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What women want -  October 2014

02 Oct 2014

I held a tiny baby in my arms today.

She was only hours old, a long-awaited daughter of my very best friend. Her hands were tiny – so, so tiny with little slivers of pearly fingernails no bigger than a grain of rice. Her eyes would struggle open, unfocused, like a tiny drunk trying to work out where on earth she was – and then she’d simply close them, and with a little mewing sound, curl back under the soft pink and white striped blanket that seemed so small in the nursery but now seemed ridiculously huge wrapped around her.

I am so proud of my girlfriend, I’m in awe of her strength, and I admire her calm in the storm of unexpectedly early deliveries. The expression on her husband’s face when I walked in, only hours after she was born, will remain with me forever and I have no doubt I will describe it to my girlfriend again, and again over the years. It was one of utter love. He was speechless, a little shaky, very teary and grinning from ear to ear. He couldn’t speak, his mouth would open and shut but words escaped him completely. His life had changed forever, and he turned into a man who suddenly realised he held the most precious thing on earth. He was a man completely in love.

I remember when my son was born, my most precious bundle, the overwhelming feeling of love as his tiny pink body was placed on my chest and the bond was instant and unbreakable. And I remember the moment when it felt like, suddenly, I understood everything with absolute clarity. I understood my parents’ protectiveness, their sacrifices, their living with a single purpose – to ensure the very best possible opportunities were opened. I suddenly got why they would worry if I was late home, lecture me about staying safe, and cry with pride at my achievements. It all made sense, as I looked at my small bundle in a blue blanket and wondered what the future would hold.]

I would have said, 11 years ago when my darling son was born, that a big family was on the cards for me. I would have told you how important children are to me, how much love I have for them and how I long to nurture gorgeous individuals into this world. I would have told you I had love and dedication to give the man of my dreams, and that this would be my primary purpose in life – to raise my beautiful family. It came initially as a shock to me, when this wasn’t to be. As a single parent, I raise my son on my own and am responsible for 100 per cent of all the bills, all the education, all the decisions – but most importantly all the love. And for that, I am forever grateful.

I have had a wonderful 11 years with him, I have opened businesses, moved cities, moved to the country and found some peace. I have bought a house, survived a house-fire, and consider myself one of the luckiest people I know. I have loved my single life, my son and my life intertwined into a happy family with a crazy dog and a horse that loves cuddles. I have learnt that our own adaption of “family” is just fine. I have learnt that I can survive without the love of a husband, the support of him as a best friend, confidant and parent. I have found a life that is wonderful, happy and fulfilled.

But I held my best friend’s baby girl today. And I wished with all my heart, that she was mine. I am aching for the family I never had, the love that I once dreamt of, the man that has eluded me thus far. I ache with longing – and love - when I see the happiness and joy of my best friend and her family. And as the tears bounce off my smiling face, my best friend smiles at me, knowingly, and holds my hand.

Until next month,
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