Just the other day, they were our babies.  And of course these little girls of ours will always be our babies, but it’s hard to comprehend that they are no longer babies – that to the unbiased eye they are quite definitely toddlers, little girls.  I remember this feeling from when they were born; I remember how my sons seemed to grow by a year in the space of a day, how big their hands and feet were, how loud their voices became when we had a newborn in our arms that stirred every time its sibling laughed.  And now my daughters are transformed in quite the same way. There is a certain stigma about being the ‘middle child’, an idea that the child whom is neither the oldest nor the baby is somehow lesser to the parents; an idea that they are a little neglected.  And I never want that… View Post

My body hoarded the baby selfishly; a dragon wrapped around gold. Or at least, that was how I felt about crawling past forty-one weeks, how my mind tried to smother the anxiety that my body was broken, inert. My babies, I told myself, always go late, and I made myself remember how it felt to creep past forty-one weeks with the girls and the rush of relief that I felt when my waters broke with a reluctant trickle one morning. Still, I was afraid. The final weeks of pregnancy do that to me, strip away my confidence in myself and leave me wound as tightly as my daughters’ musical carousel. Every time somebody speculated as to why the baby hadn’t come yet, I wanted to cry. I felt ready, so ready. And yet there was always a reason to delay: sick children at forty weeks, my own cold at forty-one,… View Post

We were awake when you crept into our bedroom; Lysander first, all wide eyes and a neck like a giraffe, swiftly followed by Balthazar when his brother whisper-yelled that the baby was here.  Your faces were filled with awe, you touched her gently, so feather-light that she didn’t stir.  Your sisters were beginning to wake, and I stumbled into their bedroom and lifted them, gingerly, from their cots.  I wanted us all to be together, to share in this moment. And that is how you met Vita: tentatively, curiously, eagerly.  With awe and with love in your hearts.

Oh, my beautiful boys. There is so much about you that I love at this age. I have been saying for months that if I could freeze you in time now and keep you this way forever, I would give it serious consideration. You are capable and independent, conversant and witty, sweet little people with hearts so enormous that it is a wonder that they fit into your little chests. You make us laugh so much. You are all new thoughts and big ideas, spontaneous kisses and hugs that are just that fraction too tight.  Parenting you at three has taught me to be patient, to be silly, to tell dreadful bedtime stories that have become one of your most valuable currencies. This year has been the best yet. You began it as toddlers, all golden locks and baby faces, and have finished it as pre-schoolers, brimming with confidence and… View Post

It was just the other day – and yet… We took a final walk with you. We didn’t go far, just to the woods at the end of our road; you raced up ahead, laughing, looking for cats, for discarded pumpkins and remnants of halloween. The boys were the fastest, of course, but Olympia kept up nicely and little Embla toddled along as best she could, arms in the air, until tiring and succumbing to hand-holds and a ‘cuddle’ to catch up with the rest. You all held hands without complaint to cross the road. Balthazar asked to hold Olympia’s, and they walked along so sweetly. Lysander chatted up at me, his blue-blue eyes sparkling in the golden late-afternoon sunlight. And we marvelled at the four of you and how you fit together like pieces of the same puzzle, and I could only half believe that it was probably the… View Post