My Beth Grew Up

To my Beth

I feel a bit weird at the moment and I think I’ve found the words to explain it to you.

You know that feeling when you’re reading the final chapter, no the last pages, of a truly amazing book.  You’ve been consumed by it since you ran your hands across its cover – so soft and flawless back then – now the newness is gone, it’s moulded, familiar, shaped by your hands and completely unique.

You’ve had ups and downs with this story. You’ve laughed, you’ve cried, you’ve smiled those big smiles that give you wrinkles.  At times it’s been confusing, difficult even, but you’ve stuck with it.  There have been joyful chapters where your imagination and the words were as one – you felt like this here is a book you were always supposed to read.  There were odd moments when you wondered if perhaps you’d missed a page or two, because nothing made sense.  Confused, you re-read past paragraphs again and again wondering where you’ve lost track.

Sometimes predictable and sometimes unbelievable – every new chapter has been a treat and a challenge.

Then finally it all makes sense.  The plotlines are fully fleshed out, the characters are vivid and alive and everything is coming together.  You know there’s not long left.

You begin to read at speed now.

All at once you’re racing towards the finish line, desperate to know the completeness of the last page and yet – melancholy, regretful, even a little jealous of those who have yet to pluck their book from the shelf.

That’s what it feels like in the days leading up to your baby’s 18th birthday.

It’s not over when you turn eighteen of course!  I’m your mum and you’re my baby, until the last breath I take, I’m sure of that above anything else.  But this strange mix of hesitation and excitement at what marks the end of childhood, is undeniable.  I can’t quite believe it’s here.

Eighteen year old me held you in my arms and I could scarcely imagine these days.  These days when you would be my age and I would be part of your stories.  Stories of what I did well and what I did wrong.  Stories of our life together.  Stories of hope and loss and fear and love.  So much love Beth.  Love forever.  Love no matter what happens in the future, in the sequel, the page turner that you’ll write for yourself.

And I’ll hang on every word.

Love Mum ❤️