Dear Caterpillar

There’s a reason I love taking time for reflection and it’s this; if I hadn’t paused to consider this post I’m not sure I would have realised that the last year has easily been my favourite parenting year yet. And that’s all because of you.

Photo by William Montout on Unsplash

Parenting hasn’t always come easy for me, and neither has feeling consistently happy, but this year I feel like I’ve come a little closer to nailing both. Gone are the earlier days of nappies and sleeplessness. Gone is my guilt and many of my fears. Instead I finally feel confident. It’s finally beginning to sink in that since you’re a totally awesome boy this must mean that I’m not doing too badly at my job. And that is a massive source of relief and happiness to me.

The first couple of years of your life felt quite long and slow – due to my illness and my fears. This last year has flown by way too fast.

We couldn’t be prouder of you, little dude. You’ve taken to school like a duck to water and you are confident, kind and engaged with all aspects of it. My favourite time of day is just after pick up when I attempt to decipher your excitable ramblings about who you played with, what you ate and what you learnt.

You surprise me every single day by asking new, insightful questions about life, and mispronouncing but understanding long words you have no business even knowing yet (momentum and negotiate last week!).

Discussing the future is one of our favourite things. Recently you told me you would never move far away and always wanted to be near Daddy & I. This made me so happy and so sad because I know this time of closeness and of needing us so fiercely won’t last forever.

We now play more grown up board games and watch slightly more grown up films. You have an understanding about life and people, disapointment and happiness that you didn’t only a year ago.

My appreciation of you has only deepened with the knowledge that you are actually somewhat of a biological miracle. We are all slowly coming to terms with the fact that we will likely remain a family of three for good, and the magic of you is incredibly effective medicine for that pain.

These words are soppy and overly sweet, I suppose. I still wish for the record to reflect that parenting is hard and consuming and frustrating at times. But I do feel we’re entering the elusive sweet spot. We’ve found our feet, learnt together and grown in confidence, us family of three, and we’re reaping the rewards. After the mental health and fertility heartaches we’ve faced I simply couldn’t be more grateful for that.

Happy 5th birthday, sweetheart. I love you more than I ever felt possible.

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