Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: My Girl: Now You are Five

Sunday, 13 January 2019

My Girl: Now You are Five

I saw you the other day but you didn't see me watching. I saw you as you ran to the side of that little girl after she slipped on the wet tiles by the pool. I watched as you knelt beside her and asked if she was OK before helping her to her feet. I looked on as you bestowed upon her one of your most empathetic embraces whilst she waited for her mummy to return and take away her pain.

It reminded me that you are one of the best human beings that I have had the pleasure of meeting. As a parent I know that it should be me who is showing the way but you make me want to be a better person. Your inate awareness and understanding of other people's feelings is the most special thing about you.

With your birthday (and full class soft play party) looming in the distance, the stress of ensuring that everything was going to run smoothly meant that I was completely taken a back when someone close to me pointed out that they couldn't believe you were going to be five when there was a time when we thought we were never going to get to meet you and then, having achieved that goal, a brief period when we feared you would not make your 1st never mind 5th birthday.

It is neither a time I would choose to relive nor would I ever wish such an ordeal upon another living soul. The cryptic uneasy glances shared across my lubricated swollen stomach by knowing health professionals; the calm ushering into a non descript room bare but for a box of tissues placed within easy reach; the measured even tones of the Consultant as she uttered the phrases "appears non viable", "likely chromosomal defects" and "need to wait for nature to take its course"; the endless waiting and aching need to dispel any seeds of hope which might take root and break me entirely.

Then there was the glimmer; the optimistic "let's give it one more week". You fought and you won. You made it out, albeit not entirely unscathed and with multiple minor battles still to be fought but you were here in all your 5lbs 3oz glory. The most beautiful shrivelled vole that I had ever seen.

My beautiful shrivelled vole

Then the questions started again. It would appear that your missing digit could have been a sign of a more pervasive problem, one which could include a "limited life span". There were blood tests, x rays taken of every minute bone in your tiny body and a series of grim looking professionals discussing your case. More waiting.

Then it was over. You were you. Different for sure, but amazing in every way.

So on this, your 5th, birthday I hope that the inability to demonstrate your new age using your right hand serves not as a reminder as to where you fall short but as a reminder of your inner strength. For before you had the capacity to make decisions you chose to live and when life isn't going your way (because sometimes it won't) I want you to look at your hand and remember that you are stronger than you realise with a courageous nature that runs deeper than you know. 

Happy Birthday Bear. 

To us you are perfect. 


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