Charlotte…


…my first baby.

I don't mention her very often because I always seem to be busy doing things with my youngest two and Charlotte is at that age whereby her friends are, quite rightly, the only important thing in her life. So, because of all the usual teenage distractions from her peers and due to the sheer volume of homework she gets…exams coming up etc…she's often detached from family life.

I fell in love with Charlotte the minute I found out I was pregnant with her. And when she was born I will always remember her being wrapped up and placed in my arms. I held her in my arms on a trolley while we were taken down to the maternity ward. Her eyes wide open looking around, eyebrows frowning. With a full head of dark brown hair, she was just so soft and beautiful. And she smelled so lovely. I couldn't stop smelling her head and kissing her. I love that new-born baby smell. I still get broody when I go on the maternity wards.

She was always a bright and intelligent child and as a toddler she would get into my bed in the mornings and we would recite nursery rhymes. I was always amazed at the way she would remember the words after just one demo from me. And sometimes we would sit at the bottom of the stairs and she would tell me stories about a family of little mice and their stair adventures.

We used to do a lot of hiking in the lakes and her Dad would carry her in a papoose carrier which was great if she slept but if she was awake she created hell to try and get out. She has reached the top of some of the highest mountains in England on her Dad's back. We also did a lot of rock-climbing and on one occassion we took some friends. The son of this couple was the same age as Charlotte and he was a bit of a show-off so I couldn't help but have a secret smug moment when Charlotte leapt up the rocks to the top like a mountain goat while the lad just watched and stared and then froze when it was his turn to try.

She has always been a deep and quiet child and every teacher has always said the same thing at every parents evening…"Charlotte is a very intelligent and bright girl..but she's very quiet." I just used to sigh inside. It was never a problem for me. Quiet has its place too. We can't all be extrovert and loud.

As a teenager, she is still quiet, deep and moody. She can't be doing with fuss and she can't bear shallow people. She's turned out to be very much like I was in the music and fashion world in that she doesn't do mainstream. She's been a mosher and she's touched on goth/punk but I know she'd deny that she was ever those things because she refuses to be labelled.

She's taking important exams soon and we're very proud of her academic achievements so far. She has shown a natural understanding of Sociology and she has a creative and artistic flair. She's not too sure what she wants to do but she does have a general direction in mind which helps. She's very interested in Psychology but she also says she would enjoy writing, perhaps become a columnist for a magazine. If she gets the grades she wants to do four A levels in Psychology, Sociology, English Lit/Language and the fourth is a tie between Philosophy and Media Studies. Media Studies will win the day methinks because there's a trip to New York involved and who can blame her huh? She has a desire to live in New York and I hope she makes it. I reckon she will.

Tomorrow night is a very special night for her. Her school-leavers do. She is going to wear a gorgeous red and black dress with matching red shoes and accessories. A limousine, no less, is picking her up along with some of her friends and a lot is expected of this evening. It is to be the climax of their whole school life and it's going to be very special.

So…..here's wishing my lovely, lovely daughter a magical and memorable evening tomorrow and here's hoping that all her hard work and revision pays off. She deserves it and I believe in her.

But what I want to know is…where did the years go?

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by clare on May 17, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    I can’t believe she is leaving school already! I had a tear in my eye there reading that! I think the first born child ALWAYS holds a much more prominent place in our hearts, however hard we try to treat them all the same. Tell her to have a GREAT night, from me!!!!!

    Reply

  2. Thanks Clare. I will. Her last day at school today officially. She only has to go in for exams and revision after today. She’s got permanent marker pens at the ready for all the shirt-signing and I’ve nervously let her borrow my camera.

    Reply

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