A letter to Harriet: On your first birthday

On the night you were born,

the moon smiled with such wonder

that the stars peeked in to see you

and the night wind whispered,

“Life will never be the same.”

Because there had never been anyone like you… ever in the world.
(On The Night You Were Born: Nancy Tillman (2005))

Dear Harriet,

I thought these words would be a fitting way to open this letter to you.

You know this book well. But you probably don’t know it makes mummy cry. Don’t worry though- they’re happy tears. It was a wonderful gift from a thoughtful friend a year ago when you were new to the world.

I never thought I’d be this emotional on your first birthday. It’s down to lots of things.

Looking at the clock and remembering how close we were 365 days ago to actually meeting you, not yet knowing if you were a girl or boy.

The happy memories of all that we’ve done over my maternity leave, with the weather taking you full circle from cosy snowsuits to little summer dresses and back again.

Finally, it’s knowing that next week things change as I’m back at work. I know you’ll be in safe hands, but there’s no getting away from the fact that I’ll be away from my sidekick, my little bud and my partner in crime.

It would be so easy to gloss over the early weeks and the challenges but that wouldn’t be fair to all the new mummys or mummys-to-be reading this. I’ve been really lucky that you’ve been a pretty easy going baby, but there was no escaping the early feeding traumas, sleep deprivation and the raging hormones that left tears streaming down my face the first time I left the house with you. However, you put your trust in me, and I put my trust in you, and things got better.

So what memories will I take into your next year?

Those early morning snuggles and feeds downstairs when it felt like you and I were the only ones up in the world, waiting for it to get light.

Your first size babygros with the cuffs rolled back and baggy legs.

The look of joy on your face and your excited leg kicks when I get you up in the mornings (with you the only person obviously not scared by my morning face)

Burying my head into your wild curls on holiday, which smelled of fresh air and sunsine.

The smell of your clean, little clothes (see my 24 August 2018 post)

Your first smile, your first laugh and the day you eventually got around to saying ‘mamma’ (after lots of ‘dada’).

Watching you as you sleep, oblivious that I’m there, your little chest gently rising and falling.

Carrying your warm, solid little body, first with your head resting on my shoulder and now with your legs gripping my side. It still amazes me that you’re really here, a real little person.

So what have you taught me? (Apart from the every day things- see my 31 August 2018 post)

That I don’t need heels to stand tall. You make me so proud every day… and to be honest, since I’ve had you, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to wear heels which helped me inch above five feet nothing!

That parental love is love on another level. You have helped me see your nanna and grandad, mummy’s mummy and daddy, through fresh eyes.

Perspective. A clear view on what’s important in life. Infact, you may have triggered me to have an early(ish) mid-life crisis(!)

There is one thing that makes me sad. You won’t remember all the cuddles, laughs, experiences and touching moments we’ve shared in your precious first year. In years to come you’ll look at the photos like you’re seeing those moments for the first time, like a stranger, like it’s somebody else in the photo. I suppose that’s something all mummys and daddys have to live with, with the hope that there will be plenty of family memories yet to make, that you will remember.

I love you Harri, more than I can ever express and more than you’ll ever know. I’m looking forward to all that we’ll share before there’s a ‘2’ on the top of that birthday cake.

Lots and lots of love from Mummy xxx


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