Last week it was a friends little boys 3rd birthday. 3! It seems so old, and yet I remember the day he was born. The anticipation of a text from our friends as I felt my very own baby girl kick around inside of me. Of waking up and checking our phones for news and thinking that soon, very soon I would get to meet my last baby too. Gosh that doesn’t seem like 3 years ago and it just makes me think that in a few months time, it will be our turn. It will be us with the huge 3 balloon swaying around in the lounge and an overexcited toddler telling everyone in sight that she is now 3. And I am so not ready for that.
I know that may sound a little selfish, and maybe it is. I am so very happy that she is growing and thriving and that she cannot wait to be 3, more than anything in the world I am happy she is here with me, that she is mine, still. But also every time I look at her I see that baby that once was. I am forever too busy to look at her and see the changes, to look back on the photos or videos of when she was little and see how far she has come. I am too busy with life, like everyone I am just too busy living in the here and now. But did I miss it? Did I miss the day that she went from mispronouncing words to saying them perfectly? Did I miss the day she would stumble on the stairs and regain her composure by gripping my hand tighter now that she goes up and down without a care in the world? Did I miss that day or did one day just merge into the other whilst we were living it? Living it together.
I know that it is ridiculous to say seen as I spend pretty much all of my time with her but I miss her. I miss the little baby that she used to be. The baby that needed me to help do the smallest of tasks, like eat and sleep. The 9 month old that just got up and walked one day and I have never been able to keep up since. The tiny toddler that could make a whole room of people laugh without even batting an eyelid whilst keeping the straightest of faces. I actually miss her, did I miss it all?
No, I didn’t. I actually was there Roma Rose, for every single second of it and yes I might have been preoccupied with washing and chatting and attempting to drink a luke warm cup of tea if you were happy playing for a moment. I might have been busy hiding in the kitchen eating a biscuit when now I would give anything to be in the room with you watching how you stacked bricks one of top of the other again and again. Now you build intricate buildings with tiny pieces of Lego and I don’t know that I remember when that happened, and that’s ok. Because I am not sure anyone does. I will always wish I could go back and soak you up, but I can do it now, I can do it, I can try, and I can also know that it will never feel enough.
I am the lucky one, the one that gets to be here, the one that gets to witness your every day, the way one day merges into the other and yes that might mean that I also cannot distinguish one from the other sometimes. Or that I am wishing for bedtime or weekends sometimes too. But it does mean that every now and then, when the fact you are growing up way too fast hits me in the face like a brick, I will spend as much time as I can soaking you up. Looking so closely at the details that I will probably forget but that I know I noticed in the moment, right here, right now, and that is exactly what I plan to do today.
The things I will notice are the things I already know. You Roma are brave and kind, confident and thoughtful, loud and cuddly. You are funny, and cheeky, defiant and bold, and you rarely respond well to the word no. You love food, adventure, bikes, tractors, lego and babies. You will be the first to get your hands dirty in the garden and squeal at the prospect of umbrellas and wellies. You would also be the first to fall flat on your face and just jump back up again. You talk amazingly, can hold a conversation with anyone and are confident to make your views known. But you are kind, you are sensitive, you are melted instantly by a tiny baby, you drag your grey jellycat rabbit with you practically everywhere you go and soft toys are your hoard of choice.
Sometimes Romy, you don’t listen, you are physically demanding, you have never been the best sleeper and it makes me sad that I have not been able to help you. Yet you have a face that lights up a room, you are the happiest little thing and most content when surrounded by people and friends or running full pelt in the park, you actually think you are pretty invincible right now. Which partly terrifies me and makes me the proudest mother alive. You have this blonde crazy wild hair that came from nowhere and sort of looks like you don’t belong in this family with your half curls and your half straight, you rarely want it up, or messed with, it is wild, a little like you baby girl. It might look like you are not part of us yet you fit so very perfectly and I cannot imagine what our family would look like without you. You truly are my little ray of sunshine.
I am sorry I am sometimes busy, I am sorry that I sometimes forget that you are there when your sister needs me and that given half the chance I go for a little time to myself to gather my thoughts or to work instead of playing as a family. I am sorry that I often watch you from a distance because it feels special and amazing to do so and I am sorry that I don’t often consciously teach you things like your ABC’s (although that is your favourite song) and that you learn your numbers from tagging along with your sister times table practice. But I am not sorry that you are growing, I am not sorry that you are changing right in front of my eyes because that Roma is the most beautiful thing to watch, even if it does seem like it’s on fast forward sometimes.
This parenting journey has been different and it has taught me many many things. Mostly though, I have learnt that all I really needed to do was to know you, to parent you the way that you need me to and to see the joys that that brings to me, and to every single person around you.
I love you Roma Rose, I am excited for today, an ordinary day 100% for you, and I promise to TRY and appreciate the next three months before suddenly 2 turns to 3 in the blink of an eye.