28 years ago, today, I was lying in a hospital bed back in Dunedin, New Zealand. I had just become mum to Jessica, had fallen in love with her ... at first sight, after a long and arduous labour where love at first sight wasn't going to be a given. That would be an Arduous and difficult labour. I always say that she was born at the end of that period where New Zealand women were treated like livestock while giving birth.
Birthing looks like luxury today but I laugh as I write that. I'm not testing this opinion, thank you. To fill out the story a little, one of my doctor's had the same last name as a commonly used recreational drug and honestly, he was in a hurry because he was off to a party. The other ... well, he recognised me from high school. Oh yes ... nothing quite like that moment when he says, 'Hey!' He was the student doctor.
But after a week in labour nothing too much phased me ... I was exhausted. The birth didn't go well. I didn't go back.
But fast-forward 28 years and I couldn't have imagined the life I lead now. Nothing about this was predictable but then again, I have never really applied myself to predictable. 'Routine' causes problems as well. I seem to be a creature of chaos and adventure ... although without being unreliable.
So that was me this morning, cycling back from Dieter's, carrying one of his beautiful flower bouquets for that daughter of mine. And there was her daughter, squeezing oranges and setting a tray for the poached eggs on toast. A breakfast she had planned quite some weeks ago. She was more excited than anyone else about this 28th birthday. It was purely delightful watching as her plans for 'mum's birthday' unfolded.
She even had a countdown on her new phone. When Miss 9 became 10, her Belgian great-grandparents, and their very good friends, Rosa and Jan, gifted her money. She has wanted a phone for quite some time now and none of us here thought it a plan however ... who can resist, a very sensible girl, deciding she would buy one, just for smsing and music.
And for birthday countdowns too.
So it has been a sweet day here in the quirky old Belgian house ... preceded by another sweet day spent with good friends who came over from England. But more on that another time.
Today it's all about that beautiful daughter of mine. Happy birthday, Jessica. Wishing you the most successful year yet, beginning today.
Love, Mum xx