Live as long as you may. The first twenty years are the longest half of your life ~ Robert Southey
My beautiful girl is twenty~one to~day ~ & she's not here to celebrate! I was telling a friend, who is pregnant with her first child, that she will never forget her baby's birth. I remember each of my children's births with startling clarity, which is rather surprising when you consider how busily occupied I was at the time!
My mother had come down to help prior to Liddy's arrival [as we'd just moved into the house by the skin of our teeth & didn't even have all the floors down yet]~ & Liddy was nearly the death of her. Every afternoon ma would round up the troops & head off around the block for an afternoon walk. I'd hit the nearest corner & contractions would start. I'd turn tail & waddle just as fast as I could for home to make sure we were all organised for an imminent departure ~ to no avail. By tea time it was all over bar the shouting ~ a complete non~event; and this went on for a week! Dearest swears it could only have been a girl fussing about her appearance & totally unable to make up her mind!
Drama, drama, drama, because having once again spent my evening timing contractions I went to bed in disgust & was sleeping the sleep of the just when my waters finally broke & Dearest initiated the bedlam that passes for organisation in this house. In the old days we had to call out the ferry ourselves ~ & I can assure you the skippers hate having a labouring woman on board & make short work of the twenty minute trip to the mainland! I think we did it in under 10 minutes that night but having finally made up her mind Liddy was wasting no time at all!
Dearest was a little worried as we had to detour for petrol, by which point it was obvious to both of us that this was going to be a very quick birth ~ & so it was. Liddy arrived peacefully in the early hours of the morning. After 3 boys she was something of a shock to the system. The boys all fussed & bellowed & wanted to be held & carried. Not Lid. Nope, not this girl. From the day we got her home we had to ditch the bassinet because Liddy slept like a star fish ~ but from day one she slept through the night from 7pm to 7am! I thought I'd arrived in baby heaven! She never cried. Never. [Actually crying was such a rare occurrence with Liddy that her biggest threat as a toddler was: " But I might cry!"] When she was hungry she let out a polite squawk & then waited patiently till I got to her.
Liddy had brothers ~ 3 of them. She worked out early you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Up until she went to school she was my absolute shadow. She barely spoke to her father. After all he was the man who used to nibble her toes & threatened to gobble her all up! Her mother on the other hand would park her in her high chair for the hens coffee mornings & feed her milk & cake in generous amounts! Yep, she became a Little Miss Have~A~Chat early.
It was Liddy I had with me when we acquired our first island cat, an abandoned cream with ginger points part Siamese whose creamy fur was so riddled with fleas he looked black. She was so excited as we walked home with this seriously gorgeous cat & could barely contain herself until her brothers arived home from school. Technically Lid should have been in pre~school but having done 3 years of pre~school ~twice with her brothers & then once for herself with Distance Ed] she was over it & I pulled her out & we continued on at home. A good thing too because once at school Liddy discovered competitive sport: running, high jump, softball, soccer. She was seriously good at all of it & we spent a lot of time travelling to various sporting events. She seriously wanted to do soccer professionally but God had other things in mind & for a few years there they had a serious war going on.
Liddy has worked really hard to have a close relationship with Dearest & I. At a time when most teenagers are pulling away Liddy was drawing closer, building relationship, making sensible choices. She has been a joy to have in our lives & such a blessing. No matter where she goes or how far she wanders across the face of the earth she will always remain my wide~eyed, brown~eyed little girl who asked nothing more of life than to be allowed to follow in her mummy's footsteps. Happy 21, sweetheart!