12th October 2002. The day I became a mummy.
I often can’t remember why I went into a room, or what I was going to say to someone as I’m about to say it, but the second H was born and placed in my arms, I can remember every part of it. From her tiny bum fitting into the palm of my hand, to her huge, wide eyes staring around the room, like she’d been here before and was just checking us all out.
The little triangle birthmark she had on the base of her neck, her jet black hair, every part of her was a huge surprise but like I’d always known her.
She’s 16 today. They say the days are long but the years are short. Never have I heard a truer statement.
I am beyond proud of the woman she’s becoming. The person she is and the absolute joy she has bought to our lives since the day she arrived.
There are a million things you learn once you’ve become a parent, some are a shock, others are kind of a given. I couldn’t list them all (nor could I remember them on the spot!) but here’s my 16 at 16.
Holly Boo, this one is for you.
1: If you have kids, never cuddle your baby to sleep. She will rely on this until she is at least 5 and you will lose hours of evening while a grown adult lays on floor next to her, also falling asleep. Uh huh.
2: The funny words* you used will never, ever, be forgotten. Radigator? Milter? Argie Bargie? Yup, we still use them today. We always will, even at your wedding. In fact, I’ll make sure your own kids use them too!
3: You don’t seem to grow out of clumsiness. Actually, as a teenager, I’m amazed at what you can now trip over. Or walk into. And after the childhood accidents you had, that’s no mean feat!
4: The 4am wake ups have stopped. Finally. And they’ve now been replaced by a person who seems incapable of leaving their bed at all. I’m not sure which is worse.
5: Teaching you to be kind and confident has been more important than any school lesson. Knowing you are proud of yourself, and that you’re one of the kindest people I know, regardless of whether you ‘fit in’ or not, make me realise we’ve done a good job. Phew!
6: Even thought you’re the same size as me, you need cuddles. Maybe even more so. Don’t try and fool me that you don’t.
7: I will be an embarrassment no matter what I do. So sometimes I’m really going to go for it. You’re gonna have to deal with it!
8: The mum guilt will last forever and a day. Even if you’ve been an absolute a*sehole to me, the second you go to bed, I will blame myself. I think it’s a parental law. I also think you are completely aware of this fact….!
9: I wish I had kept all of the ‘drawings’ you did for me at nursery/school. (Any parent who says they did is a liar!)
10: It really doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, or when you decide, as long as you are happy.
11: The thought of someone upsetting you will make me angrier than I ever thought possible.
12: I thought I’d enjoy the extra freedom I have now you’re older and you don’t “need” me as much. I don’t. And you will always need me, just as much as I need you.
13: The worry gets worse. Before, it was packing enough clean clothes and nappies, now it’s keeping you safe and not letting social media control your life. Is bubble wrap allowed yet? Maybe a convent is a good idea…
14: Being open about sex and relationships might seem cringeworthy, but making everything seem normal is more important than being embarrassed. Anything and everything can be spoken about. I will never, ever judge you. Tell me whatever you need to tell me. I might get angry, but I’ll get over it and we will work out a solution together.
15: I’ll always know when you’re fibbing to me. You have always been, and will always be, a terrible liar. Never change that.
16: No matter how old you are, how big you get, how far away you are from us, we will always, always have your back. If you need to be picked up, we are there. If you need reassurance, we are there. Whatever you need, we are always there.
You, baby girl, are one in a million. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
Happy 16th Birthday x
* Radigator = Radiator // Milter = Water // Argie Bargie = Onion Bhagie!!!