This week Arlo turned two, and after taking a little bit of an extended blog break over Christmas and the new year, am very much ready to dust off Word and graduate from clumsy phone notes to back typing in my favourite little corner of the internet.
It also feels like a special time to come back and pick up where I left off too; although I promise this will be the last of the deep and meaningfuls for a while… probably/unlikely (I mean, it’s my 30th in June so buckle up).
Anyway, now you are two. I never know why I write things like this as if Arlo is swiping up to click on a blog post, or opening a tagged Facebook birthday photo of himself, but there’s something a little more personal about it, so do humour me just this once. Categorically not a baby- but forever mine, and some days somewhere between a toddler and a teenager- (I guess a cocktail of everything I feel sometimes too- certainly when it comes to how I dress anyway)…
Admittedly, my second year of parenting didn’t quite look exactly as I’d imagined. But, everything aside- which is a big side sweep, it’s been the hardest yet most rewarding twelve months, and the beauty of it was that I got to share it with you. So, so much has changed. Everything, really. You walk! You run! You dance! You talk too! So much! You tell me how you slept, and what you dreamt of (even if a lot is shared just by listening to you next to me each evening). You ask for cuddles, hand holds and songs we can sing together. Matching breakfasts and dinners and bubble baths and Pizza Express dates, because where else would we possibly go? You have this incredible skill of making everything interesting. The half burnt candle on the mantlepiece, the crunch of an individual Shreddie as a tiny tiny pretend waffle, ice skating on the kitchen floor and the brown envelope through the door in the morning. ‘What’s that?’ always accompanies every new, ordinary, exciting discovery, and getting to experience endless firsts again with you, whilst experiencing endless firsts myself in tandem feels really special.
We’re doing this together, in our own funny way. Both learning a lot, sometimes big, often little things. Getting to know one another as much as we know ourselves. Sometimes that means laughing a lot, and sometimes it’s frustration when we don’t have the words to express how we’re feeling; and I so get it. Because oh, how much you’ve made me grow too. You’ve shown me how much more capable I am than I ever thought I could be, and that as scary and beautiful as it is; half of my heart is bounding alongside me every day.
Selfishly, you’ve taught me more about myself then I could possibly know. You’ve given me patience, understanding and a slow pace that often I can accidentally exchange for flappiness and fretting. I’ve learnt it’s always a phase (even when it feels like it isn’t), and my god does it all go so quickly. One magical chapter in growing up is oh-so quickly exchanged for another, sometimes so quickly you won’t even realise it’s happened.
And I know I won’t always get it right, but that’s fine. Because I’ve learnt that I’m always trying my best and doing my best, in the moment with the tools I have and in the place I’m in. I’ve learnt that guilt in parenthood is so often misspent and whatever decision you go for, you’ll likely feel guilty for not going for the other- so reserve the guilt for another day.
But most of all, you’ve taught me absolute pure gratitude. Gratitude for the sunshine and being able to enjoy it outside after a long stretch of rain, gratitude for the first snow on our red cold cheeks, gratitude for when dinner is a success and there are two yogurts left for pudding, gratitude for the little, the large and the silly and sensible. Gratitude for being given the opportunity to soften, soak it all up and most of all, complete gratitude for being your mama.
GabrielleFebruary 6, 2023 at 11:26 am
this was so beautiful, Liv! you are both doing amazing 🙂