The last few days I have felt a little bit poorly. It seems like everyone has it and I guess with the beautiful Autumn colours, the crisp leaves and the excuse to wear chunky knits and drink spiced lattes also comes the inevitable germs. So I’ve plodded on.
Since I had my tonsils removed in July I have been really fortunate not to be too ill. I’ve had the odd sore throat and cold that you just get on with but I have felt lucky to not be plagued by the constant bouts of tonsillitis. However that does also mean that those horrible little things at the back of my throat haven’t been there this week to contain the germs.
This afternoon I suddenly felt very poorly and with a voice like Barry White and a cough like a lifelong smoker I reluctantly hauled myself to school pick up. Where I proceeded to feel faint and shivery and sit in the car crying at the mere thought of the drive home. So when we did get home we retreated upstairs so I could lie in bed with hot water bottles and the girls played around me until Daddy got home.
They played so wonderfully together it was actually really beautiful to watch and I had a realisation that this has been a lot more commonplace recently. They actually get involved in a game of make believe together where of course Eva makes all the rules and Roma does as she is told, completely at the mercy and in total awe of her sister, but play they do and they are both so happy. And so grown up. When that game was over Eva got some books and was reading them to us.
It seriously made my heart melt to see the wonderful little ladies, sisters and friends they have become. My babies are no longer babies and those days are well and truly behind me. They don’t need me in that same all consuming, need to survive, kind of a way. I see how far they have come and wonder, like many other parents do, where did the time go? It’s strange to think that in the same breath I can say that Roma looks so big but then glance across at Eva and think that actually she has so far to go. But in this moment I definitely just saw my two big girls playing together and the future when they will scuttle off and play their own childish games and I know that I will beg to be part of it one more time.
Fast forward a couple of hours and I am sitting next to Roma’s bed because she won’t go to sleep without screaming for one of us. She wants to hold my hand. So I sit in slight despair on a tiny foot stool, by a tiny bed, stifling my cough and scrunching my eyes up from the throbbing pain in my head. I lean over and hold her tiny hand.
It’s pitch black and all I can hear is her breathing as it slows from upset to content. I feel her hand in mine and suddenly realize that it feels so small. I can no longer see the face that earlier in the day seemed so grown up. I can’t hear the voice that at just 20 months you can have full conversations with and has already started with “why mummy” “but why though”. I just feel her tiny hand.
Her warm fingers wrap around mine and feel my comfort. I instinctively run my thumb over the back of her soft soft skin and it feels like it could have been the very first time I ever did. The first night in hospital when I leant over the cot and marveled at those ten tiny fingers I had created, that just a few short hours ago were the ones I could see poking me from the inside making me squirm and laugh in equal measures. That night I held her hand in mine because after 42 weeks I finally could.
Or the following days, weeks, months that I have sat in this very room and held that very hand as she has fought sleep, and that is alot. The same hand that would scratch me whilst feeding, place her hand on my skin as a sign of ownership in a sleepy feed. She could be the baby on any of those nights right now. I just sit there in silence as all these memories come flashing back and it feels so wonderful to have them.
Her hand twitches, stirring me from my thoughts and symbolising her transition to sleep. And finally, she wriggles into a comfy position which doesn’t include my hand. Her fingers tense and release and she no longer needs my comfort. I’m free.
Part of me wants to run out of that room as fast as I can and get back into bed because she is finally asleep and my ear drums haven’t had to take a bashing. But a bigger, more intense, part of me wants to rummage around that little bed in the pitch black and grab that tiny little hand that come morning will look so big again. To squeeze it tight and hold it forever, or at least just a little while longer.
Of course in that moment I didn’t take any photo’s, but this morning as we were playing hide and seek I grabbed my camera and took just a few shots. I love what they symbolise, I love that they capture the detail in these dimply fingers that mean so much. But when I look at them now I don’t just see these tiny fingers, I see the big girl she has already become, the twinkle in her eyes, and I couldn’t be prouder.
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