Posted by: Joan Spiller | September 28, 2013

Happy 25th Birthday, CJ

I’ve got bloggers block as CJ’s birthday draws to a close .. I’ve been working on this post for months now, in the lead up to her birthday. Because, as everyone teases me – CJ is a big deal in my life and I like to wax lyrical about her now and then 😉

The problem, I think – is that there are so many things I could say about CJ. About my pride in her, about my love for her, about my sense of wonderment at how awesome she is.

So I start off fine then go “hmm, we’re at 3858868 words” .. (and I’m not done!)  so I take a break and then start another entry .. thus far, 11 are languishing in my drafts folder as I sit here and start another one, with time fast running out.

I was one of those terrible mothers who couldn’t make the blobs from the baby when I went into Greenlane maternity hospital for my scan at some 5 months pregnant.

I felt like such a bad person when the sonographer-chick (so excited!) pointed to a mass of .. stuff on the screen .. luckily, when she was born I could make her out way better!  😉

From the first moment I set eyes on her, CJ held me captivated. I well recall how my doctor handed her to me and cleared the room / left us alone, as I’d requested.

CJ looked up at me all solemn and quiet (and oh so old .. I knew I was dealing with an old soul and it was beyond freaky!) I felt a connection that I simply cannot put into words.

Tis fair to say that I felt overwhelmed with an awesome sense of responsibility and the role did seem, at times, so hard. I was young, heck when I was the age CJ is now, I had a 4yr old child. WHAT was I thinking? Geez ..

Anyway, I had bought this amazing being into the world and I took my job as protector, educator and Mother very, very seriously.

Don’t know why I am talking in the past tense, I still take it seriously even though the roles have moved from child to friend.

Sure, there are days when we disagree and – as she grows into a woman with her own ideas and her own way of doing things (Hmpfh!) – I have to bite my tongue and not say “but we’ve always done it this way” .. but when she makes her own decisions and does things her way and succeeds, I bask in the knowledge that (hopefully) I had something to do with it, even if I just showed her how NOT to do some things 😉

People often ask me what the secret was to raising such a neat person. I have to admit, I really don’t know what the answer is.

CJ had an unstable childhood compared to many. Changing schools and towns multiple times. Surviving a divorce and messy custody issues as a result of the split – she says now it’s made her able to walk into any situation and just deal with it but I do wonder how she managed to be so damn cool through all that change when everyone says all kids want is stability.

Maybe the key is what she DID have was the assurance that – no matter what – her Mother was there for her? Maybe she knew that even though I’d kick her ass if she screwed up, I would always help her first.
Then set her down and deliver the ear bashing 😉

Whatever I did, I succeeded.

CJ is one of the most amazing people I know and certainly the most amazing thing going on in my life. And that, is what matters at the end of the day.

And it IS the end of the day.

By now she and her friends will be relaxing with some drinks after a day of paint ball in Hawke’s Bay. And I’m here at home, finally realising the best way to do this birthday blog entry is to just share some pics and say Happy Birthday to my pride and joy.

To my daughter.

I love you, CJ.

xo Mum


A couple of days old with Nana ..


Hmm 5 or 6 years old, in her school photo at Pigeon Mountain Primary School, in Auckland.


Preparing to go out (stand nicely so Mum can take your pic!) at our house in Hastings. I’m thinking aged 17 ..


3 weeks old at my grandparents house in Napier.



Puppy love.
Terrorising our pets – a lifelong theme in her life – animals ..


Terrorising ME too! She said she was making it snow. Brat! Under 2yrs old, in Auckland.

Mar 07 (2)

Aged 18-19, Marineland, Napier.


14yrs old. Her first school dance. I was scared shitless. She looked way too old lol

Xmas03 176

Christmas at Nature’s Way, 13yrs old.


Bathtime. This pic won a bathing beauty contest (score: free nappies!)

CJ Rodeo

Stupid girl. Trying to be a cowboy grrr Love this pic of her in the hat tho 🙂

CJ scrubs

2013 – with a kitten in need of a home..


24th birthday lunch ala Kent ..


24yrs old. In Croatia (I think?) with her lovely boyfriend Tim.

BLOBBIE (17)-1


Sept04 005

Pi. CJ’s best friend for many years. 


Stupid cow!



  1. Whoops, I meant the 28th!


    • Your dates are different to ours so technically you were right 😉


  2. She is a sweetheart! I have her BD as today here, Sat. 29th and intend to wish her a good one. Wish shed would come see us on a visit to the US?


    • I am sure it’s in the pipeline if I know that kid and her enjoyment of travel 😉


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