My last semester of University was Miss Commentbox’s first trimester in my womb. I had a Shakespeare lecture at 9am twice a week, and the friend I sat next to asked me why I suddenly started nibbling on crackers during the lecture. I didn’t want to tell anyone about Miss Commentbox, she was our wonderful little secret at that point, so I didn’t tell my friend that it was because of morning sickness. I’ve kept my Shakespeare notes from that semester because I doodled Miss Commentbox’s name on the margins, there were a few other names as well of course....but her name was the one I doodled the most.
My graduation ceremony was held outside on a very bright and sunny day. It was very hot sitting there in my black gown. I was looking straight ahead and concentrating on the speeches when the girl sitting to my left nudged me and passed me a small can of apple juice, saying “Pass this to Eleanor.” My mother had crawled up to my row and asked the person sitting on the aisle to pass the juice to Eleanor. The girl to my left watched me drink the juice, nodding understandingly and whispering “Diabetic?” I just nodded.
For Miss Commentbox’s last trimester we moved to a new apartment where I spent a lot of time curled up in an armchair, reading about pregnancy and parenthood. Looking back, I’m amazed that I actually thought I could study for motherhood. I clearly remember telling a friend that I couldn’t understand why parents complain about sleepless nights, I had pulled many an all-nighter studying for exams, it would a pleasure to stay up all night with a BABY for goodness’ sake.
O the innocence.
Miss Commentbox was born exactly on her due date, very clever of her. Would you believe me if I told you that she was born with LONG hair? Well, she was. I woke up in the hospital a few hours after her birth, couldn’t see her anywhere, so I heaved my sore little self out of bed and down the corridor to the nursery where she was having a check-up and HER HAIR DONE. The nurses all gathered around me eager to tell me how much fun they had styling her hair. They had brushed her long, dark locks up onto the centre of her head where the curls sat at attention as if they had been gelled.
Today is Miss Commentbox's 18th birthday. EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD. Dear friends, I need to share this day with you. I need to tell you that I still cannot get over the fact that the tiny baby we dreamed of is now a walking, talking real-life young woman. Dreams do come true. So party on Miss Commentbox. Party on!!!!!