Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Feliz Cumpleaños Clare
Today is officially ClareBear's birthday. She is 23 years old. Like all mothers, I feel as if it was just a couple of years ago when that epidural kicked in and she was delivered comfortably and easily whilst her father enjoyed a roast chicken dinner to fight off the feints. (True story and a condition she's inherited!). She was the model baby. Due in no small part to copious doses of phenergan to fight a rather nasty skin rash which I developed instead of the 4 day blues! Text book really. Fed every 4 hours, crawled on cue, walked on cue, talked on cue. Took a bit longer than most to toilet train but she's never looked back. Never a biter, a whinger or a crier except at 5.00 'happy hour' like all babies when they're hungry, tired and just plain bothersome. Always smiling and gurgling, playing and imagining.
Tantrums were few and based largely around being dragged off those large toys that gyrate and vibrate outside supermarkets for just under a minute if you're dumb enough to put a dollar in and give the kid a thrill. Rarely disceplined beyond a naughty corner now and than and a whallop for running off in a shopping centre and getting dangerously close to the exterior sliding doors that led onto a main road.
She was a pretty little girl. Fine blonde curls, big hazel eyes . . . her father's good looks and more often than not off with the pixies. No reflective surface was passed without her poncing in front of it, dancing like a fairy flitting among the flowers and oblivious to onlookers. She's never been much for caring what others think.
From being in kindy, she's been able to set goals and achieve them. When they were young, we had a gold star system . . . Clare always made her targets. Right to the point of matching me dollar for dollar to purchase the cutest little dappled Welsh Mountain pony ever, through to 'earning' a trip to Disneyland because she never had 'could try harder' on her school report throughout her whole 7 years of primary school.
She loved reading, riding, dancing, dressing up . . . pop music, chocolate and sparkly stuff. She played patiently with her little brother from his birth to now, where despite the odd meaningless dispute, they are also the best of friends. It's very satisfying for a mum to know that in her absence her children will get on, cooperate and help each other.
She was bright academically but wasn't top of the class, she wasn't the most popular girl, she wasn't the most beautiful, talented or athletic but she embraced life with gusto, enjoying ballet, jazz, school theatrical productions, netball, soccer - in fact anything she turned her hand to, she took on with verve and joy and dedication. She worked really hard through school and had an amazing UAI . . . She laboured long and hard over 4 years to gain her degree in Graphic Design at one of Australia's foremost Fine Arts Colleges, despite the heart-breaking pretention of some of her tutors. She loved hard and fell hard but picked herself up again and still lives life to the full. Even now, she works full time, plays soccer and tennis and goes to the gym. She parties hard, sleeps late, studies Spanish, plans her trips and is for all intent and purposes completely independent. Financially, emotionally, physically.
She is intelligent, funny, attractive, irreverent. She is articulate yet swears like a trouper. She is complacent but unafraid to voice an opinion. She is moral but just a little bit naughty. She is popular without it going to her head. She is thoughtful without being a suck up. She is well-travelled and constantly learning. The things she is not mark her as special. She is not arrogant, she is not boastful, she is not prejudiced, she is not bigotted, she is not materialistic or frivolous, she is not patronising or pedantic . . . she does not hold a grudge, she is not lazy. She is balanced in every way - a great ying to my yang . . . she even's my scales on a daily basis.
She makes me proud through her thoughtfulness and good manners. She makes me proud of the way she conducts herself in public with her youngers, her peers and her elders. I am proud to call her my friend and that's a rare thing for a parent. She (along with DrummerBoy) is the Executor of my Will, my Enduring Guardian, my confidant, at the moment my nursmaid and washer woman and of course my first born.
So my darling, many, many happy returns. Stay happy, healthy, safe. Have fun without encountering danger, explore without taking unnecessary risks, be free without losing all sense of responsibility and and be generous without being wasteful.
I love you always Feliz Cumpleaños querido.