March 29 1970

Three weeks after my estimated due date my first daughter was born. She chose Easter Sunday morning to make her appearance, though I had laboured with her since the afternoon of Good Friday. She was a reluctant enterer to the world. But with her porcelain round face, shock of dark curly hair and large blue eyes that never left mine, she took my breath away.

From the first moment I held her and looked into her eyes I was lost. Right there and then I experienced a wave of love that was so totally unexpected it impressed itself into my memory as I saw I held a little soul about to begin her own journey through life.

The feeling, the thought, the moment, was so profound I have never forgotten it. The words of Khalil Gibran were running through my head while her blue eyes looked deeply into mine. I swear she sent me those words to help get me through the early years of parenting when I had so much to learn and made so many mistakes.

Your children are not your children

They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself

They come through you but not from you

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you……

Khalil Gibran


In those early months I would often lay my little baby on our bed while I changed her nappies and her little hands would reach for my old childhood walkie talkie doll that was gifted to me at the age of three by my aunt and sat atop a dresser in the corner of our bedroom.. After a while I began to lay the doll beside her while I worked and tried to imagine a time when she would be bigger than the doll, so big nappies would no longer be required, how big in a year, five years ….. How big would she get? It was hard to imagine this perfect little baby growing up even though I understood she would.

Six months old September 5th 1070

Her love for animals was obvious right from the start. There are tons of photos of Jo with cats and dogs, but this one is a special favourite

Joanna and her Birdie

Love seemed to be a thing that exuded from her, her baby sister arrived and it was love at first sight

Danella, Joanna, Pauline

While mumma looked after the new baby, Joanna practised on her teddy bear

Joanna and Teddy

And the mutual admiration society grew

Danella & Joanna
My babies

I think of those early days now when I see my first daughter and know who she is and how special she is and all her struggles and triumphs that have honed her and made her into a woman of grace and strength and beauty with just the teeniest bit of over the top geekdom to add spice…..

She’s hoping #10 will open the door….

Today, because neither her sister or I can be with her to celebrate this special birthday I’m celebrating her on this blog – and sharing with you all how much I love and admire this amazing little piece of grace who grew to become a woman of kindness, felicity and beauty

Happy Birthday Joanna

Love from mummy 🙂

29 thoughts on “March 29 1970

  1. Hey Yummy Mummy
    What a gorgeos post, photos and celebration…. Wishing Joanna a very healthy and wonderful life with all her family and to tell you the truth, I had tears and liked Born To Organise’s words of wisdom, my tears are sometimes a great way to express myself when words fail……Love you heaps and wishing all your loved ones my very best

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  2. Awesome post Pauline! Your words for Joanna are so profound and dear. It must be hard to be apart, but I hope you can all celebrate together in the coming months. Maybe because I’ve been lucky enough to meet your girls, it’s quite surprising how they’re so recognizable in their baby photos. Strong DNA in your family my dear 😀
    I found Joanna to be a woman of true warmth and great wit ! She’s fun and easy to be around. Although we’d only just met, Joanna and Danella are so warm and welcoming, I felt like I was spending time with a long loved friends. I can see why Steve is so obviously smitten and why you all enjoy spending time together. Loved all the photos, especially the birdie one. I think that’s one thing the we all have in common too, the love of animals. xo K

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  3. Awww. This is so soo sweet, Pauline. What a beautiful gift for Joanna’s birthday. It made me all weepy. I remember that remarkable feeling of love at first sight too. It’s profound and never goes away. The photos are beautiful and so cute. Your daughters both look like you. 🙂 Happy Birthday to Joanna ❤

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  4. Aw! I had a little tear in my eye too.
    Joanna, in the photo with baby sister, looks just like you in the first photo. Might be the hair!
    I absolutely love the photo of Joanna with the little bird.
    Anyway, I’m sorry you couldn’t be with her for her birthday this year but I’m sure you will make up for it when this is all over.
    Happy Birthday from France Joanna!

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    • Joanna and her birdie is such a lovely pic isn’t it. She was born with such dark hair you know and it became lighter and lighter over those first ten years. As Joanna said this was a birthday she will never forget!

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  5. Give Jo my best birthday wishes. What a beautifully written tribute to her. I see so much of you in both your girls. I’m a tiny bit envious because I was unable to see either one of my children at birth for varying reasons. To see so much of her soul in that moment must have melted you completely. The love of a mother for her children is like no other for most of us. Maybe you will get to celebrate each other sometime soon but from this and more, she knows your heart. That is a gift in itself as we both know well. Sending you all love and hugs with hope for a shift in the right (kinder) direction. M

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    • Thank you Marlene ❤ I hope she has always known my heart. This post was small compensation for a special birthday spent in isolation – all she had was a paper rollout whistle thing that she bought herself – not even a matching paper hat 🙂 Plus of course her loyal and loving partner and her kitty…. and a blog post from her mother and a musical tribute her sister made for her…. Now I think of it she did quite nicely 🙂

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  6. You’ve moved me to tears, Pauline, for so many reasons. Happy birthday, beautiful Jo. I’m so lucky to know you, and to have spent time in your presence.

    Pauline, this is a beautiful celebration of your amazing Jo. These pictures are precious and iconic. Sisters! Birds! You in your youth! There is so much love here. Thank you for this treasure.

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  7. Happy Birthday Joanna from self-quarantined Cincinnati Ohio USA. Hope your Mom didn’t embarrass you with this post. Enjoy your day! …. One more thing … Hi Pauline.

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