A couple of weeks ago Orion turned four. Eight days after that, Piper turned one. I adore birthdays and Orion is now old enough to count down the days on the calendar, which he did with the sort of dedication only children display. Piper didn’t really know what was going on, but she is nothing if not adventurous and she approached the entire situation with her usual enthusiasm and unfailing curiosity.
They shared their celebrations and there was plenty of fun for everyone involved. I bit off far more than I could chew (which is entirely normal for me) but after a lot of stressing I managed to provide healthy finger food, delicious cookies and appropriately themed birthday cakes. It also gave me a fabulous opportunity to have a play with my new Nikon D5300, which takes lovely pictures and is so easy to use.
In spite of all the joy, the laughter, the love and the inevitable amounts of sugar, for me things were a little bittersweet. I simply cannot comprehend that 12 months have passed since Piper entered the world and enriched our lives with her own particular brand of joy. I spent the birthday celebrations in a state of flux, adoring their excitement and wanting to breathe them in before the moment passed me by.
I cannot stop the passage of time and truth be told, I don’t want to. Honestly. I adore watching my kids grow and develop and my heart expands with every new thing they discover. The world is a fascinating, wonderful place to them and being a part of their discovery is an honour which I struggle to put into words. But I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t admit to loving those baby moments. I wish I could bottle every one and take it out later, when they’re older and my memories are no longer as clear. The scent of their hair. The sound of their laughter. Their chubby little legs wobbling as they crawl away at top speed. The sleepy snuggles on the couch late at night when only mummy’s comfort will do.
Orion will be going to kindergarten next year and whilst he is wildly excited, I can’t help getting anxious at the mere thought of it. A selfish part of me wants to hug him tightly and never let go but I won’t, because I’m too busy being proud of the person he’s developing into. Whilst Piper is far from grown up, turning one was a milestone which, to me, marked the passing of those tiny baby days and the beginning of the next stage of her life. I have family and friends remarking to me on a daily basis that she’s lost the ‘baby look’ and is a proper little girl now. And she is. An adorable, sweet, curious, energetic little girl who I am so fortunate to have as part of my life.
I imagine I will grapple with these conflicting feelings every birthday. I comfort myself by assuming it’s a natural part of growing a family, and that other mothers (and fathers) the world over are consumed by the same feelings. And I smile, and I put it all aside, and I love my beautiful children as best as I am able.
Happy Birthday, Orion and Piper. Love always, mummy.