SATS And Snails

Dear Noah (My Beautiful Boy),

The sun has been shining lately and there have been blossoms on the trees. The world has started to look so beautiful after a long winter. This morning after a splash of rain, a cool release from the heat over the weekend, Ellenah and I walked back from the school run without you. We walked quite slowly. Ellenah because she is small and wanted to look at the snails which were on the move. Me because like every week day morning, I miss you. I especially missed you today. I missed you because while Ellenah crouched down low, taking all of the time in the world to look at the snail which I held in the palm of my hand for her, it hurt my heart that you were not there. You would have loved that snail. You would have made up a story about it. You would have wanted to keep it. You would have said it was cute. You would have been so intrigued by where it lives, its family…its life so far and where it is going.

And I thought to myself about this moment.

This moment which wasn’t dictated by a clock, elsewhere’s to be… we had time as we crouched down in the rain with the world passing us by.

Moments like that are few and far between with you right now. Our moments are scheduled, organised and not quite so raw.

I have to steal those moments with you. Like at the weekend, on the bridge in our garden. The sun beat down on us and you sat on my knee like you did when you were much smaller. And my heart felt warm. And you will never know how much those few minutes of perfection meant to me.

SATS And Snails

Sometimes I hate myself when I ask you for ‘two minutes’ until I can read to you or for you to ‘wait until after dinner’ when you ask to build lego with me. I know that you want those moments with me too and I know that you hate waiting for them as much as I do. I hope you know that I am trying my best to be everything that you could ever want or need from a mother. I hope you know that when I ask you to ‘please wait’… that doesn’t mean that my love for you is paused.

Noah, isn’t everything so busy all of the time? Do you remember when we walked into the hills of the woods that time and as we stood on that bank and looked out upon tree tops, wasn’t it lovely? Do you remember what we did? When I said ‘Let’s think of all of the busy in our heads, all of the things we need to do, all of the things that worry us, bother us… let’s put it all in a ball in our stomach’s and shout our loudest until it’s gone!!!’ And we did. Do you remember how much we laughed, even though our eyes had tears in… It made us feel much better didn’t it?! Shall we do that again this weekend? Will you come with me?

Noah, I know that you feel nervous right now. Next week you have your very first SATS at school. Each day is taking a little chunk out of you and a little piece of your spirit. I can feel it! I’ve never seen you sweat anything before. I’ve never seen you try and rise to pressure. You have never needed to. You have always been so confident in the fact that you are good enough… because you most definitely are! Sometimes when I catch a glimpse of you, deep in thought… I can almost see you treading water, trying to keep going and all with a smile on your face. I can see you trying to figure out what you are feeling and why you feel strange about a little test. A test that doesn’t say anything about you and one that certainly doesn’t define you.

Noah, you know how special you are, right? You know that you are such a wonderful little boy? Do you know how you make people feel when you smile at them? Do you know how much that matters?

Noah, Do you know that I don’t care what a piece of paper with some numbers on tries to tell me about you?

I don’t care because you make the world better. You make it better with your beautiful eyes and the way that you see the world around you. You make it better with your laugh and ability to make others around you laugh and feel joy. You make it better because you see the good in everyone and you say such heartfelt things that make people feel good about themselves.

You are love, courage, enthusiasm, confidence and good.

You are happiness.

And you are small. And I am your Mother. And in this life, you will know everything that you are meant to and need to.

You will know that the sun will rise and the sun will set and everything in between is all that you make it. And, it is beautiful.

And you will know that your best is always good enough.

And you will know that ‘I Love You’, no matter what!

-Mama x

SATS And Snails

 

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First Love Dear Noah,

A couple of afternoons ago, on a particularly hot day, you sat on the sofa, clammy and done with it all. In a bid to wind the day down, we sat just across from each other and started to talk. The conversation took a turn and you found yourself talking about the girl in your school, the girl that your six and a half year old self is ‘in love with’. I watched as your eyes lit up when you spoke about her, I can tell that you think she is beautiful and so funny. You have told me that to you, she is perfect.

And I smiled… at the wrong time.

To me, I captured a glimpse of the boyfriend, husband and man that I think that you will some day become. Sensitive, loving and warm. I drifted off, just for a few seconds…almost celebrating how wonderful and ever so sweet you are.

First Love

You caught me!

To you, my smile and dopey eyes made you feel silly. You probably thought that I wasn’t listening. Like your feelings about your unrequited love didn’t matter, like they matter to you.

And then, you didn’t want to talk about ‘her’ any more… and you started to cry.

I scooped you up in my arms, a little ball of sobs, sweat and emotion. We stayed like that for a while and then little by little, you started to unravel. You buried your face into my neck, put your arms around me and clasped hold of me tightly.

Overwhelmed and needing air, eventually you looked up at me and I kissed your forehead and asked you what was wrong.

You told me how life feels for you when she is around. One minute you are racing your friends, playing football or playing make believe but as soon as you see her, you get nerves in your stomach and words don’t come out of your mouth. You tell me that you try not to stare but she is lovely. AND, the other boys in your class just want to play football or The Army. It makes you feel strange.

Noah, I don’t like to think that you have your first crush/love at the age of six and a half years old. I want you to be little first, a child.

I’m not ready for a girl who isn’t me, to have such a big part of your heart.. or to potentially hurt it. The thought of that breaks mine a little. My job is to protect you, your feelings… and especially your beautiful heart!

BUT…

What you feel is important and you are not silly. I would hate to think that I ever made you feel that way. The truth is, this is all new to me. I thought I had more time… but we’ll figure it all out together. You can talk to me, I will listen…I will be here for you.

But first…

Please understand that occasionally, I may look like I’m ready to burst with pride. Please understand that this is because I am actually about to.

Please understand that I am glad that I am raising you to treat girls with respect, whether that is the girls in your school, your Aunties, Nan or Me… and to see you be so gentle, sweet and kind-hearted… it will do things to my heart as your mother. It gives me the nod that I’ve put you on the right path somewhere along our journey.

Please know that I pray that in many years to come, when the time is right, you will love someone who truly deserves you.

Please understand that I will worry about this. I will worry about you.

Please know that I am so glad that you have been around true love, pure and good. Please understand how much I hope you can recognise this for yourself in the future because it will matter to who, how and why you love…and how you love yourself.

I will worry about this too.

Please understand that right now, I wish that you would rather be playing with Lego or digging for hidden treasure in the garden and this is difficult for me to comprehend.

Please understand that I hope that you will remain this chivalrous throughout life… even though, you started young so some days it may feel like effort.

Please know that one day, when you are an adult or just big enough to open doors for a lady, you must… even though not all of them will want or expect you to. I expect this from you though, which is why I want you to take your time to get there. You must not feel lesser for feeling as you do right now, but don’t rush to grow up where you can help it.

Please know that as much as I love you, I will not love every part of you growing up. To me, it will feel like you are growing away. Some days I will think that this part of your life is the cutest, and I will hang off of these beautiful little things that you say and other days, it will feel hard at the speed you are going and I will want to hit pause.

First Love

Noah, please know that I love you, everything about you. I love your dirty, mischievous laugh and that you push your boundaries, it complements the sensitive, idealist and romantic side to your personality just perfectly. And as much as it breaks me sometimes to see you cry (especially over a girl at six and a half years old…or whatever age that happens), it heals me when I remind myself that you can ‘feel’ and that makes it all okay. ‘Okay’ because over the years, those feelings and everything that you go through, will help you to better understand yourself.

So one day, in many years to come when I can comprehend ‘letting you go’ and you have this lovely family of your own (the one that you have imagined and like to talk about, the one that is a lot like ours- If that is what you still want for yourself of course!)… I know that they will have a grown, confident man, who has feelings and understands himself and he will love them with everything that he is…

And when you get there, I will show you this letter and no doubt, you will smile… And I will cry!

All Of My Love Sweetpea,
Mummy xxx

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Noah lost his third tooth on Sunday evening. It was his front tooth at the top. The gap is huge. He looks kinda funny, a bit odd…a little goofy. Although, incredibly cute.

It was a process, it had been wiggly for a while and I watched him every day, trying to get that sucker out. It didn’t want to budge…but he got there in the end.

It is meant to be simple. It happens to every child, right? It is to be expected. It’s almost business for a young lad. A transaction. Every time a tooth comes out, it goes under the pillow and by the time he wakes up in the morning, a shiny penny is in its place. It’s a handshake. It’s a deal. Final. Normal.

So, why do I take it so badly?

Why do I get a stinging in my tear ducts each time I see that big, gappy grin edging towards me with his little milk tooth tucked in to his clammy hand? Why does my lip start to quiver and my stomach feel a little sick with the thought of it? Why do I take any little sign of him growing up so badly?

Why does it hurt my heart?

I wish that sometimes I could pretend to be a bit harder, with no regard for the way of things. The truth of things. That Noah is quickly growing up and it makes me dizzy.

Why do I sneak in to his room before I go to sleep each night, just to watch him breathing and dreaming. Why does that time matter to me so much when he doesn’t even know I am there? Why do I feel the need to steal his face for a few more minutes in the day, during his stillness, his healing, his growing.

Am I trying to delay the inevitable? Trying to control it perhaps?

I know deep down that his growing up isn’t on my terms, not really!

He surprises me everyday, with his knowledge, his acceptance of the world… the way he handles scissors in arts and crafts.

I’ve taught him, sure? I raise him, definitely! But, he leads the way… he would be bored, unchallenged and uninspired if he waited for me to pick up the pace, to catch up with him. We both know, I wouldn’t be able to do it and I would happily wrap him in cotton wool if he would let me.

I would do just about anything to be able to turn back time some days, so that we could both have our own way.

It’s a shame I can’t.

Toothfairy

Instead, I have to shove a smile on my face and put on my best wings.

Because ‘The Toothfairy’, she loves this shit.

With Love, Ria x

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Noah's 6th Birthday Eve

Dear Noah,


How am I the mother of a very nearly six year old boy? When I first held you in my arms and looked down on your perfect little face for the first time, six years ago, this moment felt so very far away. I felt like the parents of six year old children were refined, not very much like me at all. The parents of six year old children enjoyed a glass of red in the evenings and they knew which cheeses they liked most. Parents of six year old children are so very mature, well travelled and can probably speak a few languages by this point in their parenting journey.


Well my Darling, that is not who you have as a mummy. This mummy enjoys splitting a smoothie with you while we appreciate a good babybel together and seeing what we can make out of the wax. We’ve holidayed…sure but we aren’t what you would call well-travelled…not yet my boy! We adventure though, we explore… and nothing beats watching you lead the way with a trusty stick. 


We are simple. And watching you enjoy and appreciate the little things that life can offer you if you just take notice is one of the things that I have enjoyed most about you in this past year. You are learning what compassion really means and as much as you push boundaries (which by the way, you absolutely should be!) you have a good moral compass. You are a good person. Smart, kind-hearted and forever my little ray of sunshine.


Everybody loves you.


You are interested in the world. Interested in life and I hope that as you grow, older and up…you forever have this zest for life and willing to live life with abundance. You have spirit and charisma and I like it that you have something to say for yourself.


You question me, challenge me and you teach me. You teach me about life through your eyes. I am very grateful to you for that. For you. For your time.


You are beautiful. So very beautiful.


This year, you have achieved such wonderful things. You won your very first medal in gymnastics. You earned it. You are flying at school and show up every day with energy and a smile for all.


You are happy.


You make me unbelievably happy.


You remind me how blessed I am every day when you kiss me on the forehead and say ‘Good Morning Mama…I Love You’… Oh, sweetheart, I love you too, every single second of every single day until forever and just so much more than you will ever know.


I can’t believe that I have already been lucky enough to love you with all of my heart for six years and just so much longer. Before I met you, you had my heart… and that love grows every day… it gets bigger and bigger. Some days I feel like I could burst!


I hope you have the happiest birthday son. I hope you it is as special to you as you are to me. May your dreams come true and you spend the day surrounded by the ones who love you the most.


The world is always brighter and better to me because you are in it and I can’t wait to see what ‘ The Year That You Are Six’ will bring.

Too Much Love, Mummy x

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Dear Noah,


How can you even be five tomorrow? It doesn’t feel quite right. It truly feels like yesterday that I first met you, In the bedroom of our old house, surrounded by paint pots and hot mess because we hadn’t long moved in… and we were in the process of decorating your nursery!!


We have come such a long way since that day. I truly couldn’t wish for a better relationship with you. You are honestly my best little friend. 


The past year has been a big one in your life. You closed a chapter on pre- school and you started school. My Darling, you have stormed it! Believe me when I tell you that I’m crying as I type this, I am so so so so proud of you. We may not have the best of everything and we may not shower you with material things but as long as you know that I love you, more than words can say and you keep bringing me pieces of scrap paper with words that you have written by yourself… We are rich, we are wealthy and my sweet boy, we will always be happy. 


This year, you have learned the importance of telling those you care about that you love them… you must have because you tell me over and over again, every day. We argue about who loves each other more. I am pretty sure I love you most but you always say “Please can we love each other the same?”…  You are quite articulate like that… and very sweet!!


In your first few years, I would always question myself. I would always wonder if I was giving you the right tools, to learn and to grow. This year, I have seen just how smart you are. Nothing seems to phase you and you ask me questions that I can’t get my head around sometimes, or questions that I am afraid to answer. I don’t want to tell you why the world sometimes goes wrong, I don’t want to be the one to harden you… not that I think the world could, you seem to take it all in your stride and you always say something that makes everything a little better. You truly are my Sunshine!!! As long as you keep shining bright, nothing can bring me down.

Noah's 5th Birthday Eve

You are fresh. When you learn or experience something new, I feel like it is the first time I am. You are enthusiastic about such simple things and I idolise you for it. I hope you always see the world that way.


You are imaginative. I could watch you play for days on end and listen to your stories forever. What melts my heart the most is that not only do you still involve me but you always see me as a main character in your games and your stories. I am completely honoured to be a part of it. I wish that you will always keep me that close to your heart. You will always and forever be that close to mine.


Sometimes, when you play rough with your sister or you leap around on the furniture as part of your game, I forget that you are still so little. I tell you not to treat our home like that and that when it comes to Ellenah, you should know better… shame on me!! These years, quite evidently go too fast so you should be free to play, it is good for you!! And, it isn’t always your fault that Ellenah gets hurt, she gives as good as she gets and I couldn’t stop her from playing rough with you if I tried, she loves you as much as we do! She looks up to you and wants you around all of the time, even when she pushes away your constant attempts at kisses and cuddles, if you stopped, she would wonder why!! Sometimes, I treat you like you are older than you are, sometimes you act it… From this point on, please just be five and I will take care of the rest.


You are growing up to be a wonderful, beautiful person. You have a good and pure heart. You are charismatic and kind… and so generous, like I will always give away my last Rolo… you will always give me a pink love heart from your Harribo Mix-Up. I hope you always stay that way… You really are perfect.


I am so happy to be the person you come to when you are sad. When you are sick, it’s me you call for. When you want to tell someone about you day… you choose me.

I feel so privileged to be your Mummy and I love you so very much.

Happy 5th Birthday Sweetheart

I hope it’s as special as you are

All of my love

The biggest hugs and too many kisses

x Mummy x

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Originally Written 01/07/2014