It is not lost on me, that these precious years I will forever remember, are years you will later discount. Years you will have no memory of. Years you will describe as, ‘but I was only 2, so it doesn’t really count.’ Oh, but they count to me. These early days in which your voice is so high and light. These mornings and afternoons with which I try to carefully create a safe place, a loving place, an anchored place you can always return to as life gets bigger and harder. As you get bigger and harder. You won’t remember our easy mornings or afternoons spent at the playground, you won’t remember drawing Nana and Pa, or arguments over the TV, or how every single word you ever learnt was cheered by the proudest parents who believed completely in your evident genius. And kindness. And beauty. And uniqueness. You won’t remember how many times I checked you when you started sleeping in your own bedroom, or how many times your Dad got up to soothe you when you woke. But we will remember, until our dying days, how you smelt, the look on your face when you saw a plane (a helicopter, a hot air balloon, anything!) in the sky, your funny little words, and how you always said goodbye to the moon.
These years are ones that have changed me and your Dad, cracked everything wide open. You were a hand grenade we threw into the middle of a relationship, an apartment, a life, and as you grew, with frightening quickness, you pulled us along with you – are pulling us along with you, and you will never stop. No, it is not lost on me, that a time in my life that will always be so very, deeply significant, is a time of yours that you will know of only through photos and stories. A time that perhaps won’t feel as if it fully belongs to you, but instead was a time of your life you shared with us – with lucky, lucky us.
But that is okay. These years, these memories, they are are ours, Mummy and Daddy’s. They are for us to treasure, to fill, to round out. They are for us to use, so that we may learn how best to help you grow. My hope is simply that, during these early years, in which you are giving us so much joy, we are setting you up for the years that you will remember. And that they, too, will be filled with joy.