It’s been a busy month. Mae’s birthday. My birthday. I’m 29 now. I’d had you both by 25.
I never thought of my self as a particularly young mother. You just came when it was your time to. I had always been the first of my friends to do things; go overseas; have a 9-5; buy a home; start a family. So even though, looking around me, there was no one I knew doing what I was doing, I was used to that. You find your own way. The only thing you are obligated to do, is to find something beautiful in living. To take the chances to find out who you really are. Just do things how they feel best to you. Your Aunty once told me, ‘just find what you can do, and do it how it needs to be done’. I think that’s good advice.
Your journey is not comparative to anyone else’s, though we all begin and end in the same place. Remember, they say comparison is the thief of joy, because it’s true – nothing will ever feel as good as when you think you’re doing a good job; heading in the right direction; being your best. You have such a talent for happiness. Keep it with you. When you feel sad, which you will, hopefully from time to time and not all the time, though that can happen too, happiness can feel like it takes so much energy. But I have seen you, watched you everyday since you first arrived here, and I can assure you, happiness comes naturally to you.
You’re so good at happiness, I was initially just happy simply by association with you. And though there’s been such cause for sadness, your faces, our time together, your loveliness, your liveliness, has been the light that I have set sail for until I reached the shore. You have made me sure of so much; my self, my decisions, my ability to sustain my own contentment. You personified my happiness, gave it a face and a name and brought it to me everyday. You remind me what happiness is. Now I’d recognise it anywhere.
You woke me up before dawn:-
Mabel: ‘Happy New Year! You are a dog! Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome a brand new Otto! This is great! You are so much fun, Mama!’
Theo: ‘Mama, why can’t cows walk down stairs?’
I discovered you, both in the butter at the bench; Theo wiping it off Mae’s shirt with a cloth, and Mae thanking him.
I found you arguing; M: You can’t share my birthday, Theo! It’s my choice!
You yelled at me:-
Theo: ‘Did you say QUIET?’
Mabel: ‘YOU’RE MY HAPPY PLACE!’
You broke my heart:-
Mabel: ‘I’m sad because I’m not somebody. I’m just me.’
You made me laugh:-
Mabel: ‘My dreams are so much fun! My hot dog is so much fun! I’m so much fun!’
Theo: ‘Is this a home sweet home?’
Theo: ‘Who is Bonnie Prince Billy and did he die?’
You advised me:-
Theo: ‘Just breathe, Mama!’
You made my heart swell:-
Mabel: ‘I look beautiful in the mirror’.
Theo: ‘Mama! I couldn’t wait to tell you! I had a crazy dream about noodles!
Aside from everything you utter, one of my favourite passages came to me, tucked up in bed, always reading. It’s from Camus.
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”
Remember your invincible summer.
Remember you’re my invincible summer.
L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stele,