The 18th February 1994 at 8:04 in the morning, a nurse placed something into my arms that was to change my life for ever. Mr eldest daughter, Bethen, had been born to the strains of Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell (Christine's choice!). She was starting as she meant to go on by giving her mother a rough time in labour and eventually being delivered by Cesarean section after untold hours of not wanting to face the world.
From that auspicious start, Bethen has continued to mark her own way in the world. An independent thinker, and, like me, not afraid to state her opinion, she can, at times, be a bit difficult to live with. Two highly self-opinionated people under the same roof can make for uncomfortable living, but to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way.
However, today, she became a "teenager"! (In truth, I think she has been a teenager for sometime!). Thirteen!
Where have the years gone? The early days when she neatly fitted into the crook of my arm falling asleep, later when she would snuggle in on my lap before going off to bed, rushing up when I came home from work to tell me what she had done at school and the look of relief and love when I finally gave up smoking! It all seems like yesterday, and I treasure every memory.
But she is now a teenager! No longer the 'lets go for a bike ride' but now, 'I'm going to town with friends, and can I have some money!'. Everything now becomes a 'big' deal and 'you don't understand!'.
I'm beginning to think, will either of us going to survive the next seven years! I've decided, I think the best thing is that I leave home!