TRACY MAD­DEN

IN­TE­RIOR DEC­O­RA­TOR & RO­MANCE AU­THOR, 55

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - UPFRONT -

I find it a ridicu­lous story, be­com­ing en­gaged just be­fore my 16th birth­day [to Chris Mad­den, then a car­pen­ter, now CEO of a global pay­ment pro­cess­ing com­pany] and get­ting mar­ried at 18 – what were my par­ents think­ing? At 20 I thought it might be nice to have a baby; from a young age I knew I wanted to be a mother. So I started cro­chet­ing dozens of booties, and my hus­band fit­ted out a lovely wardrobe, and I thrived on it from the mo­ment I had Fleur. I loved it.

I re­call some­one say­ing to me that you can make of moth­er­hood what you want – you can be the CEO of that job if you wish – and that’s what I did. No mat­ter what else I’ve done in my life, it’s what I’ve loved the most. I had Ni­cholas four years later. When he was born, Fleur was so ma­ture it seemed like a much big­ger age gap; she was so bossy when it came to look­ing af­ter him.

We’ve al­ways been very close – my hus­band is the strong, silent type and Nick is the strong, silent type, ju­nior – but Fleur has my words. She’s my big­gest con­fi­dante and, as we’ve got older, our age gap has got even smaller. Now I think it’s beau­ti­ful that Fleur some­times gives me back the ad­vice that I gave her. Of­ten when she achieves some­thing fab­u­lous, peo­ple say, ‘Oh, you must have taught her well’, but I feel like she’s gone far be­yond what we taught her. I feel like now she’s show­ing us how it’s done.

I think Fleur Mad­den can well and truly take credit for what she’s achieved. It’s a priv­i­lege to be her mother – I wouldn’t trade that for be­ing her friend.

“I feel like she’s gone far be­yond what we taught her. I feel like now she’s show­ing us how it’s done.”

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