Harper turned 7

Last night I was laying down with Harper in bed as she played back the best bits of her 7th Birthday. The very best bit though, she told me, was when she woke up and her Dad who was in bed next to her whispered “Happy Birthday Harper” and she said that she had forgotten it was her birthday! And then she looked up and saw a big number 7 balloon and she knew it was here at last! Remember that stomach flip that you’d get on your birthday as a kid? I loved hearing this so much, I hope she always remembers turning 7 with that moment of forgetting…and then remembering again. 7!


We spent the morning much like any member of the family spends their special day, all piled into our bed (all 5 of us and the dog) to open presents and check out the loot. Then we went and had a special pre-school breakfast at the cafe before trotting off to School for the day with 30 odd cupcakes to share with the school.


I made Mildred the Mouse a cake from the Bible (aka Women’s Weekly Children’s birthday cake book from 1980) much to her delight and then we went out to dinner to the pub with a big group of friends for a make shift party. Boy was I happy to outsource 22 people on a wet and cold Highlands night rather than cooking at home.


As we laid down together last night, wiping away some tears from the Birthday girl (so many tears for someone so little) we talked about birthdays and how special they are. How you get to speak to everyone in your whole world who you love the most, you might even get to see them and see whatever special thing they have chosen just for you. You get pressies and fussing, and it’s truly so good when you are a little because the older you get, the less fuss you get.

I laid with her until she fell asleep, her eyes popping open with every movement to make sure I was still there I watched my little girl fall asleep.

This little girl.

The middle child who has SO become the middle child. One that’s filled to the brim with determination, perseverance and stubbornness. The one who without a doubt pushes every one of my buttons and who so desperately wants the approval from me (which she always has, if only she knew!). She’s my worrier, my little worrier who is smarter than I’ll ever be, who wants so much to do so many things and yet lets self worry and doubt fill her little mind and heart at times. I think back to when I was pregnant with her and worry that I was the one that planted all those worries, way back when. I was SO stressed out when I was pregnant with her, filled with so much frustration and ANGER dealing with a tricky toddler, pretty much full time working in an unfulfilling and stressful career with early, miserable drop offs and late pick ups to daycare. Rob was working on his show A LOT and was pretty much unavailable the entire time and I hated where we lived. I cried and screamed a LOT during that pregnancy. Did that poor baby get all that? And then when she was born and she had the cord wrapped around her neck that no one knew about and when she was born she was blue, for much longer than she should have been and we had 5-7 awful minutes of silence and rushing and Dr’s when she was born. No contact, rushed to special care while Rob went home and I was plonked in an Orthopedic ward because there was no room in Maternity and our first feed was maybe 6 hours later and I couldn’t lift my head from an epidural headache that had me pretty much bed ridden for 4 days. Shit, all THAT, did that fill her with worries and feeling alone? Oh my poor little girl!

We have so many wishes and dreams for our kids don’t we? For me they are always that they feel happy and safe and loved. I want them to know love, to be loved and to love others. I want them to believe in themselves, trust their instincts and try hard, just give things a go. My wish for my 7 year old Harper is that all that. To know that she is loved, so much, by all of us. How important she is to every single one of us, this big and little sister. To not worry, to know that there’s things that aren’t quite as she’d like, that they will come in time, and to be easy on herself. She’s a wonderful, beautiful soul that we are blessed to have.

Maybe I could listen to all those things myself huh?

Happy Birthday sweet Harper, we love you. I hope 7 is really good x



  1. Oh my goodness. I am in tears. I too have a middle child who is complex, actually in many ways she sounds so similar to your middle child. I worry about all the things you have mentioned too. This week has been a rough week with my middle, who is not yet 5, and I am emotionally wrecked. I cannot thank you enough for your honesty and for somewhat normalising this for me. If only I had known back when I had my new baby that my worries about parenting then just would not even count one day…

  2. I feel this Beth. Kids do and say the darndest things. They test us and make us feel ‘stuff’, they are in our hearts and our heads forever. I don’t remember any birthdays but 7 is my fave number, and I did get my ears pierced at 7 so it was definitely a good year. You’re doing good Beth and so is that flourishing family of yours x

  3. Oh my gosh – you got me so teary! What a beautiful post. My little man turns 5 in mere days and I have had some of the most heart bursting moments with him – I get really sentimental in the lead up every year!
    PS I was really stressed when pregnant with him and his birth was not ideal (he was shipped away for 3 days to a hospital and I was stuck in bed at the original hospital) but I am of the belief that if I’m OK and I was adopted out as a baby, he’ll be fine too. We all have our neuroses but we get through it and you’re an awesome mum who will be so good at teaching your girls how to be resilient and spunky x

  4. Ann Caldicott says

    I simply love your Blog!! I am now a Granny and I can relate what you have written today to my children and their children. Thank you for being you. xx

  5. Beautifully written Beth xox

  6. Our number 2 of 3 is a worrier but she is also the glue! Both number 1 and 3 don’t work without her. She is loyal and adoring. She allows herself to be ‘bossed’ by number 1 and encourages and has fun with number 3. I count my blessing every day that number 2 is the beautiful, sensitive, caring, strong girl that she is.

  7. My nearly 10 year old #1 is my worrier. I thought it was because we had major pregnancy concerns inutro & I provided “control crying” with them when they were little. It all sounds a little ad hoc upon reflection. Maybe worriers are just that – always would have been, regardless of the little obstacles that have come their way. A few sessions with a great child psychologist have done wonders with our worrier though A beautiful personal post. Thank you. & Happy birth day to you both. x

  8. how well you understand your child beth! … lovely! … she is lucky!
    if someone “get’s” us in this world you’re halfway there!
    I have always been a worrier!
    but now i’m much better! … didn’t take long!!!
    I let things go! … “accept what is!”
    to teach them self help skills early is helpful!
    birthdays are always filled with emotion and the mother remembers the birth!
    much love m:)X

  9. A beautiful post. Never knew all those things happened with Harper’s birth. I hope Harper’s 7th year is a good one. x

  10. Oh Beth, my middle child is my onion…..soooooo many layers. He is 5 and actually reminds me a lot of myself. God help me. You are doing an awesome job. Lucky number 7. Happy birthday to both of you (I reckon the mum deserves the same recognition on the birth dates of her children). I hope you get a treat/pressie too ?

  11. Polly McDougall says

    I loved this post Beth! Having kids make you feel all of the feels and I’m constantly thinking it’s me that must have done/be doing something “wrong” to make my little one, well frankly exactly who she is in all her stubborn, feisty, emotional, cuddly, clingy glory. You are such a wonderful Mum and to read your words about Harper was a beautiful thing.

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