Lots of love and wonder to our beautiful daughter Erin, who turned 5 yesterday. We held a joint birthday party for her and Connor on the weekend: there are some snaps below.
I find it hard to talk about Erin in a rational manner. She brings to the surface so many emotions, and so many conflicting feelings that I end up burbling like a deranged emo-monster. It's no exaggeration to say that she quite literally saved my life-- her birth mother died four days after she was born, and had I not had the pressing necessity to get up each day (and night) and care for this helpless, needy little baby, I would have stopped things right there and then.
As it is, my memories of our first year and a half together are sketchy at best. It was only once Lyn entered our lives and brought with her an enormous reservoir of love and forgiveness that I was able to enjoy Erin for what she is, and not see in her all the failings and guilt I held over her birth-mother's death. I never blamed her, understand: that blame too obviously belonged to the doctor that killed her birth-mother. But Erin represented the motivation I needed just to survive, and my concentration upon her was so acute that the rest of my life was in danger of withering into atrophy. It's hard to explain, other than to say that my personality was so fractured that it needed the most extreme focus to do anything: tying my shoelaces needed just as much concentration as driving or negotiating the million dollar tax repayments which was my job at the time. Erin, as the most important thing in my life, commanded all of it, and everything else, being at the periphery of that focus, was slowly crumbling.
Those who knew me before, and who still know me now, would recognise that many parts of my personality remain unrecoverable. I am quite literally a different person. Most who knew me would say better.
But she's 5 now, my daughter, and such a complex and vibrant personality that I become entranced around her. She can be snotty, whiny, petulant, and irrational beyond all means to understand. But this is the child who will stand between me and her brother in order to protect him when I go to give him a smack; who will ask us to turn off the kiddie songs so she can listen to Chicago (her favourite song in the wide world!) and who knows most of the words to Ballroom Blitz and We Will Rock You; who has seven favourite colours; who I catch singing to her dolls because it's the best way to get them to sleep; who sees no reason why dinosaurs shouldn't be allowed to drive trains.... she's five years old, and in many ways she is the fulcrum around which the two halves of our blended family revolve. She brought us together: it was she who decided, at age two, that Lyn was her Mummy and that she would call her so, and the rest of us fell into line behind it. Because of her refusal to play the 'step/half/birth' game, we have a family of brothers and sisters, rather than a melange or partially related siblings.
I dedicated my first book to her and Lyn, because together, they are my soul. And to see her now, so intelligent, so fiercely independent, and so loving, makes me feel like I might be doing something right in my life after all.
First bath, less than 12 hours old, and not liking it!
5 years old, and so much to come
Thanks to everyone who came along on saturday to help Erin and Connor celebrate their birthdays. the kids had an amazing time, runnign between bedroom, toy room, paddling pools, and cubby house, and the house is awash with new toys in the process of being hammered half to death (the Megablocks pirate ship is a real favourite, and the young-uns get to play with it too!)
I'll put up a full gallery on flickr some time in the next few days, but for now, a couple of snaps for awwwwwww purposes:
Hello? Look, I can't talk right now, I have presents to open....
It's a car, it's Bratz... my God, it is everything I've ever wanted!
2 cakes! That's right, count 'em, 2! And they're ours, do you understand, ourrrrssss!!!
WHAT THE HELL ARE MY CHILDREN LEARNING?
Ahhhh, Blake. So young, so funny, so damn disturbing.
ME: Well, it's better than watching a John Wayne movie.
BLAKE: You mean John Wayne Gacy?
ME: No, John. Wayne.
BLAKE: Who's he?
I'm not sure what's more worrying: that he doesn't know who John Wayne is, or that he automatically assumes I'm always talking about serial killers....
So it's got to be something important to drag me away from the final session of the most exciting test match in years.
It was Blake's primary school graduation ceremony last night. The B-boy and I realised on the weekend that I've known him exactly half his primary school life: we met when he was partway through year 4, and there he was on stage, accepting his certificate, class photo, and cup (?)
I missed quite a bit of the ceremony due to dealing with a stroppy non-sleeping Connor, but I was proud to see my Bonus Boy doing his bit on stage: the first signs of the man he will become are makign themselves apparent, in his poise, his maturity and his grace. I can't wait to see him tackle high school next year: of the three Triffitt children, he's the one I see acclimitising the quickest, and sucking all the marrow he can from the experience.
Ready to graduate and get his coffee cup!
One of the lovelier moments of the evening came when each of the graduating class came down from the stage and presented their Mums with a flower by way of saying thank you for getting them to this stage in their lives. Between the tears and the head-to-chest hugs, I managed to get this snap of an overwhelmed Mum and her carnation, with added Aiden-Head!
Too proud to speak, with her evil twin head showing....
Proud mother, happy son, the culmination of a beautiful evening
AND LASTLY, BECAUSE I KNOW YOU'VE BEEN HANGING ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEATS
6 points clear at the top of the table after 19 rounds, and drawn against free-falling Charlton in the 3rd round of the Cup.
The future's looking good for the boys in Red.....
Song(s) of the moment: Songs From The Labyrinth Sting & Edin Karamazov
Reading: The Book of Fantasy Jorge Luis Borges (ed)