Grow Slow…Happy Birthday Miss 9!

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feelin’ groovy.

Paul Simon : The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)

Last night, as I kissed our daughter goodnight, she said: “This is my last night of being eight.” She was overjoyed!! She’s one of the youngest in her year at school and it’s no secret she gets a bit cheesed off that it takes eternity for her birthday to come round each year. There’s only a couple of months and the frustrating tail-chasing game starts all over again. Like all kids, she wants to grow up too quick. Our “little Miss” is 9 going on about 15 especially when she struts around the house in her fancy silver high heels, which almost fit her now. It wasn’t that long ago that I’d bought them from the charity shop for dress ups!!

That said, she is still a little girl and boys are still “yuck”…thank goodness!!

Im not sure how long that’s going to last with her brother who turns 11 in less than a fortnight and heads off to High School next year. I have no illusions about what all of that means. However, I feel much better prepared for the teenage years than I was for early childhood. At least, I can remember what it was like to be a teenager and I’m sure it was only yesterday.

Family Photo Back at Home.

Family Photo Back at Home 9 long years ago.

As we celebrate another round of birthdays and I’m forced to think about the passage of time yet again, I am reminded of time’s  cruel tricks. Since all other theories and explanations have failed, I’ve concluded there’s some kind of horrid, malevolent watch matcher lurking somewhere way up in the sky who keeps tinkering with the cogs and speeding things up. Don’t you agree?

I mean…Surely time couldn’t move that fast unless it was taking performance enhancing drugs and even then we’re talking about lethally high doses.

Someone or indeed, something, is doing an awful lot of tinkering with the gears up there. That’s the only way I can explain how time goes really fast when you want it to go slow and conversely barely seems to move at all, when you really want it to speed up like while you’re waiting in a supermarket queue and the person in front of you with enough food to feed an entire army can’t remember their pin and you’re running late and your child is standing on a street corner after dark in their ballet leotard and it’s cold and you don’t know what sort of creeps are hanging around.

Time always goes agonisingly slow then!!!

Ever the philosopher, me at around 6 months.

h Ever the philosopher, me at around 6 months.

Once upon a birthday, my grandparents used to sing me “Happy Birthday” on the phone and my grandmother would tell me year after year, about when they “got the phone call” and my father told them they had a grand-daughter and they’d put her in a warmer. She always left out all the details such as how I was facing sunny side up and things had been touch and go. That THAT phone call wasn’t just about “it’s a girl”. It was a serious answer to prayer and their daughter and grand-daughter had made it through a rather perilous journey called birth.

You forget that your baby is hopefully crying the first time you see them.

You forget that your baby is hopefully crying the first time you see them.

There were no life or death dramas when our daughter was born, aside from when Big Brother, the inimitable “Little Man”, decided to climb up on the hospital bed to have a cuddle with Mum and activated the  emergency switch. That immediately and brutally flung the head of the bed straight down and in the process, the drip stand fell down and bumped Miss on the head. Miss ended up with a bruise on her forehead and was sent off to the Special Care Nursery for observation. A storm in a teacup but we still stir Mister about that. It’s not his only tale. The antics of “Little Man” are legendary but largely just involve a healthy curiosity combined with high speed.

Getting back to our daughter’s arrival…

The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the endless skies, my love
To the dark and the endless skies

Roberta Flack (a romantic song but so apt)

Little Miss a few days old.

Little Miss a few days old.

The other thing, I remember, of course, is the very first moment I saw her.  She was much smaller than I’d expected and only weighed 2.93 kg and was an average length of 49cm. She was exceptionally petite and I guess given that I’m quite tall myself (174cm or 5 ft 10″), I was a little surprised. She was so tiny that we needed to get her baby-pink, miniscule 0000 Bond Suits outfits from the Special Care Nursery where they were kept nice and warm for the premmie babies. My Mum was sent to buy some micro-clothes for when we went home.

Our Gorgeous Little Rainbow Fairy Almost Aged 5 and About to Start School.

Our Gorgeous Little Rainbow Fairy Almost Aged 5 and About to Start School.

I know I’ve mentioned time before but tell me, where does time go? I know lines like that are cliched and a road too well-traveled for a seasoned writer and yet, this great mystery still hasn’t been explained. Not all time travels at the same rate and where my daughter’s concerned, time has fast-forwarded faster than the speed of light!!

Miss on her first day of school.

Miss on her first day of school.

After all, I could have sworn she wasn’t born that long ago and she’s only just started school. Yet, somehow she’s migrated from infants into primary and is now well, perhaps not towering over all of the new kindergarten kids but has certainly moved on. I feel like I’ve been hit by a flying brick and I’m lost, almost in a trance or in a dream, while everything flies past me.

I’m so confused!!! (Remember John Travolta as Vinnie Barbarino in Welcome Back Cotter?

I hope she’s had a Happy Birthday. She opened her presents before school and as it turned out, the local radio station was at school this morning and they wished her Happy Birthday on air…much cooler than on Mummy’s blog!!

Miss celebrates her birthday with SeaFM Radio Host Kristi before school.

Miss celebrates her birthday with SeaFM Radio Host Kristi before school.

She took the most amateur-looking Cake Pops to school for her class. I can’t believe I let her talk me into making those because, as my mother advised me, you never make something new for a special occasion and when I’ve broken that Golden Rule, I’ve regretted it. As we all know, regret with family birthday cakes is usually accompanied by nerve crushing angst, tears and if you’re really wound up…hurling the cake across the room.

That is, if the dog hasn’t eaten the cake first. I have very bad memories of a food-thieving, greedy Old English Sheepdog called Rufus being caught in the act. That dog used to steal food and swallow it plastic bag and all. Eventually, we’d find the evidence deposited on the back lawn!!

I don’t know how that dog survived for so long!

Happy Birthday Miss!

Happy Birthday Miss!

Instead of having a special birthday dinner tonight, the kids were off to Cubs and Scouts. As we still haven’t sorted out the details of either of the kids’ birthday parties yet, this was opportune as a few of their friends were there. That meant making a batch of chocolate cupcakes and huge boxes of chips for tonight’s celebration. Miss told the lady at the checkout that: “Scouts love junk food and we purchased supplies. What a great ambassador!

Happy Birthday Chocolate Cupcakes for Scouts.

Happy Birthday Chocolate Cupcakes for Scouts.

There’s a world of quotes which I could pass onto my daughter but here are a couple from AA Milne’s: Winnie The Pooh.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
A.A. Milne
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

I also like this one from Stephen Fry:

“We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I’m going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.”
Stephen Fry

Happy Birthday Precious Miss!

May all of your dreams come true..,in time. I’d like you to grow up before you open that dream fashion business in Paris. Climb some trees. Make clothes for your dolls and film them with your iPad. Ride your bike. Walk the dogs and wear your hair in plaits with rainbow nails and silver high heels, which are still too big and keep baking glittery cakes and drawing precious pictures just for fun.

As much as you yearn to grow up, you can’t rewind time. It only speeds up.

You might not appreciate it it now but there’s real beauty in growing slow.

Love & Blessings!

Rowena & Mummy

Me & My Girl

Me & My Girl

PS A week after Mister’s birthday sitting at Palm Beach, I stumbled across this song Forever Young by Rod Stewart, which I wanted to send to Miss as a post birthday present:

16 thoughts on “Grow Slow…Happy Birthday Miss 9!

  1. Tails Around the Ranch

    So adorable and such a sweet post. Wishing your Miss the happiest birthday ever.
    ✿•*¨`*•. (¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯) .•*¨`*•✿. . . ✿•*¨`*•.¸(¯`v´¯)¸.•´*¨`*•✿ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Best wishes for an ‘pawesome’ 9 year old¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

  2. merrildsmith

    Happy Birthday to your daughter! What a lovely tribute, and what perfect quotes. My two girls had birthdays this month, as well. They are both in their 20s now. One was married last year, and the other one is getting married this summer. Time does fly, but what comes along is also wonderful. I love them as adult women. My younger daughter called me yesterday just to say hi because she hadn’t talked to me in a few days. (She would love your daughter’s fairy dress.) 🙂

  3. roweeee Post author

    Thank you very much, Merril. Seeing your daughters get married would be such an amazing thing. My Dad was bursting with pride when he walked me down the aisle.
    It sounds like you have really good relationships with your daughters, which isn’t a given and very special. Despite all the rhetoric about “mothers & daughters”, it is often a strained, challenging relationship.
    My daughter’s fairy dress was purchased in the hippy town of Nimbin, inland from Byron Bay. People used to escape up there into a hippy nirvana or drug haze back in the 70s and 80s. It’s now apparently quite rough in parts but it’s still a popular tourist spot. The shops etc are all painted and there is this general theme of Rainbow Town.
    The Rainbow Dress brings back such beautiful memories of her wearing her dress-ups when we went to pick her brother up from school. It warms my heart when I see other little ones up there now. That said, overall, I prefer them older where you can talk and do things more together. When my daughter was little, she didn’t talk much and there would be silence in the car. She’s quite chatty now and much more of a companion.

  4. merrildsmith

    We are close. My girls started talking when they were very young, so I’ve always had that. 🙂 Thanks for the info about Nimbin, which I’ve never heard of. My younger daughter is doing sort of a rainbow color scheme for her wedding. My husband was very proud and emotional. He and I both walked our older daughter down the aisle, and both of her wife’s parents walked her down. I think my husband and I will both walk our younger daughter down the aisle, but I think the groom will walk by himself. I think there are good and bad times that happen at each age. Fortunately, I think we tend to forget the bad ones.

  5. roweeee Post author

    Have you seen rainbow lorrikeets? They are the most beautiful birds. There’s a pair which live at my parent’s place at Palm Beach and we occasionally feed them bread and honey. They’re very sweet.
    I love how you and your husband walked your daughter down the aisle and the same with her wife. My Mum is very conservative and wasn’t into that.
    I hope your daughter’s wedding goes really well. I am quite a rainbow lover and my toenails are still rainbow colours from when my daughter painted them in the holidays. I also love Kombis but have only ever been in one once.

  6. maxwellthedog

    “Boys are yuck” is music to a Dad of Daughters ears. We swear we won’t let them loose until they are 38 or so but inevitably they grow up and the yuck factor disappears and those nasty bug and frog catchers become Prince Charmings except to the Dads of Daughters.

    Your Little Miss is indeed a beauty and to paraphrase again from an earlier conversation “Oh the places she will go!”

  7. roweeee Post author

    The longer the boys stay yuck from my point of view the better as well. I am even more concerned about her older brother who starts high school next year. I hope he stays interested in Minecraft for a few more decades.

  8. Nashie

    9 years!! I remember sitting in that hospital room, my belly bulging and full of fear at the impending birth of our own Master H, with you feeding a precious little babe (safely on the “other side” of events), retelling in horror the story of the collapsing bed. It does not seem so long ago.

    Congratulations to you and your lovely girl. She is so beautiful, and it is lovely to see her enjoying her birthday so much.

  9. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Nashie. It’s amazing how things have changed so much for all of us and such a blessing. Parenthood is such a journey being stretched, challenged, loving, loved. We have Mister’s birthday next Sunday…turning 11 and high school next year. Feels like I just did “What Makes Toddlers Tick” and now I’m looking for parenting courses etc for teens. Next, I’ll be looking at rocking chairs! Love & blessing to you all xx Ro

  10. Minuscule Moments

    Looks like she had a wonderful day Rowena. Where does time go. When I was eight time went slow but my kids admit it goes so fast. Maybe because we squish so much into our days.

  11. roweeee Post author

    I guess so. I also wonder whether the media has anything to do with it. Even yesterday’s news seemingly happened a decade ago. There’s always the newest, the latest flashing in front of us.
    Personally, I have a real love of retro and today I picked up a 1940s black bakelite phone which looks just like my grandparents’ phone when I was a kid. My grandparents had a Cockney housekeeper and I can still hear her answering the phone. I have been wanting to get one of these forever and this was was $75.00. It was a bit of an indulgence but I love it!!! I’ll have to dress my daughter up in some vintage clothes and take some photos of her on the phone. Can’t wait!!!

  12. moragh7

    Hope she grows up to be your best friend, like my daughter now turning 18 this summer is to me. Our tunes are ” Slipping threw my Fingers, Meryl Streep and George Michael, “Let her down Easy” strike a chord.

  13. Adventures of a Novice Mum

    How so very very lovely! What a read this will be for your lovely daughter in the future. O yes, how time passes; how we need to soak up our seconds with our very-quickly-not-so-little-ones! Thanks for the reminder; I’m still in the early-ish stages – just over a year into our journey.

    A very beautiful piece, so glad I read it. Thanks for sharing.

  14. roweeee Post author

    I remember the first year being a serious rollercoaster ride of incredible highs and serious lows and so much confusion. There is so much pressure on us to work but life is also and even more so about relationships, people and to love and be loved. It is a very delicate balance but it is through juggling this balance and re=evaluating what we’re doing that we become more rounded and enriched people.

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