You’re 4. Right now. Today. Sitting on our yellow couch watching Sesame Street. There’s popcorn kernels in the hallway and a slice of bread on the floor of the lounge. These things are not indicative of it being your birthday; they’re just indicative of how things can be sometimes. Things that will probably end in ants.
You’re 4. Right now. Today. And I remember so clearly, the moment you were born; in a plastic paddling pool in my mother’s kitchen. How heavy you felt; out of my body and in my arms. Finally; after 9 months, after 2 days of labour, after my whole life changed. You made me a mother in that moment, physically. You have made a mother of me every day since. I had so little idea, really, of what that would mean. That with you would come such meaning; a complete purpose; a new identity. It was always important to me that I not lose myself to my new title, that I held on to some semblance of balance. That who I was before was not eclipsed by who you had made me. So I mother you with who I am. Because as much as we are one another’s, we are separate. Even though we are made for and from each other. I respect you for who you are, as your individual you.
You’re 4. Right now. Today. You have taught me more about myself than any introspection has. The practical application of caring for you. The strength and patience and resources it takes you treat you in the manner you deserve to be treated. How being connected to you has connected me with everything. Son and sun at once.
You’re 4. Right now. Today. The house needs vacuuming and I haven’t decided what to cook you for dinner, though you’ll just want pizza. I’m looking at you now, I feel like I’ve spent your whole life just staring at you. You’re wearing stripes and jeans and your favourite boots. You’re playing with your hair. You’re balancing a helicopter on the back of a plastic truck. You’re talking to your sister.
Happy Birthday, darling.
You are endless to me.
Love, Mama xx