The meaning of my life is … she

I’m a crazy planner. Noticed, much?

So you won’t be completely surprised to hear I spent many, many years concocting my first child in my head.

She had red hair (like me), loved eating exotic foods (like me) and was called Ruby, after my great grandmother.

Now, there are many things you CAN plan in life, but babies are generally wild cards.

Yet, somehow, the heavens sent exactly what I requested. And my divine daughter turns 11 today. I am such a lucky mama. Ruby is sweet and quirky and kind. She’s a little too fond of late nights, totally vague and completely hopeless at keeping her room tidy (like me!) but, those minor quibles aside, I’m hard pressed to make a complaint.

Despite only turning 11 this morning, she is almost as tall as me and takes a women’s size 10 shoe. Then again, she’s always been off the chart.

This is what she looked like in my belly (I scared people at the beach) …

pregnantbikini

And this is what she looked like when all 4.3kg of her was brutally hauled out of me

birthday-ruby

She was what they describe as “above the 97th percentile” in the “Blue Book” and she stayed that way.

My eldest daughter doesn’t give too much away. But, as my grandmother used to say (about me): still waters run deep.

It’s funny because when she was born you couldn’t shut her up. She screamed and screamed and screamed. It was very confronting for someone who’d spent her whole life avoiding holding babies and was used to telling people what to do – as the editor of a magazine – and have them actually listen.

I wrote a blog about her powerful lungs a few years back, called You’re A Scream. It included this vignette:

Sprog 1 wailed in the hospital …

ruby-birthday-1

She wailed in our lounge room …

ruby-birthday-2

She wailed in our dining room …

ruby-birthday-3

She particularly enjoyed wailing in her bedroom.

I was very, very tired. So was she.

But I fell madly in love with her anyway.

Happy birthday gorgeous girl. I am deliriously, dizzily thrilled with you. And I always will be.

(Wow, seeing these photos is still so visceral. I can smell her, feel her hot, angry head in my hands, the soft skin on her back, the ridges in that singlet …)

If I can send her out into the world confident and joyful it will be my proudest achievement … aside from growing such an amazing creature in my belly.

Song of the day: Charles Aznavour “She”

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