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Happy 21st to my amazing Havana

Written by Fiona

December 11 2019

I usually write about outdoors and adventure – and sometimes the Menopause Madness – but today is a day for celebrating my wonderful daughter. Somehow, Havana and I have made it through to 21 (well, I am 51, but you know what I mean!).

I am sure that every parent says this but the years have flown by and I wish I could have stopped time every so often just to enjoy some more of it. I feel as though time has sped up as she has become older and, since she left home aged just 17, the years have gone by even faster.

We were chatting about this last night – by text message, of course! – and Havana commented that the last few years while she has been at uni have raced by.

Be proud, not sad

I know that people mourn the “loss” of their child when they fly the nest and I confess it was harder than I imagined. As a parent, you do all you can to make them confident, self-reliant and capable. You want them to be able to transition from your loving home to their own grown-up life, but when it happens it is hard to adjust.

Selfishly, you want them back to love and hold on to, but you also want them to thrive on their own. I am not sure that feeling ever goes but it does become more balanced.

I think we should be proud, not sad when they make their own way.

I am immensely proud of the lovely young woman that Havana has become. (She will be cringing but occasionally it is fine to offer public displays of motherly gooyiness isn’t it?)

A lot of love, family and friends

There have been many ingredients that have created such an awesome 21-year-old. Firstly, I think that Havana’s wonderful good nature has been a huge bonus. I can hardly recall us falling out and when I think back to my own childhood (especially the teenage years) I can see that my parents must have struggled far more with me. (You only realise this when you become a parent yourself.)

Havana is kind, thoughtful, loving and good humoured and that has made it easier to be her parent. I am fully aware some of this must be down to nature, not only nurture.

I hope I can take some credit, too. It hasn’t always been easy being a single parent but I l have loved being Havana’s mum. I don’t think I have got it right all the time but I have tried my very best.

It would have been wonderful to have worked less and played more with Havana but circumstances did not allow for this. I feel fortunate to have been able to work from home for most of her life and while that has not been easy in itself, I have been here (sometimes in body but not in mind, I must confess!).

Havana’s dad must take credit, too. While I have not been with her dad since Havana was two, he has been a big part of her life and a wonderful and loving father. I can’t quite believe we sorted out our differences in the end to form a parental partnership, yet remaining entirely separate. It can be done and I am proud of that.

Havana has been fortunate, I think, to have an extra parent (of sorts!) over the last 10 years. How lucky I am that Hubby G and my daughter get on so well.

And there have been all the other people who have been such great supports and friends through Havana’s life. Family and friends, you know who you are and when you were there for us. Thank you.

Look back but also forwards

If you have read this far, thank you for indulging me a bit today. Havana is only 21 and there are so many more years to look forward to. However, sometimes it is a good thing to stop and reflect.

I have made a short slideshow of photos. We have many photos but these are a few that grabbed my attention as I looked through my albums (with tears and smiles!).

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