I Hope I Never Forget…
Life is crazy, time is never on our side. I blinked and your brother was one already, I took a breath and you were 4 months old. In the whirlwind of our lives, it’s easy to forget the little things. I mean, the big things like the 1st time your brother said ‘mam’ is etched in my heart forever (as will be the day you meet that milestone too).
Those little things though are the things that make every day living special and worthwhile. At the moment, you abide sleep but there’ll come a time when I tuck you in at 7pm and don’t get to hold you until 7am. I hope I don’t forget how amazing it felt to be so needed. You sleep on my chest, snuggle into my arms and let your heart start to beat in the same rhythmic pattern of my own. My warmth comforts you and your tears fade as you relax in my embrace. You feel safe here, I hope you always do.
While the whole world is sleeping, you treat me to a smile, the smiles that make 4am a happy time to be awake. I hope I never forget how privileged it felt that it was me you choose to smile at. I think of that song ‘you’ve got a secret smile’ because these smiles are our secret, they’re our special private moments undisturbed by your brother.
I sit and watch you breathe, you do it with such ease and poise that it’s easy to forget that you were once unable to do this for yourself. I hope I never forget how proud I felt the day you came off the ventilator and never needed it again. You were only 4 days old. You were strong from the start. We joked about your determination knowing that you’ll have your Father’s bossiness. I hope when you’re a teenager and these traits become ‘trying’ that I can remember how much I rejoiced in them when you were so young.
You’re growing so quickly, I once had a bag full of clothes far too big for you. Now, I equally have as many too small. I hope I never forget how excited I was the 1st time I got to dress you. You were 7 days old, the nurses at North Tees told me it was time and I was giddy with excitement. I raced to Mothercare, felt so disappointed when they had nothing to fit a 4lb baby. Still, I bought you a vest with ‘Daddy’s little Cupcake’ printed on the front. I wanted to surprise him, I wanted him to share in my excitement. I hope I never forget how beautiful
you looked in that moment or the look on your Daddy’s face as he championed his little girl for meeting her 1st milestone.
I worried for so long about bringing you home, I was scared of the jealousy your brother might feel but it’s so clear now just how much he loves you, he blows kisses in your direction, constantly wants to touch you and kiss you. He smiles when he sees you, he cries when he can’t be near you. When you’re older and fighting, when the sibling rivalry is unbearable, I hope I never forget how cute it was to see him care for you. He was only 9 months and 3 days old when you were born. One of the hardest parts of your birth was missing him. The 7 days I spent separated from him were raw and painful. The 5 weeks I had to split my time were heart-wrenching. I sat by your side knowing you needed me the most but my arms ached to hold both of you. The times I saw him, he slept in my arms. Slept as if he hadn’t relaxed in days, as if my warmth made him feel safe too. When you’re both older and independent, I hope I never forget how much you both needed me. I hope I’m always there for both of you and can provide you with that same feeling of comfort forever.
As you get older, your rocky start becomes harder to believe. Your prematurity becomes unnoticeable, people become less scared to handle you, people become to view you as a ‘normal’ child. I know I’ll never forget how precious you were, I know I won’t forget that because you’ll be precious forever. You’re my diamond, my dolly, my warrior princess and I long for the days when you’re my best friend too. Those days will be here soon, you’ll be talking and walking and terrorising your brother and father. I can’t wait to see who you become, I hope I never forget the person that you were.