I am sat here at my desk, the biggest smile spreading across my face as I think of you, my little one, and all that you have brought to our lives.
It is hard to imagine a time before you were here. Hard to imagine even how you could ever have been so tiny, two years ago, when you first came home.
You are still very small. Like a little pixie, cheeky face atop your wiry, strong body. A body that loves to climb, and run, and jump. Often I feel my legs quiver as I see you push the limits of what should be possible, have to clench my fists to stop myself sweeping you up and away to safety. I am learning to trust your agility, your courageous determination. You are an explorer, a risk-taker. A magic maker.
And this last year especially has been full of magic: that transition from baby to toddler, where the world has opened up to you and you have opened up to the world.
You constantly astound us with your cleverness. With your words, ever-growing sentences tumbling out of you as your vocabulary blooms. Your frustration at not bring able to express yourself has been replaced by a sparkle in your eye as you search for the words you need and find them, determined and precise. And you’re funny, too. You watch as Arthur giggles through new jokes and copy him with glee, his blossoming communication skills imprinting on your own.
You adore your brother. He is the first person you ask for in the morning, the last at night. He sets quite a pace, but it doesn’t stop you doing your very best to keep up. And he loves that – he loves you, very much. And I love to watch you play together with trains or lego, to watch him take your hand as you wander off into the woods: it fills my heart.
So many of your days are spent outdoors. Singing songs around a campfire or watching bugs. A simple mud kitchen can keep you engaged for hours – stirring, pouring, squishing, dipping. You are so at home amongst the trees. Or on the beach, digging sand and throwing stones into the sea. Whenever you can you like to throw off your shoes, feel the ground beneath your bare feet, toes tickled by grass and leaves.
You love books, too. Just recently your attention span has exponentially grown so that rather than meandering off halfway through a story you will happily sit and listen to several in a row. ‘Thomas’ is your favourite, but to be honest anything will do. Ideally more than once, with time to stop and chat about the pictures.
And then there’s towers, and play dough, and drawing, and animals. Toy ones, and real ones too. You are especially fond of Barney cat, and the feeling is mostly mutual. He’s not super keen on having his tail pulled though, or being lifted up by his neck.
But you’re learning that. You’re learning so much about where the boundaries are, about what the most effective ways are to interact with the world. And we are all learning so much from you.
It is not always easy, this motherhood lark. But it is an incredible journey – made even more so because I get to mother you.
All my love for always,