Our story starts before you even took your first breath, in the days you were in my tummy, all snug and warm and safe but my apologies to you start then.
You see I’m sorry Thomas that I chose an unworthy man to be your father, I’m sorry that you have never met him and I am sorry that rather than fill my heart with warmth and love, finding out I was pregnant filled me with fear and dread. I never took pictures of my growing tummy or documented when it was that you first kicked, I was too busy being terrified. I was terrified of what my life was about to become, about what OUR lives were about to become.
I think I always knew I loved you, the fact that I was scared I wasn’t good enough, capable even, of looking after you means there must have been some feelings there but I never embraced them when I was pregnant, it was much easier to push them aside and focus on the negatives. But please don’t ever doubt that despite all of my worries you were worth every tear, every sleepless night, every grey hair.
I remember the day you were born, “baby will be here by lunchtime” they told me and Nannie when we arrived at the hospital at 4am, already well into established labour, but of course you go at 1000 miles an hour until you need to rush and then you take your merry little time, I should have known then that we would never be on time for school!
5PM exactly you were pulled out of my belly, blue and lifeless, you took four more minutes to decide you would stay in this world, you must have known how much I needed you even before I did. Grey hair numbers 1-10 were in place before we even made it out of the operating theatre!
From the moment I heard you cry I knew how much I loved you, the relief was intense, I felt dizzy and couldn’t stop shaking. You always did like to scare me and every day since you have done just that my little monster!
When they passed you too me an hour later they had warned me how swollen you were, how you’d had quite a traumatic entrance into the world and your face had taken most of the battering, but when I saw you I didn’t notice your black eyes and flattened nose I just saw your amazing blonde hair and your little fingers and toes, to me you were the best looking baby I had ever seen (although I have to be honest looking back you did look a bit like E.T). I’m sorry your entrance into the world didn’t go as planned, that my body failed you, and I’m sorry for any damage that caused, your bad eye is on the side you were most swollen and all these tests and appointments and extra classes in school to see why you struggle to control your emotions and behaviour, the first thing they always ask is about your birth, and I’m sorry if my body hurt your precious brain, just know that to me you are perfect.
Your first few years of life seem like a blur to me, you were the centre of everyone’s world, we lived with Nannie and Grandpa then and everyone’s attention was on you! you went on holidays with me and your grandparents, I forced myself to go to those god awful baby groups even though I was the only one there with no husband or partner and I was always the youngest. we just never fitted in me and you.
I’m sorry for those times I left you with nannie while I went and tried to grasp at my youth, early twenties is supposed to be fun and I admit I got overwhelmed more than once, and at one point I went out every weekend just so I could feel like me again, the old me I mean, the me before you.
You grew into a stubborn, strong minded and completely beautiful little boy, blonde curls and chubby little cheeks, you got away with murder! You were and are my biggest achievement but I’m sorry that I bought you somthing every time we went in a shop, I’m sorry that now you don’t understand why you can’t always have what you want right away because you always used to get it. I’m sorry that I tried to buy your forgiveness because I felt like such a crappy mum, I’m sorry that I couldn’t see that I was actually doing a dammed good job.
We moved out of Nannie and Grandpa’s house eventually and got our own place, you chose your bedroom and Nannie and Grandpa paid for everything as usual, I try my best but we’ve had a lot of help you and me, we have needed a lot of help. I went back to work when you were 4 months old and I’m sorry that I couldn’t stay home with you, there was only my wage to support us and maternity pay just wasn’t cutting it, I missed so many of your firsts that I can never get back, time I was looking after other peoples families whilst you spent half of your little life being looked after by Nannie, I know you didn’t mind, Nannie was just like another mummy to you and I actually think you liked her more than me most of the time, but I minded. I wanted to see all of those things and watch you grow everyday but I just couldn’t.
Time went by quickly and you grew from a toddler to a pre-schooler, your temper got worse and harder to control, by this point I think that bleach was disguising half a head of grey hairs. I found it so hard to cope. You used to be trashing your bedroom while I sat on the stairs crying. I don’t think I had ever felt so useless before. I just wanted to hold you and make it better but that just made you worse, you needed to let out your frustration and trashing things was the only way you knew how. You just needed time you see, to understand how the world worked, why you couldn’t have what you wanted ALL of the time, why you needed to use the toilet and not nappies anymore. You still need time to understand some of these things, and that’s ok.
You were four when I told you that I had another baby in my tummy, that you would be a big brother soon, you were so excited and told everyone you met about your new baby sister in mummy’s tummy, a sister that was actually a brother! We spent my pregnancy much like the rest of our lives, working and school and doing anything you wanted to on my days off, my world still revolved around you, and yours around me. We spoke about how when your brother came you would have to share mummy but I don’t think you really understood how that would feel. You’d never had to share before and when Henry did come along 2 weeks after your fifth birthday I couldn’t wait for you too meet him. Nannie picked you up early from school and you came to the hospital, you were underwhelmed to say the least and more bothered about cuddling me and making sure I was ok, you really are a mummy’s boy.
I’m sorry that overnight you had to grow up so much, that you had to start washing your own face in a morning and getting your own PJ’s on. That instead of three bedtime stories you only got one rushed story while I fed Henry on your bed. I’m sorry that I worked harder to breastfeed your brother than I did with you, I wish I knew then the benefits like I know now. I’m sorry that on the 24th March 2015 you lost a little bit of your mummy to your brother, I tried to do it all but it’s impossible, I didn’t love you any less and I missed our time, just me and you as much as I know you did, but I couldn’t split myself in two.
Your six now, and still as fierce as ever, I love your attitude and your sassiness but boy do you drive me insane! a teenager in a six year olds body, your never shy of telling me that I ruin your life and how me and Paul are the worst meanest parents ever, I know you don’t mean it really, I know that you count down the sleeps until its my days off work, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt like hell every time you say it.
It used to be just me and you but now you spend half your life in time out and the other half either at school or out with Grandpa and now instead of you missing me, I’m the one who misses you. I miss our chats and our late night cuddles, I miss your (not) funny jokes and the way you used to gross me out licking me when you were pretending to be a dog. I miss that you wanted to spend your weekends with me when I was off work. I miss it just being me and you.
I’m sorry that you get told off for getting too giddy and kicking the ball inside the house, you don’t understand why its a bad idea and you don’t realise how loud and bouncy your getting, I know when your playing with your brother you don’t know that you nearly break his neck when you close-line him
Thomas I’m sorry that I haven’t been the mum I feel that you deserve, I know there are times I could have a little more patience, play a little more, spend a little more time reading an extra story. I want you to read this when your bigger, when you understand that even though I am sorry for so many things, I have tried my best. I’m not perfect, far from it, but know that I love you my little tucker more than all the moons and stars in all the world’s. Me and you are two peas in a pod, perfectly imperfect for each other.
I love you to the moon and back.