To my husband on his birthday

Today is my husband’s birthday (I’m actually writing this the night before so let’s hope scheduled posting works, eh WordPress?). I love birthdays; I always try to make the most of them and make the birthday person feel special.

That’s not always that we buy the most expensive presents, although he’s arranged some amazing presents for me over the years with love and thoughtfulness. And I’m afraid he’s going to have to wait at least another year for the house in France (besides, they’re murder to giftwrap, only Steve Martin can get a bow big enough). But this year I’ve hopefully got him presents he’ll like and I’m pretty sure the things the babies have done will make him well up.

To finish the day off, I wanted to do him my own tribute here on the blog. I’m by no means a poet and I make no grand claims about the quality of what follows; except to say it’s from my heart and with much love to you, Andrew.

On Your Birthday

You think you’re getting old, my love

You fret about grey hairs

I’m sorting out a zimmer, love

A lift for those darn stairs.

But you see, it’s just not true, my love

You’re in the prime of life

With those two gorgeous kids you love

And a most besotted wife.

Your future’s just beginning, love

I know how bright you’ll shine

And I will be with you, my love

Until the end of time.

Bye Bye Baby!

B in the A – Z challenge is probably for birthday. Next week Emily turns one, although some of the stuff she does makes me wonder at times if she’s actually closer to ten. And with her first birthday we’re leaving babyhood behind.

She’s already more of a toddler anyway. She wanders around the house, sometimes purposefully, sometimes aimlessly swinging her arms and looking for mischief (which she always manages to find) but always steady and sure. She babbles away with herself and us; Daniel loves trying to decipher what she’s saying. I have a feeling we won’t be able to stop her once she can talk properly. She’s beginning to show a strong stubborn streak and a temper and it’s obvious that we’ll be having some battles. So in some sense we’ve already left babyhood. Or it left us when we weren’t looking.

Of course, we’re not just talking about Emily leaving babyhood. It’s all of us. We’re not planning any more children and that means that we’ll have to retire things like the crib (which is still standing in our bedroom, as if we can’t quite bring ourselves to dismantle it), the pram, the steriliser which never really got used much anyway since we had a small microwave one that was far more convenient. The babygros are getting put aside for a car boot sale instead of the next baby, and for every piece of clothing that she outgrows I have to decided if I can let it go. Some things, like her coming home from hospital outfit, or that dress or those booties, are being kept as long as we have the space.

Some things I’ll not be sorry to lose. The weaning spoons – I really didn’t enjoy weaning. I love the stage she’s at now where I can give her real food and watch her enjoy it and discover new tastes. She seems to have a broader range of food than Daniel did, but sometimes the memories are a bit hazy and maybe Daniel ate a wide range of things at this stage too. That’s scary – it’s only two years since he was at this stage and it’s hazy already? How am I supposed to remember these things when they’re ten? Or twenty?

I look back at Daniel’s baby pictures and sometimes it’s hard to relate that baby to my little boy. Daniel is so strong and vivid a personality, he comes out with the most amazing words and phrases, how could he ever NOT have talked? Or walked? Or decided he was going to do something and then just done it? And how did he interact with Emily? Wait – there was no Emily??

So we’re leaving babyhood. But I know from watching my clever, beautiful boy that toddlerhood is just as wonderful and scary and amazing. I’m waving bye bye to that part of our lives as happily as I waved goodbye to the part where I wasn’t a mum or the part where I was a ten year old girl dressing up as a bride or rocking my baby doll to sleep. They’ve all been amazing parts of my life, but there’s a time to wave bye bye to it and look to see what’s next.


All About April

April is set to be a busy month for me and mine. I guess there’s a good deal of Spring syndrome; already the trees are getting their summer frocks on, and the weather has suddenly gone from Big Winter Coat to Light Summer Jacket and Shoes. There’s a bunch of stuff boxed up for a boot sale (and a part of me that wants to clear out even more) and I’ve done my annual bathroom clean (not really. I do clean it AT LEAST twice a year. I’m not a total scruff).

April’s also Easter time. The last few years this has taken on new meaning for us. A few years ago Andrew’s grandad died just after Easter and it was the most closely involved I’d ever been in a death. My own grandma had died years before that but I was much younger, and didn’t see that much of her in the last few days. Over the last couple of years the months leading up to Easter have seen more bereavements, including this year. And for the last five years we’ve celebrated as Christians so there’s the extra dimension of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the salvation of mankind. Y’know, just to keep things interesting.

Last year, Easter came to mean life for us as well as death. Emily was born in early April and she’s brought so much extra life into our home. It’s more than just another person – it’s the completeness of our family; she’s an extra dimension to all of us and Daniel and her are without doubt what bring the most meaning to our lives. We’re looking forward to celebrating her birthday with joy as well as the sadness that some loved ones won’t be able to share it with us.

There’s also other reasons for hope & excitement this April. Both Andrew & I are working on different things (more of which at a later date) and it’s a beginning in more ways than one. I’ve got a massive confidence boost from the positive experience I’ve had with my first publication with Ether Books, and I’m really going to push myself with writing over the next few months.

To celebrate this April, I’m going to try and take part in the A-Z blogging challenge (quick swig of strong drink here). This is a brilliant idea which I saw over at Talli Roland’s blog, where you blog every day except Sunday throughout April, conveniently working out at roughly one post per letter per day. I’m not sure how this will work out. Probably a couple of posts will be pre-written and scheduled; I imagine several will be a bit contrived to fit the day’s letter! But it should be fun and I might get to cover some of the big questions weighing me down at the minute.

So keep a look out – I’m hoping to be a busy blogger for a while!