Happy Birthday LCee

Today our youngest chillun turns 13.
(Everybody sing Happy Birthday now).

She is clever and insightful. She is a ‘Supernatural’ tragic. Well actually, she loves most shows or movies that have a horror theme. She is an accomplished planker. LCee is also a ‘Guitar Hero’ veteran.

LCee is also one thousand odd kilometres away, so we can’t give her hugs today. So this is our version of big hugs for you LCee! We love you heaps and miss you more. May your birthday be full of fun and laughter. Congratulations on becoming a teenager!

Thanks Brad, that was a lovely ‘happy birthday’… but you know me. I like to stir a little bit…

So now (as often happens on people’s birthdays) I would like to relate a couple of stories about the girl of the day. Let me first cast our minds back to when she was about two…

I (her mother) had been in a foul mood all day. LCee was at home with me and probably bore the brunt of my foulness all day. But she was a naturally bright and happy little girl. I picked the other kids up from school, did the afternoon chores and cooked dinner as usual. After dinner, everyone got up from the table and wandered off in their own directions… and I sat down for a minute, ruing the fact that I’d have to do the dishes and put  them away before I could sit down to relax. I was just starting to wonder on the whole point of it all when a beautiful little blond head popped into my vision. A pair of tiny hands encircled my face and a lovely little kiss landed on my lips.
‘Thank you for cooking such a yummy dinner Mummy,’ she said, so sweetly. ‘You’re such a good cooker.’ I immediately felt the tears threatening to spill down my face, but I smiled and hugged her back.
‘You’re welcome my darling,’ I replied. ‘This is why I do this for you. Oh, and you’re a very good hugger.’ She smiled one of the brightest smiles and ran off to play with her toys. I on the other hand, learnt a beautiful lesson that I’ve never forgotten… anything (no matter how boring or mundane it is) is worth doing and doing well if someone you love appreciates it. Up until that moment I’d almost forgotten it. I do also remember getting up and doing the dishes with a renewed vigor. Thank you for that valuable lesson LCee!

Now let’s move forward in time to her school-going days…
LCee was the youngest of my family, six years younger than her closest sibling. She looked forward to going to school for ages. On her first day of pre-school I found myself feeling sadder than I remembered feeling when the other kids packed their little bags for the first time. This was my baby, after all. I knew this was the last time I’d do this job. I was very brave on the outside though. We walked in through the doors and I showed her where to hang her bag, and where her face washer went in the bathroom. I introduced her to her teachers and we did a quick little tour of the toys and games. Before long some other kids came over and started playing with her. I watched with pride as they began their games, but I was prepared to wait a while in case she lost her nerve. After a little while though she jumped up and came over to me.
‘You can go home now Mum,’ she told me brightly. ‘I’ve got friends to play with and you don’t have to hang around.’ Those damned tears threatened me again, but I held them back, kissed her and told her that she’d have a great day… then I left the building. I also sat in the car for a minute before I drove away. The tears refused to stay away. It didn’t seem fair that my baby was leaving me, but it worked out well after all. Happily, she did have a great first day. She told me all about it that afternoon… in great detail :0)

And I remember my eldest daughter telling me how incredibly proud she was of her littlest sibling one day after sports day…
‘I asked LCee to show me who her friend Josh* was today. She looked around and pointed to a bunch of kids across the field.’
‘That’s him over there,’ she replied. ‘The boy with the curly hair.’
‘Mum, did you know that Josh* is an aboriginal?’ the oldest one asked, to which I nodded. ‘Wow! I had no idea. She never mentioned that to me… and she said he had curly hair. It would’ve been easier to say the boy with dark skin! I’m so proud of her.’ So was I, let me tell you.

And finally, one more story… something that happened just last year. I almost wasn’t going to add this one because I was afraid that this one would hurt her… but I’m going to add it anyway because it’s another reason that I’m incredibly proud of her!
Now LCee’ father and I have been separated since she was six. When we first split up she told me that she wanted to live with me. And a good job at that, because I wouldn’t have had it any other way. She was only six, after all. My ex and I worked things out and we tried to maintain civility for the kids’ sakes. It all worked well for a while. Then we (Brad and I) were offered work and accommodation out of town. We took the opportunity to take the work and left. Unfortunately (not for us) we also took the second youngest with us. Now, she had been living with her father at the time (another story I won’t go into today). They’d been having some major dramas and she asked to come with us. What could we do? We had to agree. But, the ex didn’t like the idea and started a legal battle to get LCee into his care^. It was rather convoluted and stretched on… and resulted in the police accompanying him to drag her back to his home. I admit considering taking off into the bush with her, but we drove back to Rockhampton and delivered her to him… it broke our hearts but at the time we still had faith in our legal system. It was about two years later that I finally gave up hope… after a discussion with the golden haired girl herself.
‘Mum, I don’t want you to be angry with me,’ she announced tentatively. ‘But I want to live with Dad now.’ Wow! Bang went my heart on the floor.
‘What?! Why? What did I do wrong?’
‘Nothing. I just… I just like the TV. And I don’t want you and Dad to fight any more. Not because of me.’
I’m ashamed to say that I cried, yelled and said some very horrible things to her that day.
‘Why do I have to do this?’ I asked as the tears fell freely. ‘Why should I miss out on you so that he can have what he wants?’
‘Because you know that he won’t,’ she replied quietly, her own voice croaking through the tears.
And so I signed the appropriate paperwork and relinquished her to her terribly greedy^ father’s care. I regretted it for quite some time afterwards, but I had to. I made my kids a promise to respect their wishes. And now I’m glad I did really. Things have been easier for her since then. I miss her terribly, but I’m also incredibly proud of the wisdom of my littlest girl. Even at the age of 12 she saw the only way to stop the mess we were all in. She warms my heart in amazing ways… every day.

Now I could continue. There are so many things about LCee that I am incredibly proud of. She’s smart and funny. She loves horror movies. She’s got lots of friends and she’s doing well at high school. She loves to go late night shopping and she spoke out when she heard about that planking debacle. In fact, she speaks up when she needs to… and she holds her tongue when she needs to as well. She’s an amazing kid and I hope she has a great day today.

I hope all your 13 year old dreams come true today, our darling. I wish we could be there to hug you and tease you ourselves… but we can’t. Go now and hug your big siblings… you can pretend that they are us instead.

Happy birthday, our baby. Have a wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL day.

Lots of love and kisses from Mum and Brad.

* Name changed because I don’t remember his real one.

^ All my own opinions. Let him try to sue me, we have no money or items of value. Besides, I could prove this if I needed to.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: