This week we are celebrating our daughter’s 10th Birthday and that specialness of “turning double figures…at last!
Ten years is an entire decade. So hard to believe both that so much time has passed and that there was a time she wasn’t here. Life before kids is getting harder to remember these days!
In the process of putting together a slide show for her birthday, I stumbled across a letter I’d written to her brother three days before she was born. I’d forgotten all about it although that’s a very me thing to do and I do remember thirsting for information about how to help number 1 child adapt well to the arrival of number 2. Mister was almost 2 years old at the time and so had no hope of understanding my letter at the time but it was intended as a kind of apology for down the track or perhaps an insurance policy. Sorry we screwed you up kid but we did our best at the time.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s:
Mummy’s Letter to Mister February, 2006
It’s now only 3 days until your baby sister arrives in the world and our lives are changed forever.
I know we didn’t ask for your opinion, but we wanted you to have a sibling, someone to share your life with…birthdays, Christmases and all those multi-coloured memories. We understand that there will be times when you wish you could just send your sister back and be the centre of our universe again.
However, I think we all need the depth and texture that comes with being part of a family. You need to learn to be a part of a community and learn to give and take. It’s also great to have someone to play with and have fun. We hope you and Miss have some wonderful, wonderful times together as well as with us, your Mum and Dad.
You were our first born, our superlatively gorgeous little man. I will never forget the very first time I saw you and the love, which flowed from my heart like a mighty waterfall, such powerful, amazing emotions. Like a bud transforming into a flower, we’ve marveled at each small step you’ve taken and I have photographed what seems like every minute during your first year. These were not easy times as your father and I were lost in the dark grappling to find a light switch half the time. We hadn’t had much experience with babies and nothing can really prepare you for the enormous changes. Yes, it is all worth it and you are a wonderful little man but there have been times where it would have been nice to just return to sender and return to a relatively carefree existence. But, like being an only child, it would be a life without the depth, the meaning, the grappling and most of all, the love and deep emotional connection that you can only have with your child. You are our flesh and blood, our breath, our life. You just can’t fathom what that really means until you have children of your own. There is work, achievements, goals and then there’s life and you have given us life (even though it feels like we had a life before you arrived and have now become walking zombies).
I wanted to acknowledge this crossroad in all our lives. I am the first born in my family and experienced years of bitter resentment. Some degree of jealousy is inevitable but I want you to be happy and we want you to have someone to share your life with and not just be an island. That means sharing centre stage with your so called rival. However, we have more than enough love for both of you and when it boils down to it, your sister is your nearest ally. It really is us against the world….definitely NOT us versus each other!
I will be honest with you and say that I have my own reservations about adding to our family. I have struggled looking after one of you at times and I hope I can be fair and equal and not play favourites. I worry about how you will cope without me while I’m in hospital and wonder whether anyone else can really know your intimate requirements the way your Mummy does. So much of the time, it has just been the two of us and while that has been lonely and isolating at times, you have grown into my companion and we’ve gone to the beach and the reptile park together and enjoyed our own universe. I will treasure those moments as the chaos of a new baby and the business of life takes over. I know I will find it hard to let go of that but I remind myself that we are adding, not subtracting to our family and soon the four of us will feel like it has always been.
So, as we’re about to embark on this next stage of our journey together, let me remind you just how much I love you and that you’ll always be my Little Man!
With much love and God’s richest blessings!