On Saturday my middle daughter turned five. As she bounded into my bedroom in the early hours of her Birthday and announced, ‘I’m five’, I couldn’t help reflecting upon the fact that five years has flown by and yet within the five years since I gave birth to her on a cold February morning, when snow was on the ground, so much has happened. When I gave birth to baby, Olivia, at home in a birthing pool with her doting sister, (Hattie, who was then just two and a half years old), desperate to hold her new baby sister; I could not have predicted the challenges we would face as a family, nor the changes that were ahead of us, but then neither could I have comprehended the full joy of being mother to such beautiful young ladies.

In the past five years there has been five house moves, a book publication, a divorce, a marriage and a new baby, then of course there is the day to day upheavals and challenges of life. It is fair to say that the past five years have been filled with their share of joy and tears; but whilst disharmony has been present and I am the first to admit that there have been some tough times, life on the whole has been good and every day I have watched my children growing and developing I have counted myself incredibly lucky. I don’t don rose tinted glasses on a daily basis, generally I am the first to say that there are times when tantrums, squabbles, work pressures and home-life pressures have been overwhelming, but as I watched Libby straighten her party dress and comb her hair I put on a very big pair of rose tinted spectacles.  I conclude that I wouldn’t change the chaos of family life for a second, but sometimes a child free cup of tea does taste good!

As I stuffed party bags and quickly iced an owl novelty cake, I realised how much time I wasted before having children. I managed to slurp a quick cup of coffee, before Hubby and I bundled the party girl and her two sisters in the car and set off for an afternoon of party fun at Borth Animalarium. Sprawling over twelve acres of land, this family run zoo has a variety of exotic and zoo animals, that includes, crocodiles, large cats, meerkat, beavers, monkeys and a wide variety of reptiles and domestic animals, all of which the children delighted in seeing.  During the party the children got to do a spot of pony riding, snake handling and rabbit grooming in addition to running around and eating cake of course.

20170204_152053 (Small)I can’t help wondering what the next five years has in store for me and indeed what all three of my daughters will be like. There will no doubt be plenty more memories to collect and lots of growing to undertake, but on the subject of growing up I strongly believe that the words of Maya Angelou in ‘Letter to my Daughter’,  are very true,

“I am convinced that most people do not grow up…We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.”