It’s our anniversary today – not of our wedding, of the day we actually got together. Sixteen years your Dad and I have been together. Dad was able to bring Lachie in for a while today and they each brought flowers for me. Lachie poked his tiny little head around the curtain with an outstretched hand carrying a small handpicked bouquet of tibichina from our garden. It’s his favourite flower in our garden, and it reminds me so much of home. About now the leaves will be starting to droop and the flowers will lose their bloom, falling softly to the ground below. Our back lawn will resemble something of an impressionist painting with the purple petals spread across the deep green of the grass. Dad brought in a huge bouquet of Lilies, which brightened my spirits completely given they are something of a talisman for you and I, and a bag full of Haigh’s chocolate. Which is about as nutritious as the hospital food seems, so I guess its fair game!
So I’m in a pretty happy place, although the doldrums are setting in a little. We spent a lot of time together, the four of us, (because you are already such a vital part of our little unit). Dad had just come from getting the house ready for final inspections next week and smelled of freshly cut grass. He and Lachie sped up and down the hallway on the wheelchairs to a chorus of amused tut tuts from the midwives on duty. But they can’t help but smile whenever they see that cheeky little blonde face filled with such glee, and his squeals of delight are welcome on a ward filled with high risk ante and post natal pregnant women.
We ate some lunch, (which Dad smuggled in) and chatted about nothing and for a few moments everything seemed to be normal again. I was incredibly sad when they left, but I am always reinvigorated to see your brother. He has a spirit that cannot be dampened, and a presence that spreads the cold hospital ward with an infectious billowing breath of life. I miss him so terribly. It’s difficult to explain, or put into words what it means to be separated from your child. It’s a bit like someone smashed my heart into pieces and every time he leaves another piece goes missing.
On the flip side, there is nothing like the lingering essence of a rambunctious toddler to lift someone’s mood. So tonight after your Dad and brother left I felt happily heartbroken. It’s a strange dichotomy, and one that only a parent could really understand I think. Every night I fall asleep singing to you, talking back to the voice and begging for his help, (I’m pretty sure it’s a he), and picturing your brother as I left him with Nanna that very first day. Waving goodbye as if his world wasn’t about to change.
We’ve had a doozy of a day. You and your brother have been fighting constantly. You adore him and cannot leave him alone. He is a complicated kid and needs his space to ‘hyper-focus’. He takes ownership in things, and you always want to share. You have a big heart and I think it’s hurting a bit today. I think you need something more at the moment. More attention, more one on one time – not more love, you have an abundance of that.
You’ve spent some time with your Ma because I had to go out for a while. You’re happy when you are with your grandparents, almost giddy most of the time. And I know you’ve been a bit sad lately, I haven’t quite cracked the reason why. Maybe simply because you are almost three. Maybe because you are coming to terms with the world. Maybe because you are making your own terms, and forging your own personality. You’ve got a whole bunch of it already, but I fear there is more to come. As I watch you play on the couch with her I remember how long a road it’s been, and I realise that sometimes I foolishly assume that being as strong as you are means you aren’t vulnerable too. I resolve to spend more time figuring you out.
In the meantime, I have some flowers to admire, and chocolates to devour.