Dear little girl,
I never knew parenting would be like this. I knew people love their children, but I can’t say I ever really ‘got’ the way it is.
That the little things that most of us take for granted â€“ walking, talking, eating â€“ can be such monumental occasions, and that I can experience them anew and with excitement and learn to appreciate them all over again, because you do, is magical to me.
That simple, four letter, two syllable words like ‘Mummy’ can cause a searing rush of emotion to tear through me, forcing my eyes to well up and a smile to engulf me. The sheer pride I feel when you say ‘Daddy’, ‘Nana’, or ‘Oupa’ â€“ I love the sound of your voice and I love that you’re beginning to use it correctly.
If comprehension was visibly measurable, you’d have climbed the charts this month. Your understanding of things has changed so much. Like when aunty Deshaine asked you where your shoes are, and you marched over to the wardrobe, pulled open the door and pointed to your shoes, looking at her and then at them, saying ‘shoos’, ‘shoos’.
I gave you your little backpack and asked you to pack away your toys. You went around the room and one by one put books, rattles, a tambourine, a doll and some finger puppets in the bag before sitting down. I asked you ‘what about the egg?’, and you walked over to the egg shaped shaker and popped it in your bag. I was amazed. It amazed me. You amaze me.
We spent two weeks of this month away in the mountains with your grandparents, aunty and uncle. It was wonderful watching you open up to them all again. You’d wake in the morning and pointing at the door say â€œOupaâ€ or â€œNanaâ€.
Little things catch my attention frequently. I see you doing things you hadn’t done before, and it makes my heart beat faster â€“ sometimes in fear, other times in anticipation. You climb on and off chairs, you take stairs two at a time. You climb the climb frame at the park, and you run across the bridge, and pop yourself down on the slide and whiz down it.
You are fearless â€“ despite your scratches and bruises. You might cry when you fall, but you quickly stand up and go on on your journey. There’s never a shortage of things on your horizon. You’ve learned to stand on your tip toes to get things off shelves. If I can’t find something where I put it, I have to look in every cupboard under knee height to find it’s new home.
You have one empty shelf in Oupa’s empty cupboard that has obviously become ‘yours’. At present there are two outfits, a set of my earrings, an empty bottle and a few toys in it. I removed it all the other day, and you promptly returned it all.
I guess we all need our ‘own’ space.
We’ve been talking about the possibility of siblings. At the moment, I’m still not sure what we’ll do. I like the idea of you having someone within about two years of your own age. It’s a nice gap, to still be friends and all that. But I don’t know. One day, I hope you know, the decision to have a second child, if we do, took a lot of deliberating. I have so many questions about how it will affect you, your life, your future. For today, for now, that’s my greatest concern. But by the time you read this, we’ll know how it all worked out.
Well, that’s all from me for now, little girl. I love you more than I thought possible, more than the breath in my chest. You tire me out, exhaust me, and steal my sleep, but there is nothing I would have, rather than you.
All my love, my angel.