Today is a mammoth day.
Today my first born stops being a child and becomes an adult.
Joni, Happy 18th Birthday sweetheart!
I have a few things that I want to say.
Firstly, I’m sorry that the very first words you heard from my mouth were, “Ooh, she looks like a punk!”
But you proudly wore the best hair gel known to man, child or midwife. Which leads me to my second apology – I’m sorry that I made you crap yourself in the womb. The midwife explained that you must have had a rather large shock, she could even pinpoint roughly when in the pregnancy that shock actually happened, the marvellous woman. So you’re in the loop: I was running for a bus, heavily pregnant and I fell. I know, I know, the midwife tutted a bit at the thought of my all-up-front-baby-belly crashing down toward the ground. But in my defence, I was trying to help another, even more heavily pregnant woman. You see it wasn’t my bus. Instead, my friend, another future mother-to-be, sat on her bus and forgot to get up and dismount the said bus (she was coming to visit us) and so I raced alongside banging on the window and well, you know the rest…
Despite calling you a punk, you have to know that I was totally smitten with you from the second I laid eyes on you. I thought that you were the most beautiful thing I had seen in my life. I was high on drugs and somewhat uninhibited so I got away with banning every visitor from leaving the room until they had admitted that you were, in fact, the most beautiful baby ever to be born. Those visitors included our own guests of course, as well as midwives, auxiliaries, cleaners and naturally a sprinkling of doctors. Some of them seemed to find it all highly amusing (though not as funny as when, post caesarian, I yelled at the doctor to “Bring back my foot!” – I couldn’t feel my legs and all I saw was some gentleman’s hands carrying my foot down the operating table – a foot, I’d like to add, that I hadn’t seen for quite a while (you being all up front and that), I do admit that I did have a panicky moment or two thinking that he had surgically removed my lower limb, without permission, and had then proceeded to taunt me with my once bodypart) but some did appear a little irritated – especially once they became known as frequent visitors…
I was so inspired by your beauty that I made up a song for you, right there, in the hospital. I couldn’t stop singing it. And I still remember it. It went like this:
I’m Joni Beth, Joni Beth (insert your surname)
That’s who I am
I’m a beautiful, beautiful baby
With a cutie face…
Unfortunately, despite my inspired moment, I’m no Carole King.
You have developed into a young woman who is not only beautiful on the outside but also on the inside (which is the most important bit).
But sweetheart, despite the fact that you are now an adult, you will always, always be my baby.