You turn 3 tomorrow and it occurred to me that I’ve never written you a letter. In fact, I’ve never written any of your sisters an ‘official letter’ either, which is a crying shame and something I’ll be addressing over the next few months.
You see, my own mummy used to write me little notes, letters and poems all the time and I loved receiving them. She was an amazing and very brave lady, but then you already know that as we talk about her all the time.
One week when I was about twelve during some particularly tough school tests (some kind of mock exams I think, but you don’t need to worry about these just yet) she left a little note in my lunch box every single day, telling me how proud she was of me and how much she loved me. Those words lived inside my heart, lifting me up and giving me courage when I needed it the most – they still do, and I hope this letter can do the same for you one day.
I can vividly remember the day I found out I was pregnant with you. I’d had a sneaky suspicion that something was different for a few days. After having your three sisters I knew my body pretty well, and I wasn’t wrong. The two bright blue lines on the little tester stick confirmed what I already knew; another baby would soon be joining our crazy family, and I’m not going to lie to you – I was a bit nervous about that.
Having your three big sisters was already pretty challenging and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to give another child the love, attention and ‘stuff’ they needed or deserved. But something inside of me told me not to worry, because even though at that point you were nothing more than 2 blue lines and a few microscopic cells stuck together, I loved you and knew you were just what our family needed to become complete.
I’ll never forget the look on your daddy’s face when we found out you were a boy. Opening the box that contained the blue balloon signifying your gender is one of my all-time favourite memories and the emotion I felt that day knowing I was carrying a little dude and not another little dudette as I had suspected will stay with me forever. I’m so pleased we filmed the moment and I often watch it back, cringing at my voice shouting at Evie for ‘hacking the box’ but with a lump in my throat knowing that it was you we were all so excited about.
You were born on 24th March 2014 at 12:04am into a calm pool of warm welcoming water. Your daddy says you actually swam up to meet us but I don’t really remember this as I was a bit busy with the gas and air (if you become a daddy one day you’ll get to sneakily puff on this when the midwife leaves the room – it’s good stuff, but try not to hog it like your daddy did) and as I cuddled you close to me all I could do was stare at your perfect soft skin, cute button nose and funny wrinkly feet. All the fears and worries I’d had melted away the very second I saw you, and I loved you fiercely and unconditionally. I still love you fiercely and unconditionally.
Deciding what to call you was tricky with so many people vying for the job of ‘chief namer’, and with suggestions such as ‘nail clipper’ (Evie’s choice) and ‘Lampard’ (Daddy’s choice) we were really spoiled for choice. I decided to name you after the lead male role in one of my all time favourite films – The Notebook (No matter what your friends at school tell you, you weren’t named after a biblical guy with loads of animals.) Lara got the honour of choosing your middle name and it’s only recently that I’ve realised how similar it is to her own!
You were such a good and contended little baby, feeding like a champ (you were the only one I was able to successfully breastfeed for any length of time – please don’t be embarrassed about this no matter how much your sisters tease you) and reaching all your baby milestones in textbook time.
You slotted into our family like the missing piece of puzzle that you are, and your siblings were besotted with you, constantly fighting over who was going to hold you or trying to make you laugh – and you laugh a lot. I hope the ability to laugh at any situation remains with you forever, because my darling boy, life will often throw you unexpected curve balls and being able to smile through adversity is one of the greatest lessons I can teach you.
The year you turned 2 life threw one of those pesky curve balls at me…at us – and quite a big one at that. To start with I didn’t feel much like smiling, not because I didn’t realise how blessed I was to have you, your sisters and daddy in my life, but because I was so afraid of leaving you all.
This fear settled into the bottom of my stomach like a lead weight and lay across my eyes like blinkers, preventing me from seeing all the beauty in the world.
Fear and sadness took over for a few months, and for this I am so sorry, as it happened during an important time in your development and I worry the effects of this horrible time will stay with you forever. I hope I am wrong.
Even now, several months after I was in hospital for a few days, you kiss and cuddle me ferociously, telling me how much you missed me and asking me if I ‘feel all better now’? It breaks my heart and mends it all at the same time.
You’re exactly the tonic I needed to heal, and even though keeping up with such a lively energetic (and clumsy!) boy was tricky at times, your cheeky smiles and funny sayings have been the silver lining on some dark clouds for us all.
I’ll try not to ramble on for much longer, you know mummy has a tendency to do that – just ask daddy! But I do want to pass on a few additional learnings that you might find useful in the coming years.
Firstly, always always be kind and thoughtful and think before you speak. The world is crammed with people who are full of vitriol and opinions that they’ll share with anyone and everyone no matter how hurtful. Don’t be one of these people. Chose your words as carefully as Georgia chooses what to wear each day. Be the light in an often dim world.
Secondly, be brave. Without sounding too cliché, this isn’t a dress rehearsal and you can only live today once. Take risks, live boldly and follow your joy – it will always lead you to success.
Thirdly, don’t take yourself too seriously. Find the capacity to laugh at yourself and others will laugh along with you. Making people feel happy and comfortable is a great skill and will take you a long way in this life.
Lastly (and most importantly) always remember how very loved you are, and carry that love around with you like a talisman. No matter what you do or don’t do, achieve or don’t achieve, I’ll be rooting for you and will have your back ALWAYS.
Love you to Tesco and back (inside joke!)