When I had Eva I remember that with each stage I would think oh this is the best. These newborn cuddles, those first giggles, the cute little walk, the way she mispronounced words, right to going on cinema and coffee dates together. I would be sad to see these times go by because I was sure they were the best and what was to come was an unknown. And I guess to a point I am still like that, of course there are moments of each age and stage that I am glad to see the back of and gutted I may have to repeat again but I am usually generally heart wrenched when one of these ordinary moments passes by without note and I look back at the memories they have given us and smile.
Second time around it is very different, I have hindsight on my side and whilst I am undoubtedly sad to see those moments pass and I am soaking them up knowing that this will be the last time, I also know that there are so many more amazing times to come. If nothing else it helps when I am crying about the fact that Eddy took the stair gate off without giving me a chance to think about it or when Roma turns around and says “I can get in the car myself Mummy”. Before I know it a moment has passed in time, again. But it does help to have an idea of what is to come.
On Wednesday as we went about our day there was the familiar clatter of the letter box, an excited gasp as letters and a parcel landed with a thud on the hall floor and I tried in vain to get ahead of my two year old before she opens important letters and rips them into pieces scattered all over the stairs. “The postman has been Mummy, is it for me? Shall I open it?” said with blue plastic already stuck to the palm of her tiny hand as her little fingers puncture the square package covering her knee. “Ooh look, can I put it on please?”
She had uncovered the all in one Trespass waterproofs I had panic ordered just a few nights before when Eva’s school decided it was a requirement for their Forest School every Friday, despite the fact it was almost Spring! Naturally I couldn’t order one without the other and before I know it she is happily playing in the lounge bathed in sunshine dressed in a navy blue all in one complete with hood up.
It really made me smile and think about the pure innocence she has, the joy that one little thing can bring and the fact that it makes everyone around her instantly carefree. The innocent joy that seeps out of her every word and that Eva so benefits from when they are together, at 6 years old she really really needs that.
She played for hours and every time I would ask if she wanted to take it off she would simply say “No thank you Mummy I’m fine”
I am not sure if I am more relaxed as a second time Mum or just more exhausted but as we were heading out to go in search of flowers she decided she didn’t want to take it off and I, well I just let her wear it. All I could hear was her asking “Is this my coat?” “Is this ok as my coat Mum?” as she clambered into her car seat, like the waterproof was completely normal but going out without a coat would be crazy! I know that with Eva I would most likely have encouraged her otherwise, to reasoned with her why, or come to think of it she would probably never have asked in the first place but I take the joy in it now that Roma does not care.
She doesn’t care that everyone else is relishing in the first coat free day of the year and she is the opposite. She doesn’t care that we spend the afternoon hearing “Doesn’t he look cute” “Just look at him” and other ‘she isn’t wearing pink therefore she must be a boy’ comments. She doesn’t even care when people are laughing at her shouting “why can’t I pick the daffodils” and instead just takes it as a compliment and smiles back. She has that pure innocent joy from everything. There is no judgement in her world and everything is rosy.
There is a little stand in the gardens that Eva has always liked to ‘perform’ on, she will dance or sing and do a show and as we walked past Roma wanted to do the same. She danced to her hearts content and was running full pelt back and forth with the wind in her hair and so much joy on her face. Then she asked me to come and dance with her and I found myself hesitating, I looked around to see if anyone else was there, I didn’t want to be seen dancing in the park, being silly and certainly not to anyone I knew.
So I said my usual “in a minute” and hoped that she would forget. But instantly felt the weight on my shoulders. I care too much about what people think, about everything really, I care and I worry. But the thing I adore about this moment, about Roma, is that she doesn’t and about how free that makes her. So I stop glancing around in case someone is walking past, I stop worrying or ushering her along just for that one moment and think that maybe just maybe if someone sees me dancing in a stand in the middle of public gardens with my two year old dressed in an all in one waterproof on the sunniest day of the year so far that they might see past all of that and simply look at the smiles on our faces. Not judge the moment but the mood and that maybe this is just a Mum making her child happy and getting exactly the same, and more, in return.
So thank you Roma, thank you my two year old who runs with everything she has, smiles with the entirety of her face and laughs so hard you think she might throw up. Thank you for teaching me more everyday that you will ever know and possibly more than I even teach you. You are two, you are innocent and full of joy and I for one hope that never ever ends.