You are sleeping now, curled up in the small double bed that all four of us bipedaled creatures of the Holly Cottage share since the arrival of Oscar four months ago. You are lost up in a ball of quilt, or maybe spreadeagled across the pillows where you especially love to be in the middle of the night - despite the protests and resistance of your dearest, loving parents. The rest of us will join you there in that space in just a little while, claiming corners and edges of bed space for the precious few hours of sleep that might be.
You are a most beautiful child - picture perfect with white blonde kiss curls, striking blue eyes and perfect, clear skin that has been air brushed golden by summer's sun. But you barely let me touch, let alone brush your hair. You've worn a dress possibly twice in your life - and both those times probably lasted only a couple of hours. While you do crave adornment as any little princess might, you don't have the time or the patience for bobbins and slides. You are gone in a flash of blonde bombshell in your wellies and hoodie to explore and splash and run and hide.
You are a wild and a defiant spirit. You truly are. You thrive on the muddiest of puddles, you exalt in throwing your head back in deep, (and surprisingly) bellowing laughter as you are carried like "a sack of paytos" over your father's back around the garden. You torment the Holly dog and tease her with your brown bread and honey sandwiches. You love your brother fiercely, and so much so sometimes that I anguish in your breath-taking hugs to him. You love chips and sausages, and jelly and strawberries. You savour the home baked scones and bread that you help us to make. You run through the dark woods as we retell the antics of your hero, Peter Rabbit. You delight in movies like Rango and 101 Dalmations, again and again and again - strangely loving the most villainous of characters that are written off as the bad guys. Knowing every word of that ode to the infamous "Cruella, Cruella.."
You are three years old, plus about thirty six hours. You arrived as a bright eyed and startlingly alert baby girl and you have kept me on my toes ever since. We have journeyed together, you and I, through blissful babymoon and daily walks in the woods phase, all the way past wobbling toddler and determined twos. I can count on two hands the days we have been apart. We still breakfast together and share each breaking dawn. And while we tend to separate over the course of the day, we still end each day wrapped up together in a knot as we relive the highs and the lows in our own reflections - "Mumma, tell me the story of the day...".
And everyday, as you oscillate through your own extreme peaks and definite lows, everyday you break my heart. You tear it right down to its bare threads and then you build it right back up again only to begin the cycle again and again, and yes, again and again. You are my joy and my pain. Your joy is intoxicating and your fierce spirit and defiance stare rudely in the face of my own.
|The Holly Cottage blonde bomb-shells|
Three years on this Earth for you, and three years a mother for me. My greatest learning of life, yet. And we learn together. You - seeing, feeling, understanding - for the first time. Me - seeing, feeling, understanding, appreciating - for the second time. But this time, differently, this time with the sense of my own dear and stoic mother.
What an amazing love, what amazing loves. And I continue - daily, hourly - to be humbled, astounded, and torn wide open.
Three years ago, I thought I knew everything. I really knew nothing.
All my love to you Alannah, and a happy happy birthday!
Your Mumma, forever xx