A letter to my first born.

Dear Beau

Soon you will be a big brother. I know this is really exciting news for you – you can’t wait to meet your little sibling and to introduce them to our family life, to share your toys and adventures, and to help take care of them. You’ve told me so. You express love at the sight of anyone’s baby at the moment, with a heart-melting ‘awwww’ and big curious, caring eyes.

Beau you have the kindest, most loving nature – and you will be the best big brother there ever has been. How blessed baby is!

But as joyful and wonderful as it all will be, I also know there will be challenges ahead, as you learn the realities of sharing your home, your belongings, and your parents with another person. So this is why I wanted to write to you.

You probably won’t read this letter until you are much older – adult, even. And there will have been many a frustration, jealousy, and fight between now and then. I hope I have managed it well. I hope I was able to hear you, and reassure you, whilst at the same time opening your mind and your horizons and not being able to figure it all out for you.

I hope you still feel as you seem to feel right now – unconditionally loved and adored, admired for your strengths, trusted in your capabilities, and supported through all of your learning and mistakes.

I don’t want to be the kind of parent who highlights your short-comings, who reminds you of times you haven’t gotten it right or have messed up. I want to be the kind of parent who lifts you higher – who encourages you to embrace yourself fully, to know your worth, and not to weigh yourself in terms of pluses and minuses, but as a whole person, a whole being, evolving but brilliant just as you are. I want to encourage you to do your best, but mostly to just be yourself. And to live your life your way.

On your life’s journey you will encounter judgement, and you might be led to feel shame… but I hope that never, ever comes from us. I want you to believe in that goodness we see in you. I hope we are always able to show you that we see it and believe in it, too.

You will long ago have ceased needing our support, or guidance… I have no doubt what a fiercely capable and independent soul you will become, because you already are. But perhaps when/if you become a parent yourself someday you will seek our guidance once again… and I hope you willingly turn to it. I hope our parenting can set you in the right direction, a direction that you will take further still, not highlight a path you’d rather not go down!

I can’t promise these things – but I want you to know that I intend them.

I just hope you know that we did our best.

Because we are doing our best, your daddy and I. Who knows how many mistakes we will muddle through as the years unfold before us… I’m sure a few, though. But I am also sure that we will be able to fix them, learn from them, and love each other throughout it all. I promise that you will always have our apologies when you deserve them, our honesty and commitment always, and our deepest love for far longer than you could possibly know.

You aren’t going to be our ‘one’ anymore. But you will always be you to us. Your feelings will always matter and be considered. Your voice will never be silenced. And I hope you are reading this someday and agreeing – that we have managed to parent you with empathy and kindness.

Our family is about to bring another person into it, and we don’t yet know who they are or how they will change things… but I do know they will be safe and loved, with us.

I’m so proud of our parenting so far, Beau – because I am so proud of you. You are two and a half years old and clever and caring and wonderful.

You are my first born son, and you teach me just as much as I could ever teach you. Thank you for being you and for all you bring to our family.

Here’s to all that is to come, my darling!

Your Mum x

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SCENES // Dating Daddy!

How important it is to continue dating one another, long after you are married or have entered that comfortable stage in a relationship… and it’s especially important after you have a child. So much of our time and energy and thoughts and love are now dedicated to our little ones. The time and energy and thoughts and love that had once belonged to our other half… the very reason for us having children in the first place!

How easy it is to fall into those domestic routines, and comfortable habits, and take one another for granted, and only see each other in a domestic/child rearing environment. How easy it becomes to accept one another as tired, fed up, exhausted, ‘got-work-to-do.’ To no longer see the enthusiasm they once expressed for you. To forget the desire they still feel, slightly deeper now, below the surface. Therefore, how important is is… how essential… to keep dating.

Take the time to be together; talk to each other; dress up a bit; hold hands; remember why it is you are sharing this path. And how much you love it.

We must keep on falling in love, not only for ourselves, but for the little ones. We are their role models in all things. How important it is to set an example of how to love. How to cherish our partners, and our relationships – how to prioritise and value them.

Romance isn’t always about fine clothing and expensive dinners, tickets to shows, or luxurious weekends away. It’s not always about bottles of wine, decadent desserts, or extravagant bouquets of flowers. It’s making sure your one good pair of jeans is clean so you can wear it to go out with your husband tonight. It’s spending less at the supermarket so you can go see a movie this week, instead of waiting for payday next week. It’s planning a couple of hours to walk along the beach and go get an ice-cream, because the last time you went you barked at him for forgetting the wet wipes and attempting to wash your sticky toddler’s face with tissues. It’s sitting down wondering what ‘interesting’ thing you could possibly muster the energy to do together, and still feeling butterflies when he puts his arm around you. It’s walking beside her and never getting tired of seeing the sunlight on her face.

By taking the time to date one another, when we are at our most busy and most tired and most fraught – it’s remembering to say to each other what matters most: I love you, I’m yours, and thank you.

x

 

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