Around 3 o'clock tomorrow morning, it will be 12 years since my first cub was born...and changed my life forever.
As I page through my "paper blog" of that time, a fat & worn black journal, reading poems I wrote for my unborn baby since her 6-week fetal heart practically leapt off an ultrasound screen , through to cards from friends and flowers sent to the hospital...112 in all, to the sleep-deprived ramblings before mum and bub found a rhythm...the memories flood back like yesterday.
How I had planned it all...in exquisite detail...the birth, the breastfeeding, the little dresses, the fairy tales, the doll collection preserved for 35 years, the life I envisaged raising a little girl. How none of it went according to plan.
How we learn to adapt...quickly too...and how I love this child for who she is, not what was in my head. I marvel at discovering how she thinks and how her mind gets shaped. How I struggle some days to balance spirit with guidelines and boundaries.
We are so generously gifted with survival instinct and protection of the species skills (and thank God for GOOGLE some days too!)...and even 12 years on, those traits are as strong as ever...allowing nothing to threaten the wellbeing of our children. Moving countries if necessary, sacrificing personal love and happiness if there is a perceived conflict, going without so they can have.
She is far away today...at a school where I hope the emotional price of separation will pay handsome dividends some day...but I know tonight, probably this minute, she lies in her bed longing for her mummy's heartbeat...as I long to hold her in my arms, and sing "Hush lil baby, dontcha cry...mumma's gonna bake ya a chocolate cake".
Though she doesn't know it, her cake will be delivered tomorrow...in the form of a snow-capped mountain conquered by the snow-boarding queen! And next week, when she returns, a cruiser to take her and her mates fishing anywhere they want to go on Sydney Harbour.
So...more photos and memories and a print-out of this blog entry will go into the big fat black journal...to do the talking when I am no longer there...and remind her how special she was to her Mum.