Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Birthday girls

Here we are. Shark, Squirrel and Tiger, you have arrived at the birthday date. Another year gone and you're all still alive. Clearly, I haven't shoved the lot of you over a cliff and your fighting over the rocket launcher didn't end in death. This is good. You are now aged nine.

Of course I've been looking through the albums. I would like to compose a sort of homage to you.

One day I might, but quite frankly after two hours starting from 2003 (because 2000-2003 is stored under the eaves) I have surfaced with photo fatigue and a mental breakdown at the recollection of bloody hard work and days when a bottle of whiskey and a cartload of aspirins was the only solution. Truly, you should be grateful we have all made it this far. Really, I deserve chocolates.

But I have chosen a picture for each of you to show at this moment why I love you and possibly partly explains why you are not under the patio.

Tiger, this is you.

You are smiling. It thrills me to see you smile, because you are so often beset by doubts and self criticisms. Then the whole world is rubbish because in your drawing the dinosaur's toes point the wrong way. And I look at your dinosaur and know truly you have a talent, because that dinosaur has character and expression in one sweep of your pencil line. You are a natural illustrator. You deal harshly with yourself. So it is quite hard work extracting a smile from you. Of course I worry about this. I worry your scowl is the shape of things to come, along with crashed trolleys off rails, deeply unsuitable boyfriends and the drugs stash. And I notice that you always choose boys to play with now, Tiger. Just mentioning that. And I don't know why sometimes I am reminded of Aunty Vee, who ran away at age seventeen, got pregnant and lived in a squat. Well, we will tell you everyday that you are loved, and we'll mean it, everyday. And if you smile at me, I will probably forgive you anything and everything. Tiger, that might be worth remembering.

Squirrel, this is you.


You are dressed as a flower, because you were determined on that. You also walked the full length of the carnival as a flower, even though your head was about to drop off. You would not be deterred. You set your mind on something, then nothing short of revolution or the apocalypse will stop you. But sometimes I can find no logic, reason, sense or interpretation to what you want, nor how you have set yourself off to find it, nor do I understand why you are choosing the path you do. But I accept your path is your own, and I hope we can always find the patience and time to let you travel the unique way you will take. We'll support you when we can, and you are having your way with the scale model of the satellite, but I draw the line at forty three tins of custard and a can of emulsion to recreate a dinosaur swamp in the bath.

Shark. Here you are.


Now this was difficult, because in most photographs you are falling over, swinging punches, screaming, covered in food or painted. Give it ten years and you will be the star of Big Brother. But I'm not finished there. You are headstrong, self opinionated, dismissive, stubborn, and full of smartass wisecracks. You take totally after your father. Fortunately I love him as well. And I recognise that these qualities, albeit deeply irritating, show great resolve, determination and loyalty. And of course I expect you to do something with water. This is a natural home for you. You have loved everything aquatic for as long as I can recall and have a deep regard for fish. This impresses me deeply, and I respect you for that, although I do not love fish myself quite as much. You may have webbed feet though. I shall check those toes carefully tonight while you are asleep.



Happy ninth birthday, little gritlets.

15 comments:

Ruth said...

A belated Happy Birthday Gritlets!

mamacrow said...

Oh my goodness! Happy Happy Happy Birthday Birthday Birthday! (in triplicate)

sharon said...

What a lovely tribute to your girls Grit. And yes, you do deserve chocolate ... and beer ... and cake ... and anything else you fancy. Hope they had a wonderful time on their birthday. Double figures next year for goodness sake, they'll be 30!

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Happy Birthday Gritlets who are so loved by their Momma. It is a tribute to her that you've each developed such unique personalities and are not all as one.

Katherine said...

9. Wow. And to your lovely words I add (rather superficially, because I don't know them) what beautiful coloured eyes they have!

Sam said...

What a wonderful post :-)

Happy Birthday wishes to Tiger, Squirrel and Shark.

Jax said...

belated happy birthday, hadn't realised somehow that they were Big's age.

Kitty said...

Hippo Birdies Two Ewes
Hippo Birdies Two Ewes
Hippo Birdies Deer Gritlets
Hippo Birdies Two Ewes

Hope you have a brilliant day creating mess, noise and mayhem. And that your mother doesn't go totally bonkers in the process. x

More than Just a Mother said...

happy happy happy birthday!

Mud in the City said...

How lovely. You give them the freedom to be individuals.

Happy Birthday!

Grit said...

thank you for your kind comments people. we will carry on eating cake in celebration for a week or two yet. off to the cake shop with you, and join in!

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

This was lovely, great for a newbie like me to see piccies & lovely, thoughtful words & tributes

Brad said...

Happy Birthday little Gritlets - May all your tomorrows be filled with sunshine, and all your wishes come true.

Grit said...

hello paradise! one day i will improve the quality of the photos. i will i will i will.

thank you brad! let's hope the wish about having no sisters doesn't get picked up by the wish fairies.

Iheartfashion said...

Lovely!