Saturday, 24 October 2015

An Open Letter to my Six Year Old

Inspired by my horror to this 

Dear Mr 6

This week you wanted to attend your Monster Ball at school dressed as a were wolf. "It's a great costume but you might find it a bit scratchy, there are some other choices over here". No. You were resolute and headstrong and insisted on the were wolf costume. The moment we got to the ball you dispensed with most of it.

You responded to me in the style with which I have become accustomed, your intelligence shining as it always does "When will I learn to listen to my mother?" You said earnestly. I smiled gently. "It's not in your job description. Your job is to find your own path, to listen to what I say and do your own thing anyway, and my job is to roll my eyes and sigh at always being right."

My son, I carried you for 27 weeks. My pregnancy wasn't fun, it was scary. Every day I worried for you. I minded very much when the medical team said "we must deliver your baby so you do not die". I wanted your safety, your life above all. That's what mothers do. I recall laying my hands on my tummy and saying "it's ok, if it's not your time just go, don't hang on, just let go. You gave me an almighty kick. I took that as a telling off, you weren't giving in. I knew from that day on what your character would be like.

Every day I sat by a plastic box. I watched you squirm, pull tubes out, grumble at being messed with. I watched you learn to breathe, to feed. I minded this very much. You should have been inside me, safe and warm, learning all the things you needed to know to survive. It shouldn't have been so hard for you. I minded that my failure to keep you safe meant you had to struggle.

I took you home, your dad and I absolutely terrified as we realised the cat was twice your size. I watched you learn to adapt to life with just me and your dad, to the difference in being at home versus a hospital. I worried for you every day. I was scared you would leave me. I was scared I would fail you.

I held you and hugged you every day. Every day I would whisper "you can do anything". You learnt to overcome your small size and your coordination problems. You learnt to face the world with humour.

I gave you to the world, bit by bit, nursery, then school. I worried they wouldn't understand you. I worried you would struggle, and at times you did. However every day your character became more apparent. "Joseph struggles with maths and English". I smiled and said "try human biology", it worked. Now you are a wonderful reader, your maths is strong, and you demand to be taught physics and chemistry. Keeping up with you is a delightful struggle.

Being your mum has been an adventure. I have learnt so much about resilience and hope. About laughter and tears. I have learnt that I have a capacity to trust and love, live and learn that I never knew I had.

And I have learnt that being a mother is not a sacrifice. Sure my life is different now but I resent nothing, the path hasn't been easy but it's been an adventure and continues to be.

And I wouldn't have it any other way. 

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