I have a confession: I really enjoy reading my own blog. Not in an egotistical way, I mean I don’t sit there thinking “gosh that syntax was beautiful”, but I do like to look back occasionally, to remind myself of the little everyday moments that drift out of my brain in all the hustle of focussing on the present.
We’ve been following the Anniversary Games this week, and remembering all the hype and excitement of last summer; the blasts of sunshine firing up Team GB as they ran away with the highest position in the overall medals table that’s actually open to some competition, visibly pregnant and snoozing in a darkened room trying to lull Kitty to sleep while cheers and shouts from every open window in the village willed the stars of Super Saturday to victory, and of course that magical day when we took our one year old on an expedition we can only hope embedded in her memories.
Kitty, a year or so ago, snoozing in my arms during the Men’s’ hockey heats, curled up around and over the bump that became her sister. She’s just so little. I think I forget how fast she’s still growing and changing when Elma makes her pace look positively pedestrian. At a couple of months shy of two she was still mostly baby; all big cheeks and that lovely plumpness that a year’s worth of running, jumping and growth spurts have all but eradicated, curls damps with the heat and just about scooped up into bouncy little pigtails.
And yet some things are still the same, the t-shirt still fits, well just about, and although naps are long ago a thing of the past, she still sucks her thumb when she’s tired or stressed, and her chief comfort remains my hair, rubbed back and forth between thumb and forefinger until sleep washes over and I can gently extract myself.
I don’t mind the changes exactly, I love watching her develop and explore this big old wide world, her curiosity and chatter, and I’m really really loving understanding what she’s saying, but equally I don’t want to forget how it felt to wrap my arms around my first born as a tiny baby fluttered and wiggled underneath, or how even the whoops and cheers of the crowd couldn’t stir that deep relaxation of utter contentment and safety, but a warm pretzel hauled up almost to the very top of the stands by her Daddy was greeting with enormous smiles and outstretched arms.
I write mostly because I couldn’t not write, in much the same way that I can’t not knit, or sew or read or take photographs, and I’m glad of it. I’m glad that on the hard days, the ones where you question every parenting decision you ever made, where nothing seems to go smoothly or easily and just getting to bedtime feels like trudging through over-cooked porridge, I can look back and remind myself of the good days. I’m glad that when I wonder where my baby went I can look back and remember every last feeling. I’m glad that one of these days I’m going to be able to show Kitty and Elma the story of their babyhood. And to entirely misquote Oscar Wilde, as long as the train has wifi, I will always have something sensational to read.