Now before I continue with The First Moment, I will be keeping the format simple in order to focus on the story.

I will ask

  • for a name, I will also ask whether they would like to remain anonymous,
  • the decade they were born, in to gain perspective on the generation, and then
  • the question; describe an event, or a moment, that has taken place that has influenced your life. The moment doesn’t necessarily have to be good or bad, just a moment.


Alida Buitendag

Decade that you were born in


An event, or moment, that has taken place that has influenced your life

The moment my first child was born is a moment that I hold closest to my heart. It still amazes me that I created this human I call my child.

As the time approached for my siblings and I to start having children, my mother started making baby clothes in preparation for her first granddaughter. She kept the clothes in a faded reg bag; ready at a moments notice.

The year passed and my siblings started having children. To my mother’s dismay the first three grandchildren were all boys and the, mostly pink, baby clothes would simply not do, but the faded bag was passed on none the less.

At the age of 18, I was scared and excited as the days flew by and my belly grew. In the month of February I knew my due date was fast approaching. My belly seemed to have stopped expanding but I remained uncomfortable, anxious and uncertain. During that time I experienced a wide variety of other emotions. I was uncertain and uninformed about what to expect. How do you take care of a tiny human that is so reliant on your every action?

The day before my husband and I spent the night and my parent’s house. I would be going to the hospital the next day. The next morning my father drove me to the hospital in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Unfortunately my husband was called to work early that morning but I was comforted by the presence of my father. The thought of giving birth terrified me!

Exhausted and drenched in sweat, I held my daughter for the first time. My heart could barely contain the love I experienced that day. This little miracle was mine; my beautiful little girl. My father quickly made an appearance, had a quick look and disappeared. He returned shortly with a delicate silver bracelet with my daughter’s name engraved on it.

When I entered my home with my littlest angel tucked in my arms, I immediately recognized the faded red bag, patiently waiting in my hallway. During the first months I probably change her clothes 10 times a day just to get through all the clothes.

The years passed and I had two more beautiful daughters, each causing my heart to grow even more with love. They grew up, they all have children now and some of my grandchildren are approaching an age where great-grandchildren might come along anytime soon.

My children are my greatest treasures, each a rare gem that I will fight to the end for.

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