miracle. She looked straight back at me, probably mirroring the amazement that was in my eyes too. My husband said that she won’t be able to see properly yet, new-born babies don’t have great vision when they are born…but this little baby, her eyes seemed to see right into me, and I couldn’t believe that she was finally here.
So fiercely independent, yet not in an angry, aggressive way. She listens to reason – then makes up her own mind. I remember when she had thrown up in the past, or wet the bed – and tried to clear up her own mess, or change her own bedsheets, without disturbing anyone. It’s just because she feels that she knows how to do it – so why ask anyone for help? The number of mornings that she and her sister have woken up, and she’s organised breakfast for them – because she doesn’t want to wake Mummy and Daddy. An independent problem solver who looks after her sister, as well as herself.
For the first few years of her life, she was a complete Daddy’s girl. Her father was her universe. She wanted to spend every waking moment with her Daddy. Suddenly though, over the past few months…she’s growing closer to me too. Particularly over this Christmas period, she’s been wanting to spend more and more time with me, which I have revelled in.
Her little sister absolutely reveres her. She follows everything that she does, and consults her for every decision. They do have their spats – but make up with each other as quickly as they fall out.
What I love about her, and I learn from her each day, is how positive she is about life. How she makes the best of each situation – even when things are not going her way. She finds something else to focus on and won’t let things bring her down.
I’ve written in posts before about how many people in the Asian community thought it was a shame that I had given birth to girls – not just once, but twice! I laugh at those people. Openly, laugh at the ignorance of those people. My daughters, both of them, are my blessings, my saviours. I learn from them, probably more than they learn from me.
On this day, the eve of her 7th birthday, I’m reflective, but excited again. Yes, I gave birth to this little one. Yes, I’m bringing her up, hopefully giving her everything she needs. But in my mind, I know this little warrior will carve out her own future. She will do whatever she wants in life, with that same positive attitude. And I’m excited…excited to watch her grow up and rule the world – watch her make this world a better place.