Letters to my Son

Letter to my son: One year of you

15th August 2016
Baby 1st birthday

Darling Oscar,
Last week was your 1st birthday. We had such a lovely day. The sun was shining and it was beautifully hot, much like it was this time last year when you were born. You had your first ever piece of chocolate cake, splashed about in the paddling pool and opened your presents. We tried to buy some new chickens (now pecking away in the back garden), ate pancakes for breakfast and had dinner together in the garden while drinking champagne and enjoying your attempts to get your hands on daddy’s glass.

We didn’t have a party, partly because you sometimes find lots of people a bit overwhelming but mostly because we wanted it to be just us – like it was last year when we first met you.

I still think of that day often. The moment I first saw you quickly followed by the moment I first held you and then the moment you looked up at me with those astonishing blue eyes. And you didn’t cry, not once. Everything I was before that point just melted in those moments. Life suddenly made sense: you made it make sense. The year that followed has changed me body and soul, and I can’t thank you enough for that gift.

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Motherhood

The thing about milestones

8th May 2016
588

Oscar started crawling last week. It was a big deal. Ever since he figured out he had legs he’s been desperate to get on the move, and more particularly get on his feet. He’s been threatening to start crawling for weeks and now, suddenly, he can.

But milestones are funny things. Hailed as golden moments of development by the reams of literature you read and advice you listen to, when they actually happen they can be strangely anticlimactic. Continue Reading…

Memories

My grandmothers house

1st May 2016

At my grandmothers house, the impossible becomes possible.

Endless adventures down the stream and under the road, wellies sloshing and feet stumbling. Secret missions up the garden to the hidden summer house where my elusive uncle seemed to sometimes live. Easter egg hunts with tiny chocolate eggs in every flower and beneath every pebble, and on Easter morning Cadbury’s cream eggs peeking from beneath an egg cosy instead of boiled ones. We were allowed to play with her fancy computer where you could draw straight through the screen with a magic pen onto untouchable paper. How things have moved on in 25 years…

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Motherhood

I miss cooking

25th April 2016
Mushrooms, tomato and spinach on toast

It started with the shepherds pies and crumbles and cakes everyone brings you when you’ve just had a baby. Very soon it developed into steak sandwiches and curries made and fed to me by my partner. He fed me and I fed the baby. Then before I knew it it had been eight months and I’d barely cooked a single meal.

What had happened to me? I was going to be one of those stay-at-home mums who found time to delight and entertain her baby, lunch with fellow mummy friends, cook and clean not to mention run her own business.

Pa.

For the uninitiated let me just say this; if you’re also thinking these things about how life might be post-baby I strongly encourage you to stop reading and keep dreaming. To do both would almost certainly put a sharp and tidy halt to the dreaming and may even make you think twice about introducing a small bundle of exhausting joy into your life, which would be a very sorry state of affairs on both counts. Who doesn’t want a small bundle of exhausting joy? – and who in the world wants to stop dreaming? It’s the stuff of life.

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Motherhood

Nine months then eight months

23rd April 2016
Photo of sleeping baby

Is how long we’ve had a baby in our lives. It feels ridiculous and impossible when I add it up like that.

It’s almost a year and a half.

Yet, of course, it feels like only yesterday that I first held his tiny body against me and looked into the bluest of blue eyes. It even feels like yesterday that I watched in comedy slow motion as the word ‘Pregnant’ magically appeared on the stick I had just carefully dipped in a cup of pee (somewhat less like the movies but I mean really, who can actually guarantee that a steady stream of urine did in fact hit the stick for exactly five seconds? I can’t handle that kind of pressure).

I had meant to start writing about my new life as a mother as soon as it started. But it turns out new motherhood doesn’t come with designated writing time factored into the schedule. Who knew? It also turns out new motherhood is almost never like you imagined, and certainly never exactly like it was for anyone else. You might guess right at parts of it, but only a magician – or maybe a Buddhist who was very connected to her past lives – could make a claim on knowing all of what was to come.

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