My baby girl turned 7 last Wednesday. Unlike many mothers (or so it seems at least), I have little or no nostalgia for the baby days. Don't get me wrong: I didn't hate them, no, I really didn't (well, not all the time, anyway). But I do, most definitely, prefer the NOT baby days. And 6 was pretty good on the whole, so I'm hoping 7 will be at least as good (especially as Lord knows the year my baby was 6 was a difficult year for all of us).
We had a fun day, mainly. My dad was here (he arrived the afternoon before) and there were presents (lots of lovely presents!), and a friend spent the morning with us, then she and her mother both had lunch with us, and we had L's favourite lunch (roast chicken, green beans and chips (oven chips, I refuse to deep fry anything), followed by strawberries and cream), then they spent the afternoon with D and his friend, came back home for supper and cake: a beautiful butterfly-shaped chocolate chip cake with lemon frosting. So yeah, it was a good day.
But for me it was a bittersweet day. Her birthday last year was really the signal of what was to come - D was still here, but brought the neighbours down for the cake part of the day because he couldn't bear to be here with me; he bought a birthday card just from him (and not from us - I was furious with him!) and it was clear that all was not well.
Today was 1st May, and this is actual anniversary of the day he left me, the day he bad-mouthed me to our friends and accused me of trying to kill him, the day he stormed away from all of us (me, the girls, our friends and their son) in the street saying he couldn't bear to be anywhere near me, the day he fucked up my life for good.
At that time, I desperately wanted him to come back, for us to go back to "normal" (ha!). At the time I still had feelings for him, a need for him. Now, after a year of real struggling, a year that has been hard beyond belief, my feelings have changed completely. I wouldn't "take him back" now if he paid me. Now, it's I that can't bear to be in the same room as him. I actively hate him, even, on occasion. And I certainly hate what he's done to me, my girls, our lives.
My life has changed in so many ways in the last year. Not all for the worse, I admit. I'm stronger than I was before, more in control of certain things, more independent. But definitely worse in more ways than I care to admit (I've never, never been so lonely in my entire life; I yearn for companionship; my financial status is just about out of control; and, while I certainly feel even closer to my sweet girls, at the same time there have never been so many arguments and tears as there have been this year). So yeah, my feelings for D have definitely done an about-face.
Days when I don't see him are better than the ones when I do (I nearly always have to speak to him on the phone, and that's bad enough. I'm uncomfortable in his presence, even on the phone).
Here's to hoping that my baby's 8th year will be a happier, more fulfilling, more peaceful, more serence year than her 7th. My little girls are strong, beautiful, bright and loving. I adore them to the ends of the moon and back. They are my life, my hopes, my dreams. They are my world. They deserve better than the crap year they've just had, and I'm doing my best, night and day, to ensure that they get it.
Happy Birthday, sweet L.