31st January 2016

Dear Wilfred, It was your second birthday on Friday…

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Dear Wilfred,

It was your second birthday on Friday. We watched your face light up as you walked into the lounge and spotted a giant balloon and pile of presents. We watched you smile as you ripped open the paper and heard you squeal when you saw what was inside. At times, I wondered if you really knew what was going on – but when your friends sang happy birthday to you at your party, your shy smile revealed you knew that you were the star of the show.

Two years have passed since you were placed on my chest in that hospital bed. Two years since we met eyes for the first time. Two years since you came into our lives like the little whirlwind that you are. Our adorable, determined, sensitive little boy.

I think you’re going to like being two. It’s one step closer to your brother, who you idolise. You’ll learn new words, get better at climbing in play areas, maybe even get invited to playdates and parties of your own. It’s going to be a good year; the year you turn from a toddler into a little boy.

But what about me? How do I feel?

The truth is that two years feels like nothing – but at the same time, it feels like forever.

I can barely remember what our family felt like before you arrived. You were always supposed to be here; such an important part of who we all are. I’m not pretending it’s always been easy; your stubborn streak has caused me to pull my hair out at times, whilst your physical strength has made my back ache and arms tremble during tantrums. But those arms are more than willing to hug you close until you calm down. Until you get over whatever caused your grief (generally not being allowed a second snack or absolutely, definitely needing exactly what your brother is playing with at that exact moment). Until it passes and my sweet, funny, cuddly little boy returns.

In one sense, I love this age. I love the fact I can chat to you now (an important tool in the “negotiation” process of dealing with a toddler), that we don’t always need a buggy to head outside, and that you can play independently without risk of slipping and bumping your head every few seconds. I find it easier – but most of all, I have loved seeing your character appear.

In fact, we often chat about how we’d like to freeze this moment in time forever; with your funny garbled sentences, mixed up lyrics to nursery rhymes, and hilarious dancing whenever you hear music.

But the flipside is that I miss your baby-ness. I miss your chubby thighs that have slimmed down since you started scooting, climbing, and running. I miss watching your eyes droop and close as you fall asleep with a bottle. I miss hearing your sweet little baby laugh when your brother walks into the room.

And this is the problem with parenthood, isn’t it?

Constantly pining after the past, whilst full of excitement about the future.

And I am excited. I can’t wait to watch you open your stocking next Christmas, to celebrate your third birthday, to start school, to learn to play rugby, to rush down water slides with your friends, and stay up late at the weekend to watch movies and eat pizza as a treat. I can’t wait to see what kind of boy you will become; your interests, your talents, and your passions. I am so excited for all that.

But until then, I am going to enjoy this moment, exactly as you are now. Your shy smile in front of your birthday cake, your sweet little pot belly in pyjamas, and your garbled sentences that make us smile.

The truth is that two years feels like nothing – but at the same time, it feels like forever.

And Wilfred, we are so lucky to have felt forever. So very lucky indeed.

Happy birthday, little man.

Mummy x