Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Molly's 8th Birthday again .......

My little girl turned 8 at the weekend.

It's quite shocking how quickly 8 years can pass by when you're too busy getting on with things. She's grown so very fast and done so much even in these few years, it's terrifying. Now I have to imagine what the next 8 years will be like.
Because in another 8 years I'll have lost her. Not, of course, in the literal sense. Didn't someone once say that you don't own your children, you just borrow their lives for a few years until they leave?
But that's what I'm faced with thinking about now; the prospect of Molly turning 16. The prospect of 17, 18, leaving home, growing up. All too terrible to contemplate properly.

For some reason, 8 seems like a bit of a milestone. Possibly because in this last year she's become a lot more self-reliant and independent, possibly just because it's the half way point to her becoming 16. But it's come crashing down on me; this sense of loss and grief about her. Stupid really, because I'll always be Daddy, no matter what. But I just feel she'll never really be the little girl who cooed and gurgled in my arms ever again.

Each time she passes some milestone or other I'm continually fearful of how much I'll miss the stage just gone. But every time it happens I hardly have chance to think of what has been lost, being far too busy with enjoying what she's become instead.
I can look back to recall her baby days. How she used to smile that windy smile, fighting sleep until nearly collapsing, her head thudding on my chest as she finally succumbed.
Or the toddler days when she loved being swung around, or carried aloft on Daddy's shoulders.
Or the early school days, being so proud of how she'd make friends and how much fun we all had when we met them.

Now we're into the days when Molly the baby, Molly the toddler, Molly the tweenie and Molly the infant is but a memory. It's now Molly the junior; a lovely, polite, independent, occasionally stroppy, moody and incredibly interesting little girl. When we meet her friends she's more interested in them than she is in us. No longer do we play together, instead it's up to her room and us left downstairs, wondering what to do with our newly discovered spare time.

But no matter how grown up she becomes, no matter how independent, how old she is, one thing is certain: She'll always be my best achievement and will always be my little girl.
Welcome to your 9th year Molly.

She had a lovely birthday, friends and family were up from near and far. We awoke far too early and were dragged downstairs to witness the great present opening.
Although this year the presents were very thin on the ground.
Because this year she had a big present: After years and years of talking about it, she's finally got her DS.
In many ways this is a complete climb down on our part, seeing as we decided years ago to try to stop her becoming one of these children who seems to be surrounded by every possible technological revolution they can. These horrible children with a shocking pink dvd/tv combi always on the Disney channel in the corner, a computer to surf whatever they want and talk to lots of inappropriate chat buddies, a game console graveyard in the corner because stoopid parents buy whatever the latest hot console of the hour is and absolutely no books anywhere.

She certainly wasn't going to be the sort of child who spends every waking moment with their head embedded in their handheld console. You know the sort of child - they can be at the most spectacular event in the world and yet will spend more time watching some inane Japanese character on the screen than whatever the world can show them.

So we caved, and bought her one. It's not like it's a faddy present; she's been asking for one for many, many years now, ever since her friend Caleb got one. But as soon as we pointed out that Caleb saved up for his own and it means she'd not be able to spend her money on cuddley toys if she was saving up she seems to go off the idea.
But this year, whenever we enquired as to what she really, really wanted, the DS was top of the list. Every time we asked. Although, scarily, she also wants to put a Wiii on her Christmas List; after all, as she so considerately points out, if we buy her the DS for her birthday, it will be alright to ask for a Wiii for Christmas because we don't buy it, Father Christmas makes it. How the hell do you reply to that one?

And it's about bloody time too Daddy.

Of course, one unexpected benefit of getting the DS means we suddenly have a new punishment to threaten Molly with: the DS ban. Genius. Almost makes it worthwhile.

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