I don’t really know where to begin with this post. It seems such a cliche to keep harping on about how it seems like only yesterday that we brought George home, all bundled up in a baby grow and rainbow blanket. But, cliches are cliches for a reason and they mean that we can all relate to how fast time flies. Nostalgia thrives on this sort of thinking and, in a way, this is what birthdays are for. To celebrate where to you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going to.
George, of course, is completely oblivious to me sitting in the corner quietly contemplating the sentimental things in life, and seems to be (quite rightly) more impressed with the balloons, wrapping paper and toy packaging that are littering our living room floor. He is an absolutely hilarious and seriously cute kid. I know I birthed him and can therefore be seen as slightly biased, but he really is one of a kind.
I knew when I was pregnant with George that he would be completely different to our first born son, Teddy. Teddy is a blonde, blue eyed little dreamy artist with a sprinkling of innocent humour and a flash of fire when he’s tired or poorly. He was like that in the womb, with movements so soft that they seemed to blend together like a yoga or tai chi session.
With George, I remember telling everyone who cared to listen that he was going to be a live wire. I knew he would be darker featured and have a stubborn streak to rival any horse being dragged to water. He would elbow me and kick me from morning to night (and sometimes beyond) whilst I carried him and I remember likening it to him acting as if he was in a mosh pit, steadfastly trying to fight his way to the front. I was right. This kid has so much determination, he just keeps going at full throttle at all times. He is fast, he is loud and he is so smart! And also, a sensitive soul who is absolutely delicious to snuggle. He is deaf to the word ‘No’, giggles and runs off if I so much as try to dress him or get him in the car and on many an occasion he has decided to water the carpet/cat/anything he can find with his sippy cup.
He sleeps nestled between myself and Paul every night. Not only because he is still comforted by boob, but also because (despite all his noise and professed confidence) he actually can’t bear to be separated from us if he can help it. I had moments where I was hard on myself for this, where I questioned if it was natural and fair for him to be so needy and dependant.
But then I softened up on him and on myself. After all, there will be a day when he doesn’t reach for my hand or want to cuddle so much. And I think about George’s entrance into the world, it was tough. I had days of labour (induced), his cord was wrapped around his neck and he ended up in NICU with hypertension of the lungs whilst his Dad also ended up collapsing with sepsis five hours after George was born. As a result, I have no doubt that I myself have separation anxiety linked with this kid too. Most definitely. As much as I skip off to work and relish the peace. As desperate as I am to get my boobs back to myself and to be the little spoon again…. I still need George next to me.
Because, as much as I am celebrating the anniversary of when this amazing personality entered my life, it is also tinged with a sense of it being a milestone from survival. Time will heal and a few more birthdays down the line will blur the bad memories enough to not have them be so in the forefront of my mind on this happy day. After all, as the guilt fairy who’s sitting on my shoulder keeps pointing out to me, this day is about George – not me. But, for now as we prepare to go and have dinner and cut the cake I lovingly made out of a packet yesterday (no judgement), I’ll have a little cry. A little bit of joy and a little bit of sadness. I guess that’s why they call it bittersweet right?