Anyone who has actually given birth - and those who have witnessed it at close quarters - can't fail to be amazed to compare the little squalling bundle that emerged then, with the latest version of now. In just over a week, my niece, the eldest of my only sister's children, will be twenty two. I remember driving over the Pennines to Macclesfield hospital to see her when she was just hours old. I remember being terribly nervous and excited and a little strange. My sister is younger than me and I'd spent my young adult life and then into my thirties saying I never wanted any children. How would I feel to see my little sister with a child of her own?
I needn't have worried - I was thrilled on her behalf but it didn't change a thing as far as I was concerned! And my niece was absolutely gorgeous. And still is, and is very nearly a qualified vet! And just under two years later, her brother was born and he will be twenty a day after my Romy is ten. And she's ten today!
When I met FR, early on in our relationship...OK probably about a week into it...I remember him standing in front of the huge stone fireplace in the flat I was renting and saying he wanted a family like Lupe, his father's friend, had. Eleven girls! Well, I remember thinking eleven sounded rather a lot but that I'd be happy to have as many of his children as I could, bearing in mind I was already almost 37 when we met...
(Turns out Lupe only had nine daughters, not eleven, and I met three of them once - they were stunningly beautiful and strong individuals. I can imagine the young FR being very overwhelmed in their presence! So much so that there seemed to more than there actually were!)
I was delighted to have Mateo and Ruy - but have to admit being deeply shocked and worried when I discovered, at 44, that I wasn't menopausal, but pregnant again. We went for a special scan at at 12 weeks where despite the nurse saying she shouldn't make any comments at all as it was only a scan, she was prepared to say 'this was a good 'un without doubt.' And a girl.
I remember we were overwhelmed as we drove back home. It still took me another eight months to come to terms with us having a third child. But goodness me! If ever a baby had every intention of making herself at home with a personality as strong on day one as it is at age ten, it was Romy.
She has turned into such a wonderful companion. We like just being together either chatting, reading or doing things. She's funny and interested and asks some great questions about life, the universe and everything - some of which I can answer and some which I can't. She wakes up happy most days, enjoys school and her after-school activities and can be counted on to do the things she should do. She says, in the nicest possible way, that she wants an organised house when she's old enough to have her own place - (unlike the disorganised one we live in.)
I am so glad she appeared so unexpectedly in our lives. So incredibly glad.
And here she is wearing the 'traditional' collar of sweets made by FR.
Happy Birthday, my darling Romy.