I love it when people say that I must have been very young when I had her or I don't look old enough to have a grown up daughter or the old chestnut "Are you sisters?"
I was 24 years old when she burst into my life. Only one year older than she is now.
Our lives are quite different. I was married to a man I didn't like very much - she is in a relationship with a man she admires and adores. We both made the same career choice to work in secondary schools for privileged children but I was a lab technician and she is an English Teacher. I was desperate to have a child to nurture and give me the family life I craved - she is in absolutely no hurry whatsoever to make me a granny.
I'm not sure what my no-nonsense, confident daughter would have made of the 24 year old insecure me prone to crippling bouts of depression. She probably would have had very little tolerance for me if I'm completely honest!
As she was growing up, my daughter tried desperately hard to connect with her father and earn his approval - in the books she read, the hobbies she pursued and her general demeanour. I found that quite alienating and our relationship was not without problems. I read her diary once (an invasion of her privacy I know but who can resist a peek?) She wrote Mum is a bitch - no wonder dad hates her. I'll never forget that.
My daughter didn't find that connection she was looking for with her father but our bond has grown incredibly strong over the years.
At the time of my divorce, she was my rock. She held the family together when I was falling apart. She saw inside my soul and wrote songs that expressed exactly what I was feeling. We learned to laugh together in the face of disaster. I could not have coped without her.
I am so proud of the woman my daughter has become. I love the very special adult relationship we have now and I know I can always rely on her brutal honesty.
Liberty, this post is for you. Happy Birthday. I Love You.