It was quiet in the house last night. Relatively. The Man had left for his night shift (stay away stalker dudes!) and the spawn were tucked in tight, dreaming of sunny days and lollipops. I could hear the dishwasher running in the kitchen, the heat pump desperately trying to warm up my living room before I turned into an icicle and Girl Spawn was snoring loud enough that you would think there was a car in the other half of my house. CSI Miami was on the TV and I was trying not to gag every time Horatio Cane turned sideways, slid his sunglasses off and fed me a cheesy one liner.
All the while, the one thought that kept rudely shoving aside all others was that my little girl would be a tad bigger today. That one thought, that little piece of information, was making me restless. I was preoccupied with the realisation that today would usher in a new age.
Today, a birthday will be celebrated.
Today, Girl Spawn turns 8.
As I sat here yesterday evening and watched her interact with her little friend (we had a sleepover. I'm sure you can imagine my excitement!), I was struck by how grown up she seems in some ways and yet so like the little girl she still is in other ways. They giggled about boys and which ones were cute but when Boy Spawn brought up the subject of kissing, they both replied with a loud "EWWW" and eased my mind. I'm not ready for boys yet. Will I ever be?
The last year has not been an easy one for any of us but if I can say one thing about it, it would be that I am proud of how my beautiful daughter has handled herself.
Just two weeks after her birthday last year, we packed up our things into just a few suitcases and left all our friends and family behind so that we could move across the world. As she hugged her friends, I could see her holding back the tears. As she waved goodbye to her grandfather at the airport (and watched me blubbering like an idiot), they still didn't fall. Through school changes and more, my girl has shown a strength that would make many adults envious.
As she grows and learns, life is not always sweet however. Her attitude can be mighty sucktastic some days and she still greatly enjoys torturing her little brother. She will scream how she hates me in one breath and tell me in the next that she's sorry and actually loves me a lot and could she please, pretty please, have a biscuit and a glass of juice. She slams doors and flings herself down on her bed, but can be found reading a book to her brother in an effort to keep him out of my hair for a few minutes.
The good from this girl always, always FAR outweighs the bad....and the bad is only minor.
Saturday was her birthday party. We invited a bunch of her friends, rented a court at the local indoor sports centre, and supplied some food. For two hours they ran around like maniacs, screaming at the top of their lungs and occasionally taking a break to see how much popcorn and chips they could fit into their mouths before washing it all down with soda. I only needed a few aspirin to get rid of the headache later.
When we sent out the invitations for her party, she made a special request. I was to put a note into the envelopes for the parents. You see, Girl Spawn decided there was nothing she particularly wanted, and nothing she absolutely NEEDED, so this was to be a "no gift" party. Instead, she wanted to collect donations in a jar. These donations would then be split equally between the SPCA and the missions (for World Vision etc) that her school runs.
In the end, she ended up with just over $100. It makes me proud to know that this is the kind of girl she is becoming.
I am honoured, blessed and deliciously happy to be known as her mother and can only hope that as she gets older, she will want to continue this open and honest relationship that we currently have.
My wonderful daughter - may you have the happiest of birthdays today, and many more to come. I love you dearly and will try not to embarrass you too much in front of your friends as you get older. Note that I said TRY....I can't promise anything. I am, after all, merely human. (Plus, I think it's in the mothering contract that I have to embarrass you on a semi regularly basis over the next 60 years)