Lisa's Notebook

Writing Exercises by Lisa McNulty.

Thoughts on a Birthday

They warn you, before your child is even born, about the lasts.

The last time they fit into those ‘newborn’ sized baby clothes which you will stare at, confused, six months later when your definition of ‘small’ has changed. The last time they fit neatly between your palm and the crook of your elbow. The last time they feed at your breast, and their now-more-tenuous connection to your body is severed.

Treasure these days, they say. Count them, string them like pearls, hoard them away in your mind, they won’t be little for long, make the most of it, this is the most they will ever need you.

For the uninitiated, ‘My goodness, how have you grown so fast!’ means ‘don’t leave me’.

I was warned that I would miss her. That I would look right at her and miss her because she was taller, because she could talk now, run now. Disagree.

Well, on the occasion of your sixth birthday, my girl, I wish to say to you, with the utmost tenderness:

Fuck all of that.
That’s not how you will learn what love is.

This morning, still fresh with the excitement of sixness, she said to me ‘Mummy, I’m so excited to be seven!’

Me too, love.

Bring it on.


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