The eldest turned 19 yesterday. I can’t believe the teen years are almost over.
We celebrated with pizza at a neighbourhood joint. It wasn’t anything fancy – just a casual, relaxed place. It was easy on the pocket too, especially since I was the only drinker among us (I sipped a rather nice Aperol Spritz).
As for gifts, the eldest had requested a linen doona cover and sheets. Random, but I was up for it, even after discovering how exorbitantly expensive they were going to be.
I left the bed linen outside the eldest’s door, draped in a foil Happy Birthday sign, with a small cake and a tub of Quality Street chocolates that were sourced at 7am from the Woolies around the corner before I raced off to work.
I can’t believe it’s been 19 years since the whopping 4.3kg eldest was extracted from my womb via emergency cesarean. Fortunately the traumatic memories of that 24-hour period have faded – a little – over the years.
There was no way that giant bubba was making it down the birth canal.
After pushing for hours through endless, double peak contractions – trust me not to have normal ones – I took control of the situation and yelled at the medical staff that their approach wasn’t working, so they needed to try something else. That something else ended up being emergency surgery.
I may have mentioned this five hundred million times before, but once I got over the hell of childbirth I was transfixed by the eldest, who was the most stunning looking baby I’d ever seen.
I mean look at that face …
So serious! So divine!
The eldest was a unique child. Party food at his first birthday were his three favourite things: prawns, olives and strawberries.
Fruit was so beloved that it was preferred over friends. And books were favoured over everything.
Before he could walk he would crawl back and forth to his book box, extracting endless titles and demand that we read and read and read to him.
By 18 months old he was speaking in full sentences. And his remarkable artistic talent emerged quite early in life.
The teen years have been a bit of a wild ride. The eldest will never march to the beat of the standard drum. And we are still not quite sure where that march will lead him. But it promises to never be a dull journey.
According to the eldest, he will have moved out of home by next birthday, perhaps to Melbourne. So maybe I should have served up something more momentous than Woolies cake and suburban pizza.
I am still a bit disorganized from moving house while juggling my crazy job.
But at least the fancy sheets will come in handy.
It is one of the curses of motherhood that you just never know when it will be the last time they hold your hand, ask for a bed time story or wrap their arms tightly around your neck as you kiss them goodnight …
And nothing prepares you for the day when they don’t even live with you any more.
Better stop thinking about that, it’s making my eyes well up.
Song of the day: Steve Strange “Fade to grey”