To my big and little whirlwinds,
To my loves… my work… my miracle daily grinds.
It hit me recently, amidst the busy-ness of two small kids and the fact I am still very much finding my feet with the (not so) new baby, how settled I actually am, and happy. I am tired – like bone tired – and sometimes stressed and flailing. Everything is disorganised and when I attempt the daily plate spinning every other parent also does, I always, always drop one. I worry about various things both related and unrelated to you, and my head can never retain all of the information it needs to be fully functional. Oh, and did I mention I’m tired?
But anyway, I was saying: I am – quite simply – happy. There’s chaos aplenty, and it’s not always easy, but I have realised easy is actually quite different from happy. So much of caring for the two of you is hard, but absolutely my favourite thing to do in the world. I know now where our life is going and I see where my most important life choices have led me. This is it, the make-up of our family is decided and the journey to get here is over.
I have arrived.
Thanks to both of you, I have a compromised pelvic floor and can no longer leave a room and enter another while retaining the reason for doing so. I forget a dangerous amount of stuff and look ten years older than I did three years ago. But I know I will sleep again – at some point – and the time for me will come back, along with the hole such freedom will leave in my heart. My body is unrecognisable and in many ways irreparable; yet also amazing, serving you both, housing our creations and adapting its purpose to meet all of your needs. It might be wobbly and funny-shaped, but it’s done all I dreamed it would and I’m immensely proud of it, strangely happier in my own skin than I was all those years before you landed.
Motherhood is the best and most complicated thing I have ever done. It is fair to say I don’t enjoy every moment but never forget the privilege of being your mother, of witnessing the firsts and being there for the lasts. I won’t ever get tired of the cuddles – you can test me if you like – and I know even as the years race by, I won’t forget that having you both was our biggest and best battle won, and all that went before only made your arrivals that much more welcome.
Our lives aren’t perfect, I’m not perfect – you’re not perfect. But together, what we have made between us all and the magic in our ordinary days and humble adventures are all I need. Snatches of perfection on a grainy, busy landscape; laughter and shrieks on a bed full of washing; dancing on a sticky floor around the mess; hot hands in mine as the day draws to a close with yawns, milk and lullabies. Even the minutes in the middle of the night which exhaust and yet bring us closer; and of course watching you both grow before my eyes with a mix of eagerness and resistance.
This is it; the two of you marked the beginning and the end and fill this small, unexceptional world with love. We have more ahead I am sure, but know who we are travelling beside. You are here: laughing living, growing. We made you and you made our family.
We have arrived.