Monday, 20 September 2010

Nearly 22 years later......

It was an early morning dash to the hospital. I'd left it to the last minute. This was my fourth child - so I reckoned I knew what to expect. A couple of hours and a fair amount of swearing later, there she was.
Megan Elizabeth, my Meggie Moo, a whopping 10lbs 1oz and far hairier than you might expect, but beautiful nonetheless. The last of my children, forever and a day, my baby girl.
So, why am I writing about her today? It's not her birthday, she's not about to leave home. She hasn't just announced her intention to get married / travel the world / take herself off to a nunnery. Nothing significant, nothing earth-shattering. And yet, something is changing.
A few weeks ago she passed her driving test. Tonight, when we both got in from work, she wanted me to look at AutoTrader with her, to help her buy a car.
Of course I'm pleased that she passed her test - not least because I'd given a promise, as a 21st birthday present, that I would pay for however many lessons  she needed to get her through.
And now that she's legally allowed to drive, of course I want her to be able to do so. I realise there might even be a chance, every now and then, that she will pick me up, or take me somewhere.
So all is good.  And things are moving on as I'd hoped and expected they might. Except...except....

I've always been the one who took her places.
....... the trips backwards and forwards, night after night, to her dancing lessons, singing along to the songs of the Beautiful South. With my choice of music making its way, indelibly, into her brain. I need a little time our inappropriate duet.
........the time I set out in a hideous snow storm to see her perform in Fiddler on the Roof at school, because I couldn't bear that she wouldn't have anyone there to watch her, and the hairy scary, slipping, sliding drive home again.
........the journey to Leeds University, where she sobbed every inch of the way
........the trip back home again, with me pretending I was cross that she'd given up university, when really I was just pleased to have her back.
........the countless lifts to the station, to her friends' houses, to visit family; all with a backdrop of overly loud singing to songs from musicals.
I know that there will be plenty of other trips. I'm sure I'll still be driving her around for years - particularly when she finds out just how much it costs to insure a car.
But today, I can't help but feel just a tiny bit sad.



Baglady said...

Beautiful. Lovely post too.

Philip said...

Well that made me cry. Excellent photos. Better pull meself together and go to work now.
If you could bottle the love you express here and send it all over the world, we'd all be a lot happier.

Pat said...

You have to let go honey. You are lucky to have had so long.
And remember a son is a son till he gets him a wife - a daughter's a daughter for the rest of your life.
You are the lucky one:)

Megan said...

Ah mummy. I love you.

No matter whose car we are in we will always sing along terribly and I will forever be the only person my age who knows every word to the beautiful south and deacon blue...


Elisabeth said...

I know the feeling, Sharon. Funny, my last baby took two and half hours to come into the world, was also a girl and also my fourth. She's just about to start learning to drive.

If there is one thing I have found difficult as a parent it has been watching my children learn to drive, helping them to practice and finally watching them drive off once they have their licence. It will no doubt be hardest of all with last and she's not far off now.

Great post. Thanks.

Sharon Longworth said...

Baglady - thank you!

Philip - there's a magnum of it just for you.

Pat - Philip wants to bottle up the love. I'd like you to bottle up your wisdom and send it on over.

Megan - I love you. And I'm dead pleased that you commented!

Elisabeth - that's quite a lot we have in common! Added to that, both Megan and I share Elizabeth (with a 'z') as a middle name. You're clearly much braver than me though - I could never have got in a car with Megs and helped her practice!

Liz said...

I think I'll go grab my kids and hold on to them a little tighter.

Pearl said...

I completely understand.

It's one thing to have given them life, and quite another to watch them leave in order to live it.

Lovely post.


Madame DeFarge said...

My father tried to teach me to drive. Not entirely a great success, but I do wonder if he felt like this when I passed my test. I hope so. Lovely post.

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