It was a Saturday. Saturday the 2nd of July 2016…A special one! The day my son turned seven. I woke up early, before anyone else…even the birthday boy and the sun was beating through my bedroom window. It was bright and warm and I lay there thinking of this day seven years back. I thought it would be a day, much like the others before it. A day when I felt heavy and hot in the closeness of summer. A day when I wondered if it could be ‘The Day’. The day when a tiny, new life would make me a mother for the first time and a brand new chapter could begin. Indeed, my new chapter began as I gave birth to my little boy Noah, in the bedroom of our home. It was the first one that we lived in as a family. I met him for the…

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Dear Noah, Tomorrow you are turning seven! Tonight I am sitting here having just written in your birthday card and I am surrounded by banners and balloons that say ‘Happy Seventh Birthday’ and it doesn’t feel like they belong in our home. I can’t look at the number and see you being this age. I feel like some time has been rather wickedly stolen from me and I will never see it again. But it’s all true. You will be seven. In just a few hours…and I am trying to catch up quickly. I need to catch up so that tomorrow morning, when you bundle in to bed with me and whisper that it is your birthday, I don’t fall apart. I feel like falling apart right now. My lips keep quivering quite hard, my eyes are full of tears…my face is a little contorted…because I am trying to push…

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His little tongue poked out of the side of his mouth and his beautiful, big eyes grew even bigger in anticipation. His little fingers shook with concentration and focus and the room was silent. I may have stopped breathing for a tiny while, worried that he would hear and I would throw him off. And there in the living room of our home, Noah tied his shoelaces for the very first time. And like most milestones and the many wonderful ways that my children constantly surprise me, I felt the familiar burn of tears behind my eyes. And like most times, I didn’t let them fall but simply replaced them with the biggest smile that I can possibly fit on my face. A smile that often hurts eventually. Probably because it stays there for so long. Moments like this remind me why I wanted to become a mother to begin…

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The Sweetest Life has been a little sleepy this past week because in reality I have been hurdling the days. I’ve been existing thanks to coffee and some very supportive words and ways from my lovely friends and family. The past week has been a blur of emotion and now that I have made it through to Saturday, where I am sat in the work office writing this (and Sunday evening where I am finishing this at home), with quiet around me and space to breathe and think… I can truly reflect upon the chaos. The chaos which makes me smile, fully. I came in to this week nervous, agitated, anxious and tense. On Wednesday and Thursday, Noah sat his SATs and because I’m his mama, his biggest support…and biggest fan, I gave my positivity, confidence and every good thought I had, to him. I just wanted him to smile…

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The smug smirk on Matthew’s face as he walked through the door told me that I wasn’t going to like what was on the piece of paper that he was waving around in front of me. He knew that I was going to hate it! I laughed nervously and took it from him. He folded his lips in tightly to stop himself from laughing at me, laughing at what I was about to say. ‘He isn’t going!’ I said firmly as I quickly dismissed what I had just read and the paper ended up on top of a little pile of bills and letters. The ‘I’m not dealing with this shit’ pile. The pile that I quickly turned away from. Matt let the laugh go and I shot him the worst look from the bottom of my soul. ‘You can’t say that, he will love it…and you know he will’…

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