Monday, 3 April 2017

Dear Ruby (a Letter to my Little Girl)

People tell you so many things when you are going to be a parent and I knew you'd change my life. But I could never have imagined that it would be so instant, such a thick line between my life before and my life now. The moment I saw you I knew. When I held you close, felt your skin next to mine, I knew I'd do anything for you as long as I live. And at the same time I was terrified at how much you would need me. I didn't know if I could ever be enough for you.

Those first few weeks are a bit foggy in detail but our little family began its story. Your dad and me learning as we went along. Changing nappies, making bottles, pacing around at 3am trying to soothe the discomfort of colic, wondering if we'd ever sleep again. Even when you were asleep I lay there listening to make sure you were breathing. I agonised over every single decision I made, no matter how big or small. In late night moments of weakness I consulted Google to see how I was doing (bad idea).

The days flew by and turned into weeks and then months. Your first smile, your first Christmas, your first laugh, your first trip to the hospital (not fun). They're all happening so quickly. I try and drink the moments in, engrave the memory in my brain. You're now rolling over and almost sitting without help! I'm frightened to blink in case I miss anything. I take a million photographs and videos of you, scared in a year's time I will forget the important moments.

Your funny gummy grin always makes me smile and your giggles are the best noise I have ever heard. When you fall asleep in my arms I enjoy every second, the world just stops and the 'to do' lists can wait. The dog is still not sure about you, but I know once you learn to play fetch your adventures will be many and will make my hair turn grey.

Sure the day to day can be hard and tiring. I'm not going to lie little one, you have a set on lungs on you and you can scream for England, a good night's sleep is an abstract construct, the house is a mess and time is at a premium. I don't always have time to do things for myself. Let's face it, my Goodreads challenge this year is not going to happen and my Netflix list is getting bigger each week. If I hear one more toy that plays that song about having a dog named 'Bingo' I am going to go nuts.

It is all totally worth it though, you are totally worth it. Watching you grow and explore the world around you makes my heart swell, even if there is a part of me wants to keep you a tiny baby for just that bit longer. Every day you do something new (sometimes it's that you can make a very loud noise) and I am amazed. The teeny 'poppy seed' that was in my stomach this time last year is a gorgeous, funny, happy (and sometimes grumpy) amazing human.

You have brought out the best in me, made me more patient and showed me I can be strong. You've made me more vulnerable because I love you so much. You have filled our lives with joy, our hearts with love (and our living room with toys).