I sigh that kiss you,
For I must own
That I shall miss you
When you have grown.
(The Cradle Song, Yeats)
They are beautiful but they are not my babies and sometimes I find myself sitting and looking at them and wondering who they are. My babies were never so vivacious, never such little people. These creatures are human beings concentrated down into tiny packages, they are fairy children, changelings. They are delightful, captivating.
My babies have never climbed on to the sofa to sit beside me and rest their heads on my shoulder. But these people do, and they wrap their chubby little arms around my neck. They offer me their toys to examine as though I have never seen my kitchen clips before, or the piece of Tupperware that they are batting about the floor. They like to practice their giving and taking – “May I have it? THANK you!” – but they are wickedly amused when we demonstrate snatching. Balthazar can climb a ladder to the ceiling in less than a minute (please, please, don’t ask how I know that…).
Mother: ”What noise does a sheep make?” A tiny, gleeful voice: “Baa!”
This evening Lysander walked across the room toward me. He walked across the room.
I have written about all that I shall miss from their babyhood. I want to keep it with me, to treasure it forever. But on the cusp of their first birthday these tiny people are such fun.
We have been planning their first birthday party. We want it to reflect their dynamic personalities, the colour that they have brought to our lives. We want it to be bright. We were going to throw a Where the Wild Things Are party but I’ve been convinced to put that back on the shelf for next year, when they will be able to enjoy it too. This party will be all about Rainbows.
There will be one candle on the cake and as we light it we will reflect on this magical year, on the change and growth we have experienced as a family and the joy that these little people have brought to our lives. It will be a day to celebrate the babies that they were, the toddlers they are becoming. The people that they have always been.
Sunday 25th October at noon, at Grandy’s house. If you’re wondering where your invitation is, it’s still – cough – on my desk in the office. No, really. If you know us ‘in real life’ please feel free to drop in – we’d love to share their special day with you.
Signing offline to stare at my sleeping toddlers, and get to work on rainbow bunting. How on earth are they almost a year old already?