Five

My little (more properly, eldest) daughter just recently turned five. Five years of motherhood, of learning, of making mistakes and growing up. She is, as always was, my sensitive one. The one who needs to know that all is okay before being content. She needs to have a routine and stick by it, and she needs to be prepared and warned of any changes or unusual events. She’s a moody pain first thing in the morning, and won’t even tell her sister good morning until she’s ready to start the day and face the world. She’s the one with a hundred questions, all becoming more and more difficult to answer as time passes by. She goes with her guts, she rarely changes her opinion about someone, and she is, at moments, embarrasingly honest. Time spent with her is precious. Never a dull moment, and the words never stop. I will never tire of her spontaneous kisses and telling me what a beautiful mama’ I am. Her words and actions always put a smile on my face, no matter what.

She recently finished her kindergarten years, and my heart grew heavy as I saw her leave the school for the last time last week. I can’t even begin to explain the difference these past two years of school have made. I am only praying that next year a new school building and a new routine won’t have any unwelcome effects.

Five years of being a mother and two children later, what can I say?

Nothing is easy. Nothing comes handed out to you on a golden plate. We are terrifyingly given, in our exclusive care, these tiny beings without any real knowledge how to handle them and take care of them, and somehow we have to make the best job out of it. If that is not scary than I do not know what is. Then the worst is when you try really hard, you’re probably feeling desperate out of lack of proper routine, sleep and hormones, and you get judged. Judged by close-minded bigots who probably have no idea what this job really entails.

So my advice? Just move on. I have felt overwhelmed by motherhood on countless occasions, probably more with Cesca than Bettina. I have doubted myself and my abilities so many times that I was going crazy over it. We are our own worst critics. Nowadays I go with whatever works. You only want a banana for dinner? Fine. You want to take off your shoes and run outside barefooted? Go ahead. You want to eat yoghurt all on your own? Just do it.

Do enjoy little children. Before you know it, they’re all grown up. I’m dreading the moment Cesca will want to wash herself, or dress herself, or do her own things by herself. I don’t want her to stop closing her bedroom door or insist on reading by herself. I naively want to keep doing it all for her. Because stopping these mundane things, is so very scary.

 

Don’t let anyone tell you motherhood is easy. It’s the toughest. It’s one obstacle after the other, one challenge following the other, but the cliche is true. Nothing is as rewarding in life. By some unexplainable theory, the same small beings who drive you crazy and who you’d willingly rent out at times, just to get away from them, are the same ones you can’t do without.

So I will answer Cesca’s questions with a smile. I will try and find an explanation why it’s not always sunny on Sunday and why she’s never seen a fairy before. I will enjoy every embarrassing episode because I know I will smile later about it later on. I will allow her to help me with my makeup and choose my shoes for me, without flinching when she does so. I won’t get impatient when she won’t give me a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but insists upon showing me Dance A which means ‘yes’ and Dance B which means ‘no’. Who knows if she’ll still be doing these same things next year?

So my little free spirit, keep smiling!

 

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Three.

My Kikkina

The last time I wrote you a letter was last year and the one before.  I could have written the same words today, but you’re three so you deserve a new set of words and a new letter. I’m not normally stuck for words, but between my hormones and everything else, this letter came after lots of drafts and sobs.

You’ve been in our lives for three years, yet it seems as if you’ve always been here. I can not even remember life without you in it. You are that important to us – you are our whole lives.

I see my younger self in you – when you trace any numbers and letters you see, whenever I switch off your bedroom lights and hear sounds coming out from your room minutes later, and find you ‘reading’ (turning) the pages of a book, one leg crossed over the other. I have now understood that you are nobody’s fool and you do things at your own pace and at your choosing. No one can force you to do something you’re not ready for. You have your preferences and your ideas and no one can change them for you. I am constantly choking up as I hang your little colourful pants on the hanging line. Where did my baby go?

I love your loving nature, your laughs, your spontaneous bursts of love, hugs and kisses, how you come hug my tummy and ask me ‘what is mama’s baby doing?’ You are energetic and never stop for a moment, you tire me at times, but it is who you are. Yet for all this, you have a sensitive side which I treasure so much. You sense when other people are not feeling their best and your attitude changes around them. Whenever I am abrupt with you for whatever reason, you come over and ask me ‘Are you happy mama’?’ You are my sweetheart, my little joy and my soulful little girl.

A big part of me wants to keep you at this age forever. I don’t want you to go to school next autumn and be a student with new friends and new timetables. I don’t want you to grow up any faster and change a bit. I want you to remain the girl you are today, just the way you are.

We have always tried our very best with you. As first-time parents we may have gotten it wrong a couple of times but everything we did was always done with love and with you in mind. You have to understand that whatever we are and did in our lives, our biggest achievement and biggest pride is having you as the little girl you are today. You may understand this when you are older yourself and have children of your own, but I never thought it possible to actually feel my heart swell with pride and love. Yet it happens with you every day. I thank my lucky stars for you, my little angel.

You made us parents for the first time and we will soon make you a big sister. Honestly speaking, I don’t want to give you the title of ‘big sister’ for the sole reason that it makes you feel so much older than what you are. However I know that you will be the best older sister out there. It will be a huge transition for us all, we have to adapt to being a family of four and not of three, but I know we will manage and do just fine. I hope and pray that we will be giving you a best friend for life, a sibling to take care of and love whatever happens in life. I am trying to prepare you as well as I can for the new arrival. You will know and realize that we might have a new baby to take care of, but you will always be our ‘big baby’, you brought the biggest change in our life, and we would not have it any other way.

So happy birthday my little Kikkina. Stay happy, keep smiling, always laugh and be true to yourself.

Mama’s hormones might be all over the place at the moment, so excuse my tears when I kiss you happy birthday little one. Just know that they are tears of joy, love and pride.

As we always tell you – we love you to the moon and back.

And more and more.

xxx

My life

My life