Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Friday, 23 June 2017

When Anabelle Was Seven

June has been undoubtedly hard, but, I think this year we had a 'good' birthday. 

This year I tried so very hard not to watch the clock, not to allow myself to feel like we were running out of time. I tried to be realistic with what we could fit in in a day. Because that has always been the trigger for a birthday meltdown; the clock. The clock and the feeling of nothing happening like it was supposed to. 

So this year I was so aware that I wanted it to be different. So I tried to 'relax' more than I have other years. To go with the flow just a little bit more. I think it worked, mostly. There was a while from around half five where I could feel the usual birthday panic rising; where we hadn't got home and there was still so much I wanted to do for her birthday but was worrying about preparation time and the boys teatime and bedtime.  But I kept myself in check all but for a wobble.

I think what really helped this year was just two hours child-free time in the morning. Time when we could go and collect her balloons and party food and everything else without lots of little boys in tow too. It was Lucas's nursery day, so after Alexander and Zachary had gone to school we had a little time to be quiet, collected and organise ourselves without worrying about anyone else's needs for a little while. 

I cannot believe it has been seven years. That Anabelle is seven, should be seven. The movement of time seems so hard to comprehend sometimes. This year she should be finishing the infant department at school and moving up to the juniors. More than ever I feel increasingly aware how big she would be in Year 2,  going into Year 3 now, when Alexander in Reception, going into Year 1 is starting to feel so big.  

Since her last birthday I've joined the PTA and been more involved in a few things at school, for example, the Christmas disco. And there seeing all the little girls that would have been her cohort, her class, her friends and realising time and again she should be in amongst them all too. That the boys school have a Year 2 pupil missing. 



Our darling girl. On Wednesday it was your seventh birthday. 

On the longest and HOTTEST day of the year so far. My girl, you were born on a scorcher, and you've always had good weather for your birthday since. But this year the heat for your birthday rivaled  the temperature on the day your baby brother was born last year.  Up and over 30 degree centigrade. Hot! 

I tried to imagine what sort of things you would have enjoyed or been into now. At a big seven years old. What would we have bought you? I reckon you would've been about the trend around now. Maybe you would've had a whole drawer full of those ridiculously enormous Jo-Jo bows. I hear there is a special expensive brand of children's stationary that is all the rage at the moment, maybe you would have wanted some special pens for school. Maybe this year you would've wanted lots of Beauty and the Beast merchandise because after all Princess Belle is your namesake and it is the year of the big film. 

But for all the maybes I don't really know. I can only imagine and pretend. 

This year for your birthday we bought you the Princess Belle Lego castle. We bought you a Guess How Much I Love You colouring book for your brothers to decorate in all the colours for you. We bought you a Nutbrown Hare garden ornament for your garden. We bought bubbles for your brothers to send to you from your garden. We bought you balloons. We bought you a Beauty and the Beast cake and your name spelt out in candles to go on top. 

So this year on your birthday, after getting your brothers to school and nursery, your Daddy and I went for a birthday breakfast. It was a real rare treat to have a few hours to ourselves and go for a cooked breakfast! It was a good and calm start to your birthday; so unlike so many of your birthdays before. 

After breakfast we collected your huge number 7 balloon for your garden and the pink balloons your brothers would send to you later on in the day. Then we got food ready for the party we planned for you later. 

Your brothers were excited it was your birthday again this year. And you have another brother now! Lucas, and my he looks so much like you. From the moment he was born he was the image of you; and still now, even though we never knew what an 11 month old you would've looked like, I can see you in him. His soft and delicate features that are ever so slightly different to your other brothers. Lucas is the closest to knowing how you might've looked. 



And then there is Zachy, who is so much more aware of you this year and was shouting 'My sister Belle is seven' and telling Xander that is was your birthday. Like Xander before him Zachy is beginning to think about the concept of death now. They both often say they miss you, they miss you and they miss FizFiz. We scattered Fiz's ashes with you on her birthday a few months ago; I like to think she found her way to you and you have your own little cat pet friend now. 



So after school and collecting the boys, we went to your garden, with all our flowers, and bubbles and garden ornaments. We cleaned your headstone up and trimmed some grass and made it all pretty just for you. Your brothers helped of course and sent you their balloons. Did you catch them? But most of all they were absolutely desperate to get the bubbles out for a play. So play we did! Bubble blowing everywhere. 



But the highlight of your birthday this year? 

A pool party and BBQ in the back garden at home! Because what seven year old wouldn't have loved a pool party with her brothers and the treat of staying up really late?!  So we pool partied, and BBQ'd and sang Happy Birthday to you with your cake. 





And then, after the bigger boys were in bed (at nearly 9.00pm, and lets not mention what time they finally went to sleep after that!), Daddy and I built your Princess Belle castle together and drank Processco. Raising a glass to you our beautiful girl. 

Our beautiful girl who we wish with every fibre of our being that you could be here celebrating your birthday properly with us. You are so missed Anabelle. So ever absent, and we all feel it, all of us, including those brothers that never even met you. Another precious birthday for you. 



Always missed, always loved, always everything.  Fly high baby girl xXx 


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Caz
After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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