Renoir's "Girl with the Watering Can"Close friends of mine conceived after a long struggle…and even then, little Nell made us wait the full forty weeks before finally making her arrival yesterday morning at 5:25. This post is dedicated to her.

The day before you introduced yourself to us officially, while you were still napping, your mother was wearing a black swimming frock as a dress. I dropped off my sister-in-law’s famous Cocido with some German breadrolls for dinner, and worried that it wasn’t enough.  Mom laughed, and  you gave a bounce as I rubbed over her belly impatiently, telling you to show your face. That night, mom and dad had their last date before you came.  Beatrice in Much Ado was born under a dancing star, but when you arrived, the sun pulled itself up and over the mountain to have a look at your chubby kissable cheeks and rosebud mouth.  I went to church with such joy in my heart, and all the ooms and tannies  were buzzing with happiness about how you looked and when you came and how much you weighed and how they prayed for your travels into here to be safe.

On the day you came, your brother was happily playing at home with ouma and oupa. He said you’ll look like Renoir’s “Girl with the Watering Can” but then you surprised us with your dad’s dark hair. You seem to like surprising us. I’m remembering the time when Mom put Debussy’s Claire de Lune on her moon-shaped belly via dad’s headphones. You tumbled and dived and it was decided that Debussy was your groove.  You share this birthday with Margaret Thatcher, Nana Mouskouri, Eleanor of England who was the Queen of Castille and Paddington Bear.

On the day you came, a breeze zipped round the beret of Julius Malema as he made a feverish speech about HIS baby, which isn’t a baby at all, but a political party…which is also not really a party, but more like a group of people who feel unhappy about more or less the same set of things. President Jacob Zuma picked out a suit and tie to meet with the French president, Francoise Hollande… and Rihanna, a lady singer, sang a few of her songs in Johannesburg while wearing a flag-cape, as if she was South Africa’s American Supergirl…and here in Cape Town, which is where you were born, people stretched and took pictures as they got ready to participate in a fun run, called the Gun Run.

However, for us, YOU were the biggest news on the day you came… Happy firsts, Nell.

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