“24”



Twenty four years ago (1990) on May 19 I had my last baby. 

While she left the nest about six years ago, it is only now that 
I will accept she has her wings and probably won`t be flying back 
here anytime soon!

I consider the 24th birthdays of my children to be THE birthday, 
the one when they become adults. Up to then they can still pull 
on my apron strings, cling onto my leg crying "mommy mommy don't 
leave me", ask me for money, call me at 1 am crying about a broken
romance, and I can still say "because I said so".
 Who am I kidding, I am 54 and still call my mother asking for money.

 


At least at 24, they should have the experience, a lot of the 
bad and some of the good, and at least have a direction of travel.
They should have their book smarts and be ready to revel 
in what is most important to get them through, street smarts. 
They should be starting on the road of their journey now, 
not hitchhiking with a guitar strung over their back, not 
hitting me up for bus money, not traveling in a commune of
like-minded fatty smokers dressed like a bohemian and heading 
for a beach party somewhere, but with an itinerary at least 
that promises some very rewarding stops on the way.
 And some fun ones too.


 



 



 



 



 



 



 



The world is their oyster, they have to decide what they 
make with the grains of sand at their feet.


It doesn't mean they cannot decide to change direction 
but at 24 they should have the internal compass aka 
common sense to know how to learn from their 
mistakes and avoid that direction again. They should 
have found out who they are, at least for the next decade. 
They should have seen the opposite sex naked, 
vice versa, or maybe not even the opposite sex, I don't care, 
but they should have some experience in that department, 
I am not one of those wait until your wedding night type of mothers. 
After all, when I got married, and I was 24 by the way, 
I had our first child seven months later. On her due date. 
They should have learned to laugh at themselves.

 


Enter Emelia, biologically my last baby I gave birth to, 
or should I say the baby had to cut out of me. I like to 
remind her of that, for some reason it gives me great 
pleasure to blame her instead of the pringles, soda pop, 
cookies and menopause.  
She is the reason for my bouncy flop and the end to my 
string bikini days. (What's that World?? Did I just hear
a collective "THANK YOU" ???)
OK, fine ! Before the flop it still wouldn't have been a great 
fashion statement but that is not the point. 
Emelia was born May 19,1990 a month early, the c section done 
by a doctor of very short stature, so short that when he stood 
up from sitting at his desk he didn't get any taller. So short
he had to stand on a stool to examine me. This was very hard 
to be on an exam table in "the" position when your husband, 
who laughs at his own jokes, is standing behind the doctor in 
your field of vision making dwarf signs. (The doctor thought I 
was shaking because I was nervous!) 
I had my first and last c-section with Emelia, who came out 
weighing exactly the same as her older sister,
7.11 and the exact height 21 inches.


 That is about all they have had in common ever since.



I did not get to hear her first cry or see her take her 
first breath when she came out from under my heart, from 
being tucked away, just the two of us,  I saw her about 
two hours later. 
I saw my first two babies born before my eyes, so I know what
the emergency circumstances of her birth cost me. That one memory 
of that one raw miracle moment that is absorbed into your memory 
permanently. 
But I got a different memory. It took me about two days to fully 
wake up and be conscious from the c-section because I got very 
sick very fast and had to have a lot of blood transfusions.
Day three I was just wanting to sleep, I had never felt post op pain 
like I had been experiencing, I was just plain miserable and not 
feeling very maternal at all. 
My attempts to slumber were being disturbed by the crying of a 
newborn down in the nursery about four rooms up. 
I kept waiting for it to  stop, wondering where the nurses were 
and why they were not doing something, take the kid to his mother, 
stick a soother in his mouth, find a breast!! 
(Like I said I was in a bad mood.)
Finally I couldn't take it anymore and although I was supposed 
to be on bed rest I got out of bed, held my gut, like it was 
about to explode open, in one hand, the i.v.pole in another 
and marched out of my room and down the hallway bent over 
like the hump back of Notre Dame. 
I felt like I was marching, `cause I was irate, 
but really I was hobbling. The halls were empty, no nurses 
around anywhere. 
I supposed if my guts blew open I would have to find some 
paper towel myself and take care of it.
I approached the nursery and there was only one baby in there, 
the rest, I supposed, were with their adoring mothers, rooming in. 
The infant was yelling, there is no other word for it. 
Not fussing, not weeping, not even crying, it was yelling. 
Eyes wide open looking around and as soon as I appeared her 
eyes were set on me. The little pink card on the layette said 
Èmelia Coryn.

F-u-c-k !
If I knew then what I knew now I would not have been shocked at all. 
At 72 hours old she was inquisitive, mouthy, and stubborn and she 
will always let you have her way. Not much has changed. 
I was faced with a choice. I knew I had to let go of 
either the iv pole or my incision because this kid was coming back
to my room. 
I knew instinctively it was the only way she was going to be quiet 
and I could go back to sleep. I was also aware I would be in trouble 
from the gestapo in white if they saw me out of bed. 
So I tentatively released my hand from my incision, risking a 
gory event, I was sure of it, and pushed the isolette down the 
hallway whispering to Emelia to shut up or I was going to be 
in trouble. `Shut up`yes I admit it, I told you, I was not feeling 
warm and fuzzy thoughts. 
She didn`t take her eyes off me, clearly sizing me up as if this 
was an interview for the job as Emelia`s mother.

 


I pushed the isolette up as close to my bed as possible, 
lay back down, closed my eyes, and she started yelling again. 

Here is the moment that made up for the one I lost when she was born.
I reached over to her, put my hand on her hand, she wrapped her 
fingers around  one of mine, and went to sleep. 
At that moment she didn`t need to be held or rocked or nursed, 
she just wanted to know I was close by. 
Our relationship has been like that ever since.
Five years later I adopted three more babies moving her 
from the baby to the middle child. 
She now had two older brothers and an older sister, and two 
younger brothers and a younger sister.
But Emelia is not one to get lost in the middle. 
It`s not just her good looks, intelligence, or 
almost six feet of height that makes her stand out, 
it`s her strength of character, integrity, and genuineness. 
I am so happy I passed on those traits to her!
Our 24 years together almost mimics marriage vows. 
It has been almost a quarter of a century of having 
and holding from that day forward, for better or 
worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, 
to love and to cherish. 
I tried to slip in the obey part but she would have none of it.
As I officially release my baby girl into adulthood, 
I remember, symbolically, these 24 things, 
the moments absorbed into my mind,that make me melancholy, 
or make me laugh, or make me happy, or make me wish the time
had not gone by in an instant. And I am not referring to 
her baby book for any of the information, 
Unless I remember it on my own, it doesn`t count.

 

 In no particular order:
 1) The time she went after two older boys who were bullying 
her older brother and told them to leave her ``bwutha`` alone 
or she would smash them in the face. 
(She was three, or should I say "fwee").
 2) The times her father smacked her on the arm or hand 
when she was doing something he disapproved of and she 
would look him dead in the eye, wipe off the 
``smack``  and tell him it didn`t hurt.
 3) The time she wanted to ``do her eyebrows`` unknowingly 
using her brothers electric razor and had to live with one 
less eyebrow for about a month until it 
grew back in.
4) She would never eat her food unless it wasn`t touching. 
Right down to the last grain of rice, she hand separated it, 
in spite of her father`s warnings that she was 
not going to have any supper unless she started eating NOW. 
She completely ignored him and continued on excavating her plate, 
and I suspect she slowed her pace down, on purpose. 
She was two.
 5) The time she wanted me to sneak up on her older sister 
who she told me through giggles was in her underwear, and 
take a photograph. The same day we were videotaping her older 
sister practicing her `modelling` moves and Emelia was in the 
background making fun of her, and quickly became the focus of 
the video.
 6) The time I rented a limousine for her and her friends 
on her 10th birthday and how excited she was.
 7) The day her dad and I surprised her with two eight week 
old Siamese kittens. We had intended to only get one, but 
there were two left. Anyone who knows me knows THAT wasn`t 
going to happen.
 8) The time I got a phone call from the horse ranch to tell 
me she had been thrown from her horse and was at the hospital. 
The horse had stepped on  her arm and her head when she was 
down, cracking her helmut. When we got here we found her 
arm was broken, her head was not. 
The drive to the hospital was the longest 
10 minutes of my life.
 

 


9) The time her first boyfriend accidentally saw me naked.

 

 10) The phone call I got from her telling me she had just 
found Harry dead (one of the two Siamese cats) and the long 
hug we had in the driveway when I got home.
 11) Giving her dog Jesse away, not realizing how close she 
really was to him. 'Always been sorry for that.
 12) Max, Zack, Thomas, Kohlea, Devon,Jens, Clay, Alex, David; 
acknowledging these are only the ones I know about. 
And it took ALOT for me even to type the 
name `Thomas`....%?$/*")* Oh and most recently the guy who 
should really edit his Facebook page in case his new girlfriend's 
mother decides to "creep" his FB photos and videos…..
(I didn't know you could, or SHOULD, do that with a garden
hose!)
 13) Her first crush, Skeeder Barrie.
 14) The big fight we had in the driveway.
 15) The horrific surgery she had to have on her feet and 
the metal poles had to  have through the top of her toes 
for six weeks. (She got her feet from  her father).
 16) The only arguments with the kids her father ever lost 
were with her. Her ``M.O.`` was to frustrate him to the point 
of exhaustion.
 17) How beautiful she was on her high school graduation day 
and how proud I was of her.

 



 


 18) The day she thought Lucy was actually going to be a bike 
for her 21st birthday, and the look on her face when I took the 
one pound puppy out of the bag and 
handed it to her. 
Their`s has been a love story ever since.
 19) The day she called her little brothers and sister 
telling them we had to go out and forgot herself for 
a moment and said ``out and go pee`` - a common 
statement in our multi-dog household. 
And I have to say I have never seen her 
giggle so hard and for so long. 
I think she may have snorted.

 


20) Toilet training her using....not candy, not promises of 
wonderful toys, not praise of how clever she was...
all that would work was a three inch giant dill pickle
she would hang out of her mouth like a stogie whilst 
doing her business.
 21) The dozens of hand written notes she would leave under 
my pillow telling me how much she loved me, 
I have most of them to this day. I wish I had appreciated 
them at the time as much as I do now.
 22) Cannoli, self help books in the mail, 
``a phone call, a letter or a visit``to Mr. Rennie 
and Say Yes to the Dress. (not HER dress!)

 


 23) The disastrous weekend we spent in Victoria thanks to food 
poisoning. 
One day we ARE GOING to have a do-over!!
24) The chance finding of her foot sticking out from her 
covers revealing a lie that backfired and her first official 
hang over the next day. 
(She can fill you in on what her mean mother 
made her do the next day!!!!!!)
I have not been a perfect mother but I have to say, in all honesty, 
I think she hasbeen the perfect daughter. 
I mean that. 
Her imperfections were perfect to me. 
They made me laugh just when I needed to, 
they made me look at myself in the mirror and try to be better. 
They humbled her father and put him in his 
place when that is where he needed to be.
 From the beginning of her life she is the one who made me get 
out of bed when I wanted to just hide under the covers, 
and I mean that literally and metaphorically.

 



 


Emelia, as you explore the big world  of possibilities, 
be optimistic, be kind always, love freely, 
take care of every creature, listen to your heart, 
listen to your little voice, 
remember you are always loved 
and give thanks for all your blessings as I give 
thanks for you being mine.
Your mum......forever and ever.

Until next time, keep being fabulous.

Sian Erith Thomson



 Until next time, thinking of my fabulous girl.X0

Sian Erith Thomson
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