Posts filed under ‘home life’
This week has been full of ”this time last year…” moments as we approach L’s first birthday (and mumbling, mostly to myself, ”I just can’t believe it, how can he be one soon?”.) We’re on the cusp of toddlerhood and while memories of life before L joined us are becoming hazy, it really does feel like his first year has passed in the blink of an eye while being filled with so many memorable moments. It’s been delightful seeing his beautiful, sunny personality emerge. If ever pictures could speak words it’s these of lovely Luca, our absolute ”bringer of light”.
I always wanted to be a Mother and at 23 when we got married I would have expected to be parenting children in double figures by now. Life didn’t follow the path I’d so neatly mapped out in my head and thirteen Mothers’ Days came and went before I finally got to experience my first celebration of Motherhood. I am deeply thankful that I get to Mother my boys but I still hesitate to celebrate it proudly as I know the deep sadness many women (and indeed men on Father’s Day) feel for what lies just out of reach for them. My first Mother’s Day would have been my second if my first pregnancy had not ended in miscarriage so on this day I think too of the Mother’s without children and the children growing up without their Mother. This poem ”For all who aren’t” by Cheyl Lawrie speaks so beautifully of all these feelings that I have no need to write anything else!
For all who aren’t
There are few days so cruel
as mothers day
A prayer of love for those who aren’t mothers.
Today may you know all you are.
A prayer of love
for those who decided they wouldn’t
be a mother
because they dared not
for fear they would replicate a world
that tried to destroy them
A prayer of love for those who did
but not by choice
who had decision thrust upon them
and now live searching for a love
that will catch up to their truth
A prayer of love for those who couldn’t
who tried but it never worked
and for those who did,
A prayer of love for those who never got the chance to even try
and who with all the other pain that lives inside
today bear the fear of being
someone else’s pity
A prayer of love today for those who hear the word
with resentment, disappointment, guilt
fear, rage, horror,
a prayer for those who cannot love their mother
or their child
and who no longer have the strength to try
A prayer of love for those who have no day
that speaks their worth
that tells their story
that reminds them they are also gift to the world
A prayer of love for those who aren’t.
Today may you know all you are.
(Pictures: Euan’s Mother’s Day card made at school – complete with sucker in the centre of the rainbow heart ”to suck all the love in for you’. Inside he wrote ”I love you Mummy bcus you maik me my yumbox”. Flowers above from our allotment, grown in 2011 from seeds sown in memory of our first baby)
Whenever I ask G to take a specific picture for me he knows I’ve got some kooky idea in my head and that his snap probably won’t match the one I’ve already got in mind. These photos were an attempt to recreate the last one of me with bump and E, taken the day I went into hospital to have L. We weren’t bouncing on a birth ball this time round so the background turned out differently and E wasn’t feeling the camera love in quite the same way after a busy day at school but the result is rather lovely nonetheless (thank you G). And the occasion for this particular snapshot? Luca’s earthside birthday which marks the same number of days spent earthside as I spent carrying him in my tummy. (That’s 41 weeks and 4 days to those of you, who like me, can hardly believe 9.5 months have passed already).
I hadn’t heard of an earthside birthday before a Mum in Australia referred to it on her Instagram page. It’s a shame I didn’t know about it for E’s earthside date but scanning my photo archive he would have looked like this at 41 weeks + 5 days…
There’s certainly a striking similarity between the brothers still but marked differences in their hair! How blessed we are to have these gorgeous little humans in our life.
3 years ago I wrote about a lovely New Year tradition of popping a daily gratitude note in a jar. E was just turning 2 and I started with such enthusiasm. Life became a bit busy and the habit slipped after just a few months. The jar remained, gathering dust behind the herbal teas and last year I found it. How I wish I’d kept it up. It’s been so lovely remembering these delightful moments, especially finding the photos that retell their story! My absolute favourite note was:
Telling E he lived in my tummy before he was born…”Yes, when I was a snack”.
We might be two months into a new year but it’s never too late to start is it!
- Crickley Hill walk with friends and their dog
- feeding the cows with E at a friends farm
- coming home from work to find G downstairs and E upstairs. G said ‘‘He’s just doing his own thing” (hiding and watching phone videos of himself)
- playing peekaboo behind trees in the rain and E eating king prawns and chips afterwards
- E’s very sincere ”thank you” when he hands you things… like mouthfuls of yoghurt while sat in his boat (a box)
- E saying ”Squircle” when I asked what shape we should make the track
- Daddy day – G teaching E to say ‘‘thanks” because his very sweet ”fank you” sounds like something else!
- tidal wave splashes in the bath – seeing the funny side when E says ”like rain”
- E copying ”oh my word” with such expression and sleeping longer stretches at night
- E and his friend R giggling at balloons being blown up and let off
- Kindness of strangers – an elderly gentleman I see at the swimming pool giving me a very generous”token for E” for his birthday
- E reading ”The places you’ll go” to himself in his cosy corner
- Appreciation of being a two parent family and making a great team
- Mummy day – going to the spa, blogging, time with G
- E enjoying his books so much – heart melting
- E jabbing blue berries with a fork while saying ”Boo”
- Papa G and Nanny coming to visit – E sticking, playing and chuckling
- Bimbling round the Quays, having a nice lunch in Portivo lounge and having a sleepy cuddle with E
- ”Euan’s turn on the toilet”… E sat for a minute then put the toddler seat on his head
- Video of E saying ”Oh no, it’s rubbish” in a Northern accent
- Toddler world birthday party for E and having friends round for tea
- Going to the Play farm with cousin Zac, excitement at cake and blowing out candles
- Cuddles on the sofa and E falling asleep on me now he’s napping less
- Nana’s birthday – E so happy and curious at out our meal out
- ”Get in… Get out…Get in ….Get out” – E giggling directions to me, Nana and Grandad as we all hid in his ‘den’ (under his duvet)
- First wee (and a bit of spray!) on the potty
- E’s excitement at ”go see Dadda drilling”. Thankful for such a handy husband.
- Going to the bathroom to find E sat on the mat taking his own socks and trousers off
- My birthday – cinema with G, tea at Zizzi’s, E to bed early after a no nap day, Epsom salts bath and in bed by 9.30pm!
- Visit to the dentist confirmed E has all his teeth. Really brave despite being spooked by the big chair. ‘‘Don’t want to” to dentist counting his teeth but enticed by stickers
- Excited E helping with the washing up ”this one hot, this one cold”
- E dancing with Milo, cuddles, seeing his friend Noah
- Being woken up by E singing ”Row, Row, Row your boat. If you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream. Aaaargh”
- Dancing at a friends birthday party, getting to the allotment even though it was clear out shed day
- E popping balloons at a friends house
- Going shopping and E saying ”I want to go up the eskimo” (meaning escalator)
18 years wed and my anniversary gift to G tomorrow will be to start to declutter our porcelain and every other cupboard in the house! I read “The life changing magic of tidying” last week and am itching to get started. G is thrilled but I’m sure he wishes it hadn’t taken so long for me to see the light! Bless him for his patience and perseverance with his tidy Ying to my messy Yang.
I was looking through some old photos with E today and came across this one from my 21st birthday in 1996. How fresh faced we were and already making plans for a life together beyond college. We could never have predicted it would take so long to create our family and complete it with L more than 20 years after falling in love.
Becoming a Mum for the second time at 41, when many of our friends are raising teenagers, has found me reflecting on who will be in our lives when E and L are young men. One of my greatest joys when I fell pregnant with E after years of infertility was that my Nan was still alive to see G and I become parents. She loved chatting to G about growing up in London and was quite taken by our little E and his interest in his Dad’s musical instruments.
(Me, Nan and G in 2002)
Nan died in 2013 when E was 15 months old – she would have been 99 this month. I love how she is still very real to E through the stories we share when he looks at photos. Although L won’t have met her she’ll be part of his life too. The years may pass but the stories remain.
Our other anniversary stories:
I flicked through my old baby albums and there’s not a sniff of a likeness! It was only when E turned 2 or 3 that people started to say he looked like me. I see it in his expressions and mimicking of some of the things I say (”wow, that’s great”). I’m pleased to say in the smile at least there’s something of the Mum in the boy!