It’s that time of year again. The time when I start to reminisce back to hours before I met you, back to the time when I was a young, naive and, looking back, slightly chav looking 19 year old. Those hours when I was a bag of excitable nerves, wondering what birth would be like, would you come out in covered in gunk (I was adamant I wouldn’t touch you if you were) I wondered if you’d have a winky or a front bum? I had so many things running through my mind and I was pretty shit scared about what was to come. I just wanted to skip ahead a few hours and get straight to the bit where you’d make your big entrance into the world.
Well you did make an entrance, not the one I expected. I held you in my arms (by this point I’d forgotten about my gunk pledge) and wondered if babies were meant to come out so quietly? All the tv births I’d watched in preparation were so different to mine, and those babies screamed.
But you? You didn’t scream. You were silent. You looked like a little doll, content and peaceful in my arms. I wondered (and hoped) you’d always be this quiet. That was, until the midwife was so concerned by your silence that she pricked you with a needle in the heel to get you to cry. Bloody hell did you cry. I remember wanting to rip her head off for not warning me that she was about to hurt my perfect little girl, and seeing you cry for the first time was tough. You weren’t meant to cry because someone had hurt you. That wasn’t how it was meant to be. That’s when I knew that it would be the first and last time I ever allowed anyone to hurt you.
Those first twenty minutes were probably the quietest you’ve EVER actually been. We always said that when you cried as a baby, you had no decibel level, and, the older you get, the decibel level continues to rise.
Beth, I know you hate it when I get all emotional on you. You’re very guarded in comparison to me, I show my emotion so openly where as you don’t, for you, showing emotion is embarrassing. And to me, that reminds me of how very teenage you are.
I don’t know how we’ve got to this point so quickly. I’m going to bed as a Mother to a thirteen year old but waking up with a fourteen year old. I’m not even old enough!
You are, and always be, my one, single purpose in life. I go to bed at night and feel thankful that I created perfection, I wake up in the morning, smell your morning breath and consider whether or not there was maybe a little room for improvement. Seriously though, I wouldn’t change a thing about you.
Lately, we argue a lot. I know it’s normal, I know it’s part of growing up and I know you’re just trying to find you’re way in life, but I hate it. I hate that for maybe just a few moments, you dislike me, you feel I’m being unfair or don’t care. And that’s where you are wrong. I argue with you because I do care, because I want you to make the right choices in life and I don’t want you to make any of the mistakes I’ve ever made. Yes, you’ll make mistakes, yes, you’ll get your heartbroken, yes, you’ll get drunk a few times too soon and get vomit in your hair, yes, you’ll look in a mirror one day and see imaginary love handles that nobody else can but that’s normal. That’s life. And those are the reasons I argue with you, because I want to keep you protected from all those moments because I am your Mother and that is my job.
I admire how independent you are, you know your own mind and your morals are so admirable. Sometimes, hearing you talk is hilarious, you’re like an old lady, stuck in the times. But I love that about you, you’re sensible and know what’s right and wrong. People tell me you’ll be drinking and smoking soon but I know you won’t. I know you better than that, you hate the smells of cigarettes and find drunk people irritating.
You can be the most entertaining human being but also the most annoying person I’ve ever met before. It’s like you have no off button. Forever on the wind up with stupid voice when you’ve been told off or dancing around when I’m trying to clean the house. Please don’t ever stop, even when I tell you to sod off, please don’t stop being you. You are kind, courageous, loyal, sensible, sarcastic, stubborn and energetic. You’re smart, funny, sassy, brave, bold, boisterous and cheeky. You’re one of a kind. You’re my one of a kind.
I’m so proud of the young woman you’ve turned out to be. I may not like it when you strop around the house and grunt at me because you’re in a mood, I may not like that you’d prefer to hang out with your friends these days instead of me, but that doesn’t make me think any less of you. You’re a normal (ish) teenager doing all the right things. There’s never a day when you don’t make me smile and never a day when I don’t feel lucky to be your Mum. I wish daily that I could freeze time but I can’t, you’re growing up and I have to let you.
Grow up and be you Beth. Be all the things you want to be and more. I will here, watching you and guiding you along the way, it’s not easy growing up, trying to find the right path in life, but you’re doing well.
And tomorrow, when you turn fourteen, just remember, I loved you then, and I love you now, more than I ever thought possible.
Happy Birthday beautiful girl.