To my darling boy,
As you lie snoozing on the sofa, finishing the year with the dreaded Norovirus, I thought I'd give a little bit of my soul to you.
This letter marks the end of your first full calendar year and the end of Mummy's ramblings about it. This little project started off as simply capturing a photograph of you every day for a year and seems to have taken on a life of its own! You know how Mummy likes to talk, well she likes to write too, and 'Brighton Ramblings' has become a cathartic space for me to celebrate, remonstrate, pontificate and sometimes just have a good old moan. I've sometimes had to write several posts at a time, but I have never cheated on the photos and it's so magical to see how much you've changed in such a short space of time.
What a year we've all had! I'm so proud of you, little man. Your life is quite hectic and demanding but you take most things in your stride. You've found your feet, your appetite and almost a full set of teeth. You're yet to really find your voice (although you did manage 'moo' and 'mine' over Christmas). When you read back on this one day, you'll see how worried Mummy got at times about your lack of chatter, but I'm feeling okay about it at the moment: you'll get there.
I think you'll do everything in your own time. Many people remark on how much of a character you are - including the epic tantrums. I think you have a really steely (stubborn?) core and a dogged determination. You are also a very happy little chap, so content in your own company, and still so fond of your sleep - thank you for that!
I will never lose the guilt I feel about everything concerning you. We don't get to spend as much time together as I'd like: holidays and weekends are sacred. You definitely seem to prefer Daddy to Mummy, and sometimes Mummy's friends take preference with you! I am learning not to take this too personally, particularly as it's me who has to be 'bad cop', waking you up to travel to nursery and then turning up to take you home when you're having lots of fun.
I cannot explain the feelings I have for you in words. You have the ability to augment my heart with love and make my heart physically hurt with worry or sadness.
I love you unconditionally and always will. I never want to be a pushy parent and my only expectations of you are that you will be happy, kind and always try your best (oh, and vote Labour and never buy The Daily Mail).
I don't think I'm a very good Mummy - perhaps a little bit slack and definitely not a natural, but my love for you is boundless: I promise.
I don't know when, or indeed if you'll ever read this blog, but if you do, I hope you recognise that in the hurly burly of modern life, you are an inherent part of me. I still think a lot about carrying you in my tummy and the wonderful birth experience you gave me. I know that the beautiful boy with the long lashes and lustrous mop of hair will grow into an amazing young man who will make us proud. But I want you to know, you will always be my little boy.