I want to write a little bit about the two of you…It was just you and I today son. Although we have our set days together in the week when your sister is at preschool we are always doing something, either seeing friends or running errands. So today was just really nice. It was lovely in fact. By the end of the day when your dad was home, instead of rushing to him and not leaving his side, after dinner you came and you sat next to me, you put your arm on my leg, looked up at me and giggled. I like to imagine that in that look and that cute little giggle you were saying how very much you loved me and that I was your best friend. In fact, I know that is what you were saying because your small warm hand on my leg and your scrunched up nose and squinted eyes, giggling so much your eyes were mere slits in your face told me so. You were happy. I can tell that today you really appreciated our time together, and it makes me so happy yet so sad all at once.
It makes me sad because I don’t know how we have got here, 19 months old already. When I spent today alone with you I remember clearly Sophia at the same age, her little feet running around the house, her giggles, her first words, you my son are no different. The two of you are so similar in many of your ways, and mostly in your love. Your love for me is so strong, the way you look to me for acknowledgment or for an answer. The way you nestle your little bottoms right next to me on the sofa, even though there is so much space elsewhere you choose me, every single day you choose your mummy. That makes me burst with pride and actually manages to knock the wind out of me to know I am loved that unconditionally by the both of you. I see it now in you Sophia at nearly 5 years old, but I see it ever so clearly in the days and months around when you became you and you could show me so. At around 18 months just like your brother now, you could speak well, interact with me, tell me what makes you happy and sad. We knew each other so well, in fact I have done very well to escape many of the toddler tantrums because of miss communication. I think I was really lucky with you two, you don’t give me the mummy grief, you are good children, loving and kind, I only see the good in you, as does every parent of their own child.
But I see more than the good I see the things that make you angry, what makes you sad, I try to help you deal with your emotions and work through them, I always tell you it is okay to feel sad, frustrated or angry. Yes those feelings are okay, they are normal. I try to help you to deal with those emotions (as best I can) in the right way, so that means not lashing out and hurting the person that upset you. It means voicing your hurt and telling the person that they have hurt you. It means crying, it means getting a cuddle, it means letting you express yourself as a human being and not a a creature unable to deal with their emotions in a gentle manner. There is a lot of talking, a lot of me trying to be understanding, being tolerant, and guiding you. At the same time, unbeknown to you of course, I am learning to understand myself too, I learn more patience with each mishap. I am like a spiritual guru with the amount of patience I somehow tap into during these escapades. (Blowing my own trumpet here, but it’s true, motherhood does that!)
But today as I spent time with your little brother, as I watched him and we enjoyed each other, I was able to see through him how very wonderful you are Sophia. Because not only am I his teacher and guardian but you are too. I am proud to call you his teacher alongside myself. You do such an amazing job. You cuddle him when he has fallen over, you show him bugs in the garden with confidence and no fear, and teach him how to treat animals. He watches you as you gently stroke Bella (our cat) and talk to her, he listens as you tell her: ‘Bella you are the cutest cat in the world”. You get yourself a drink but you never forget him. If your friends try to run away from him, you call him over. When he cries for his toy car you are sitting in, you ask him to sit with you. It is not often that I have to intervene and tell you to be nice. And I am lucky. I am so lucky to have such a loving little girl as my daughter, you have such an empathy for others, it is like no other I have experienced before. You are kind, you do great things everyday, so many great things at home too, you help me, you help your brother, and you help your daddy. You give all of us a little piece of happiness that we can fold up and keep in our pockets. A little piece of Sophia’s happiness, and we love you so and we need you so. You add so much to our little family. Not only my first born, but my best friend (of course I am your mum first) But I love you so much it hurts. It really does. I listen to you at night on your bunk bed as I lay with Archie below, and I hear your soft voice, your little fingers fiddling with one of your ornaments from your shelf next to your bed, or how you toss and turn trying to get to sleep, and when I hear your deep breathing I know you are dreaming. That is when no matter what you have done in the day whether you have screamed or hurt my feelings, when you are asleep I forget it all.
I take great joy in watching you grow, seeing your face every morning, your sleepy face and bedhead along with your morning cuddle which I couldn’t live without and hearing your soft voice. I love making your dinner and serving you at the table, asking if you need a drink ( you always get your own knife and fork). As you eat and full your little 4 and a half year old belly, I sit in wonder that you have grown so quickly and I sit basking in your happiness as you eat and enjoy your food. I love you so much, every little thing that you do has me jumping for joy and praising the ground that you walk on. You are beautiful. You are amazing and you are my daughter for eternity.
It was your little brother today that reminded me of you as a baby Sophia and it gives me goosebumps to know how fast this is all going, even more so because you start school in September. And… well, Archie and I we are really going to miss you, so very much. We are going to miss our lazy mornings when we have the chance to have one, days of freedom together to do whatever it is that we feel fit, the park, a walk around the lake, visiting the farm, soft play, or meeting friends. We can still do all of this but the only difference is that you are not going to be with us. That makes us both so sad.. Although I know this era of your life at home with mum is coming to an end in one way, I treasure it as it has been the most amazing journey and experience of my whole life. Because with you I have started to grow into the woman I dreamt of. But I also am aware that it is time for you to start school, although I don’t know if I will ever be ready to say that you are ready to start school, I know that it is the right time. You are coming round to the idea and you love your new school and that makes me happy.