Slice of Life Day 29
Today is our oldest daughter’s birthday and she is very far away. I can’t remember the last time we were with her on her birthday, I think it’s been years.
She is the middle child in our family, which apparently means you can feel overlooked and forgotten. This has never been the case with her, I hadn’t even considered her as the middle child until it was pointed out to me.
She has at times complained that we don’t have many photos of her, when she was little or growing up, compared to our other children (this being back in the non-digital age of cameras where you had to actually put in a roll of film and then get it developed.)
So today in her absence, I thought I would imagine I was looking through a (non-existent) photo album of snapshots with her. I do actually have some of these photos but they are not here except for the two I’ve included…
The refrain is partly inspired by Jacqueline Woodson’s book…This is the Rope….
This is when you used to shuffle along on your bottom instead of crawling, holding something in each hand (which of course you couldn’t do if you had decided to crawl).
This is when you got that knitted doll from your granny, it was the only doll you ever had or really liked and it had socks that kept falling off and you would run around saying, mum, sock off, until I got fed up and sewed the socks on permanently.
This is when we were going to go down to the beach and I said I was taking a folding chair to lie on because I was very pregnant with your twin sisters but you didn’t need a chair and you looked at me and said, when I grow up I’m going to have twins, or maybe even tablets. (triplets)
This is when we looked after a muscovy duck for friends (ducksat I suppose) and one day we heard this shrieking outside and when we ran out, we found you lying flat on your back with the duck sitting on your chest flapping its wings. We think that’s why you’re the only one of our children who has an aversion to pets.
This is when you went off to school for the first time with your two older brothers, in your school uniform.
This is when you came home and sat your twin sisters down and taught them everything you had learnt that day at school. I could even hear your teacher’s voice speaking through you.
This is when you came to India with us and you all had your first plane trip ever. You understood more or less, where we were going, but I think your little sisters thought that India was just down the end of the street.
This is when you caught a chest infection that turned into pneumonia and I said, do you want to go to the doctor and you said, I’ll be fine, mum, until finally you looked so bad, that I took you to a paediatrician and she tried to accuse me of child neglect.
This is when you made a whole lot of new friends when we went to a meeting at a hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas.
This is when you came with us to the local zoo along with your sisters and a whole group of kids from our feeding program in a local slum area. Most of you fitted into the jeep!
This is when you went off to boarding school in south India with your twin sisters and older brother and made so many friends from different countries and continued to grow as a very special person in our lives and the lives of those around you.
And this is who we celebrate today, a beautiful young lady who continues to grow in wisdom and understanding and doesn’t seem to have suffered at all from ‘middle child’ syndrome. Happy birthday!