Tuesday, September 21, 2010


This is Olivia. My first born, my princess, my biggest baby girl. My special little helper. This smiling angel is also the carrier of the part of my brain I lost after having children. Her memory is phenomenal. She is switched on, intuitive and also my most sensitive child. She is also my worrier.She saw my post on Darcy, and without even knowing what I had written, was automatically nervous about why I had not written one about her. My mistake.

This one is for you Livvy! xxx

Two weeks before Olivia was born, I was settling myself in Brisbane in anticipation of her arrival. Being my first baby, I was sure I would have plenty of time after labour began to ring Charlie and tell him to drive the 6 1/2 hours it would take him to get to Brisbane. And I was certain he would make it with time to have a coffee! Sadly for Charlie (though not for me) my labour was 5 hours from start to finish. (And he should have known that 'the waters have broken' referred to his wife and baby, and NOT the pipes connecting the dams to the troughs!) Olivia was 2 weeks early and keen as mustard to get out. This is still typical of Olivia today. She likes to do things quickly! What this meant for Charlie, (aside from getting a $250 speeding fine), was that he was the last person I knew to find out about the birth of his first child.

Olivia is my most accident prone child. I suspect this has something to do with the speed at which she engages herself in everything! When she was almost 1, she fell onto the corner of a tin holding nuts and bolts, and caused a 7mm gaping gash. She still bears the scar on her lips from this accident. She also has permanent scars on her forehead and cheeks from other accidents. This girl lives for the moment. It's one of the things I love most about her.And one of the things that makes me worry about her too. She is a firecracker. She always has something on the boil. Like her father, she finds it hard to sit still. The world is too full of things to see and touch to just sit back and observe. She wants to tackle it head on.

Olivia has an incredible memory. Approximately 18 months after my mothers knee operation, and after very little, if any, discussion about it in front of the children, Olivia asked her how her knee was feeling. She wants everyone to feel as special as she likes to feel and she goes out of her way to bring this feeling about.

She is also very clever. She loves reading and writing, and every day she makes my heart do little flips when I think that this little creature, who was only made in the last few years, can already do so much. I once walked on to our verandah and saw black permanent marker on the exterior walls. When I asked Olivia if it was her doing, she strenuously denied it. But the "Olivia Art" written at the bottom was a complete give away, and I was torn between being cranky, or elated.

Olivia is organised. She likes order, and thrives on control. She likes to know what is happening and why it is happening. She can remember 15 different things that need to be done, and I rarely need to explain things to her more than once. I'll claim those genes.

And yet Olivia is so much like her father it amazes me. She might look more like me on the outside, but inside is a mini version of her father. The way she speaks. The Spanish Inquisition you get when you speak to her on the telephone. The questions about nothing. The constant thirst for more information.

And she is so sensitive. She cares so much about the people she loves. She hates disappointment, and as such, lives her life desperately trying to please others. This worries me.

She needs me, like none of my other children do. It brings out the protective, nurturing side of me. And nothing makes me happier than knowing that my baby needs me. That moment is fleeting. She also needs her brother and sister. She loves Darcy and Sam like you have never seen. She is a mini-Mum for them. She dotes on them, defends them and encourages them. She also bosses them, but mostly she adores them.

Olivia is my 'most likely to cry'. Breaks my heart every... single... time. But when she smiles, (and I don't mean that cutie-pie little pose thing she has going on), you can't help but smile with her.

So while I worry more about Olivia than any of my other children, there is a sense of peace about her. She will grow into that brain of hers, and her worry won't bother me as much. She is mature beyond her years. She loves home, and family. She wants to belong, and I know that no matter where in the world either of us will be, she will always be thinking of me. And I will be thinking of her.

Olivia is beautiful - on the inside and the outside. She changed my life. She took me from early adulthood, into the most significant role I will ever hold in my life. I am the mother of this precious, thoughtful, organised little  rabbit. Sometimes the love I feel for her causes my heart to feel like it's going to burst. And even though she makes me worry about her, I couldn't be more proud of anything or anyone.


  1. You sure can write, Jessie! I feel like I know little Olivia. So many things you say about her remind me of my oldest, too. I wonder if I could write about each of my four now that they are adults and define them accurately? I might give it a go.

  2. Pauline - You should give it a go! I would love to sit down and try this again some 30 or more years down the track. I've had a few people tell me Olivia reminds me of their eldest... makes me think there is actually something to that old "eldest child" adage.


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