Sunday, March 9, 2008


Dear Rachel,

Today is your 16th Birthday. Today is your 16th Birthday. I typed that twice in the hope that it will sink in because, quite frankly, I believe I am in a state of denial and feel as surprised as you look in the photograph above about that fact.

You were born in Mount Carmel Hospital, Dublin on 9th March in 1992 and I was 27 years of age. You were 14 days late and, never the one to rush things, you refused to be squeezed out into this world like a wet and soggy English Sheep Dog trying to get through a cat flap and insisted on staying put until the Doctor decided to make a nice door for you in my stomach so you could be lifted out and laid gently on to a pink satin cushion. I'm thinking this may be a possible explanation for the reason why you keep leaving the house through the window instead of fetching the front door keys from my handbag upstairs.

At the time you were born your father was receiving a massage working far, far away on a beach in St Lucia in the West Indies and your Nana was beside me for the whole twenty four hours of labour except for the time I spent in Theatre and then she was outside in the corridor , arguing with the nurse about whether you were born at 12 midnight or 1 minute past. That's who you inherited your competitive streak from.

I called your Father and he was delighted with the news that you'd been born and you were a girl. He flew home immediately and after we spent some emotional time together he tested the mattress for drool resistance was jet-lagged and lay down on the end of my bed with you beside him. I remember looking at both of you. He, whom I knew so well, all golden brown and you so pink and new to me and thinking myself the luckiest girl in the world with a family like ours.

You were an easy first child, and learned to walk and talk with no trouble and your your ability to ask unusual questions never ceased to amaze your Father and I, you know, questions like 'Why does super-glue not stick to the insides of the tube?' and 'would the speed of lightening be faster if it did not zig zag?'.

You're without doubt a great daughter and I always enjoy your company, most recently on Monday night when we went to see Romeo & Juliet in the Abbey Theatre and when you joined me on my walk on Tuesday evening. The conversations we had, some serious, some informative and some jovial, the kind you only get a chance to have when out of our usual environment, were important to me just as you are. I really love the easy way we get on, when we're not both menstruating around the same time whilst packing Glock Semi Automatics, and I'm so glad you're my daughter.

You're respectful, kind, considerate, funny, good humoured, pretty and full of integrity and I love you. If the rest of your sisters are half as easy to rear as you were I'll count myself lucky indeed.

Love Mum xxx

PS If you don't tidy your bedroom tonight I will teach you the etiquette of mingling and then drive you to the nearest Juvenile Detention Centre.


Nomad Paints said...

I ABSOLUTELY ADORE your letters to your daughters...


(Would make a great book!)
Plus she is gorgeous!
Happy 16!!

Shellie said...

Loved that letter! Welcome to sweet and crazy 16!