"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Thursday, May 03, 2018

Happy Birthday

Yesterday was an important day, one of those days for looking back and recalling old memories and for wondering yet again at the swift passage of time. It was Elder Daughter’s birthday, but not just any old birthday, this was one of those ‘stand out’ numbers - forty, to be precise.
However much you like to think you are prepared for these red letter days, they always have a tendency to creep up on you and catch you unawares. They provide an unwelcome reminder of how swiftly life is racing by and there is nothing we can do to stop it. When I was forty, I was horrified, to say the least and by the time fifty came calling, I had decided that I was not prepared to acknowledge any more birthdays. It has taken a very long time to convince everyone that I was, and am, completely serious about this, even if it does mean missing out on presents, so I have resolutely remained fifty-ish ever since and people remind me of my birthdays at their peril. After all, it’s only a number and no-one is a different person the day after their birthday to the one they were the day before.

Still, we are all different and Kathy duly celebrated her imminent big day at the week end and then came to stay with us on Tuesday night, so she had her birthday morning with us, which was lovely and much appreciated. And of course, it led me to thoughts of that day, forty years ago, when I went off to the local hospital to be induced, as she was a bit late putting in an appearance. (This regrettably poor standard of time-keeping has never left her, by the way!) I have vivid memories of the euphoria of seeing her for the first time, holding her in my arms, coming to terms with the fact that now I was a mother and totally responsible for this new little being.
“Once you have a child, things are never the same again,” said one of my sisters in law, mother of three, and indeed she was right.

So, memories of the last forty years:
A tomboy who loved climbing (mainly up the built in shelves in the living room!) and playing with cars, who hated dresses and found playing with dolls supremely boring.
A clever, determined, motivated, hard worker who has a successful career in medicine and also loves gardening and collecting guitars.
Yep, she's turned out all right. It's all in the genes, of course ...


4 comments:

Dale said...

This post leaves me a bit dewy-eyed, with thoughts of my own two. Daniel has steadfastly refused to see me for more than a year. His mental health issues seem to preclude a relationship with me. Unfortunately, it also means I cannot see my grandchildren. Meagan has no education and no job. If (when?) her boyfriend kicks her out, she will be homeless unless she chooses to live with her dysfunctional mother in a flat amid boyfriends, dogs and feral children of various ages. At least Meagan and I see each other regularly. Jenny, I know your Life has not been without heartaches, but you are blessed with Kathy and Claire, and of course young Master Paul. May you all remain young forever.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I am rather like you when it comes to birthdays Jenny. In a state of denial. Any "celebration" is very low key - perhaps a nice meal somewhere - that's all.

I didn't know that Kathy collected guitars. Does she play them too? She could learn to sing "Kathy's Song" by Paul Simon.

Jennyta said...

Yes, she does play them, much better than I ever did too! She has amassed a bit of a collection but is now selling some to finance her latest buy.

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