Happy Birthday, Christine!
36 years ago tonight, almost to the minute, my water broke in the main isle of the K-Mart in Victoria, Bob was at university and I was a young mom-to-be waiting the birth of our second child. Bob and I were very young when we started our family. Whenever the kids complain about unfairness, too harsh of rules or a variety of other parenting issues we tell them they should thank their lucky stars they're even around to complain:)
We pretty much knew nothing about parenting, weren't into reading about it, didn't have the internet and had no family close enough to be of any help on a day to day basis. We flew by the seat of our pants and while I'm sure there were many things we could have done better we just look at the four adults that we raised and feel proud of the many things we did right in spite of our ignorance.
When I had Jason I was pretty sure I was dying and begged for whatever medication they would give me. Pretty much they told me suck it up and get on with my business. Christine's birth, on the other hand, was as all births should be. When my water broke I went to the hospital where they admitted me and put me into a nice comfy bed. The only real pain I had was the nurse who kept waking me up to ask me if I needed anything for the pain, which I didn't. Bob spent the night in the waiting room waiting to pounce should the other dad get up off the one comfy chair. Dad's didn't really go into the delivery room in those days and I'm sure Bob was glad of that at the time. When the time came for me to deliver there was no one in the room and I had to call for the nurse, several times, to tell her I thought my baby was coming. She treated me like I knew nothing and had to do a couple of quick steps to catch Christine as she was born. The doctor showed up a few minutes later, collected his paycheque and headed home for Thanksgiving dinner:) Christine was a bit of a shocker and if you know Jason, you'll know why. Where he was dark, she was light. Where his eyes were as brown as brown could be, hers were a sparkly bright blue. She was the prettiest blue-eyed, blond-haired little girl you could imagine. It didn't seem possible she could be ours. She was a perfect angel. I couldn't have felt better and really, I could have jogged home from the hospital that day. The three days (YES, THREE) that they kept me in the hospital made me twitchy and I was ready to take my perfect little girl home.
The first thing we learned about Christine was that she should have been born with a little sign that said, "I can do it myself!". She was no snuggler and right from the start she taught us all about determination (aka being stubborn:) I tell anyone who will listen now that while Christine's determination made parenting a little more challenging it has stood her in good stead in her life. She has travelled the world, attended four universities, learned a new language and knows how to take care of herself. I see a lot of myself in Christine but the part I admire the most is that she is so determined to live life to the fullest. I didn't learn to do that until much later in life. Our little girl has grown into a dynamo of a woman. She is an energetic, creative teacher, a supportive loving wife and a fun-loving, adoring mom. She has a strong connection to her past and great plans for her future, but most importantly, she makes the most of every day and knows how to enjoy the moment. She makes sure the people in her life know how much she loves them and does countless little things to remind them on a regular basis. What we want her to know today is how much we all love her as well! Happy 36th Birthday Christine! May your year ahead be filled with love, peace and adventure!