Happy Birthday Paris…

Twenty-two years ago today I was ready to meet my first daughter.  I was excited, I had a flashy brooch that spelled out her name pinned to the lapel of any jacket or shirt I was wearing.  The fake diamonds announced PARIS, I still have it on a popular lapel.

Hubby and I had fallen in love in Paris.  Well, he claims it was love at first sight when he walked into the Europcar at Victoria station so I suppose I fell in love in Paris with the man who was already head over heels in love with me.  It was our second date, Paris.  That’s France not Texas!  For years afterwards my brother always asked me if I had my passport with me when I was going out with my crazy Texan…just in case.

We pledged to call out first daughter Paris after the city of love and twenty-two years ago I was on the verge of holding her.

It had been a good pregnancy, I only gained 20lbs which for a third child was acceptable.  Just for the record I didn’t gain 20lbs on top of all the other weight I hadn’t lost with the previous hulking boy babies, this was a mere 20lbs more than my usual pre-baby weight.  I jokingly told Paris last night she weighed 21lbs so I only had to lose 1lb!  She didn’t buy this old joke of mine.

I had worked the day before and because the birth was a scheduled C-section I had no worries about breaking waters and embarrassing moments in my 100 strong phone room full of operators where we were in the full swing of summer frenzies and i was ready but waiting, to burst!  I came home, ate ice cream and went to bed with my alarm set for 5am.

My alarm was set for 5am this morning too, not for birthing reasons, for sandwich making reasons.  My youngest was opening the store in Bromley and needed to catch the 540am bus.  She was Skyping her non-related nearest and dearest so I volunteered to make a sandwich for her.

“Happy Birthday Paris!” I emailed at 6am my time.  I sent her a long list of misses which probably made her cry, they did me, but then it was very early.  At around lunchtime we Skyped and sang the Happy Birthday song to each other and I glimpsed her happy, smiling face, better than just a voice, not so good as a warm bodied hug!

I went to collect Malia from work and she was running 30 minutes late which brought her shift to an even 10 hours.  She hadn’t had time for lunch so I had the pleasure of eating the baguette I’d made with love before I was fully awake this morning.  Peanut butter and marmite, mmm..

Paris would like me to have made her a chocolate trifle today as her birthday cake, candles are an impossibility with this special confection so I also would have had to make a normal cake to sustain 22 and be there for her to make a wish and blow them out!

When children get older and very independent, it is easier and easier for families to drift.  I am going to spend the entire next portion of my life trying to keep our family within one State, beginning with me!  From a mother who carried her children closely for nine months and then would only let them go with the help of a knife, being this far away from a child on her birthday is unbearable.

I was a necessary presence for all the birthdays, they couldn’t have happened without me!

Empty nest is a whole lot more than children moving out!

“Happy Birthday Paris!”

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