Today we celebrated your tenth birthday. At a trampoline park – miraculously we didn’t end up in A&E.
A little prematurely, as you are still nine for five more days, but as the elder of the twins you hold the right to having the first party of the year and you relish that right. Plus your brother is still not entirely 100% and therefore partying is something he can’t partake in at the moment.
How did I get grown up enough to have a ten year old child, how did I get old enough to have two!
If I close my eyes I can still remember the second the sonographer told me I was having you and your brother. It was an instant shock and pooping my pants feeling, quickly followed by one of intense happiness, when I realised I was going to double my family in size.
And look at you now.
When you were born you looked like a hairless chicken, skinny and bald, all legs and arms and nothing much inbetween. Tiny at 5 pounds, two ounces, and every inch of you beautiful. I fell in love that day, twice.
You still call me Mummy, you still hold my hand in the street, you ask for cuddles at bed, still like me to read to you and vice versa. I cling onto these moments now, as I am pretty sure my time is running out for this style of mothering with you.
You tell me you are scared of everything, but do you know what I see when I look at you?
I see a silent warrior, someone who has had to deal with so much in such a little time and has done so admirably. You pay no attention to the fact you live with a chronic condition and have beaten an intense pain disorder, and whilst you manage the sugar demon that resides within you, you give it very little room in your life. You make grown ups marvel at how amazingly you simply crack on, and my heart swells when I see you manage something that has crippled others. You are so incredibly strong and yet you simply don’t know the magnitude of what you deal with every day. I have the uttermost respect for you.
When we argue, I hate it, it is part and parcel of life, but annoyingly it is like arguing with a mirror. Our similarities are so close, our moods so similar. Except for that eye-roll princess, that is all your Dad – please stop doing it!
At ten, I see a girl starting to fight for her identity, to see where you fit in the world. Your independence is growing, you learnt to plait your hair because I never could, you chose your own music and despair at mine, your wardrobe is firmly your own and your passion for shoes is starting to emerge. You compensate for my failings, where I am late, you try and make me early, when I fret, you try and smooth the waters.
You made me cry the other day, I tried not to let you see, you said you wanted to be strong, like me, in both body and mind.
Like you, my lovely, I don’t always feel strong, and I am terrified of most things. Perhaps we should both take a moment and see one another through each others eyes.
Happy Birthday my beautiful girl, my eldest (by two whole minutes), I hope you read this one day (when I unblock northernmum from your phone) and realise just how much I love you.