Your charms were slower to work on me, and I can admit that now, now that you fully have my heart. Your sister, well your sister had me before she was born, from the moment Mum told me she was pregnant. When she was born, I had weeks of days and nights of nothing but her. There was lots of darkness, and blankets I remember. It was joyful, except for the looming date of a separation. I can’t tell you how much I missed her and Mum.
But your first days were different. I was back to work within two days. The smells and sounds took me back to Stella’s early days, but without the time to enjoy. It was the same, but more demanding.
So you weren’t there, immediately in my heart but I can tell you that now, now that you fully have my heart. It was your quirks that did it at first. Enjoying being rocked to sleep by pretty loud music. Insisting on standing even when you couldn’t. Patting my shoulder when I held you, as if you were transferring strength and love to me, rather than the other way around.
Now, I cannot imagine a life without you. “Perhaps not to be, is to be without your being,” as Pablo Neruda wrote. You love me and tell me often, reminding me in the process that I need to tell you that more.
So Happy Birthday, five year old you. I hope you like the sparkly dress.