Thursday, 23 January 2014

Letters to Ruby // Week 8

Ever since I was a little girl, I have enjoyed writing letters to people. One of the ways that I am documenting these early weeks with Ruby is through writing her letters on a private blog, which I plan to make into a book for her at the end of this year. I love the idea of Ruby reading a book of letters to her that will mean different things to her at different stages of her life. Every now and then, I will share one of these letters with you.

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Dear Ruby,

Today at 4.44pm you will have been breathing outside of your home in my womb for 8 weeks. This morning as we go about our day at home, my mind effortlessly runs through the things I want to remember. This is one of the reasons that I write to you, my little one, because these small moments that mean so much to me now, will feel like distant memories in the years to come. So, I write to remember, and for you to discover what life was like when it was just you and me at home each day after your Dad had left for work.

You are loving the mobiles that have been given to you my our friends and relatives, and this week, we have seen you come alive in a new way as you lie in your Moses basket, kicking those strong legs of yours, cooing at the animals that sway gently above you. I want to remember these quite mornings, where it's still possible for me to hear the tiny hiss and crackle of the milk warming on the stove for my morning coffee, as you lie calm and content to take in your surroundings.

It's been about ten minutes since I lay you down in the basket to enjoy the mobile for the short period of time that you are awake, and I can tell that you are starting to get sleepy by the little sounds you are making. So, I scoop you up and pop you in the sling, this place that has become so familiar for both of us in these first eight weeks. You are instantly calmed, until I sit down to sip on my coffee.

I want to remember how you still like movement to help you settle into your slumber. I stand up from the table, responding to your whimpering from the sling-cocoon, and set about making bread in my Kenwood Chef, smiling in the knowledge the that whirring sound of the dough hook rotating will not stop you from sleeping. Quite the opposite, in fact. While you were still growing inside me, I spent many afternoons in the kitchen baking, the Kenwood Chef whirring away, and you would always be calm, sound asleep in utero. I like to think that the familiarity of these sounds still resides with you.  Sure enough, as I move around the kitchen and set the mixer to its task of kneading the bread, you start to calm and settle, not quite into sleep, but the familiar weight of your muscles relaxing and your eyes staring into the distance tell me that sleep is not far off. I know that these days where you need movement to help you settle will not last, as you adjust to being out in the world, where everything sounds and feels different. I cherish these times where I move and you sleep on me.
By the time I have combined flour, yeast, salt and water, sleep has taken over your little body and your head rests heavily upon my chest. I take a trip upstairs to gather your clothes that need washing. As I load the washing machine with a miniature mountain of your clothes, I remember that the bed sheets need changing, and head back upstairs to gather them up. I smile with thankfulness that I am now able to walk up and down the stairs without any of the pain that had become my constant companion in the last trimester of pregnancy.

As I walk into the bedroom, the scent of a sachet of Spring Dress aromas greets me, and I think how it's these small details that don't really matter to anyone other than me, that I want to remember. You see, I have loved perfumes and sweet smelling homes for as long as I can remember. As my daughter, there will be some things about us that are similar, and as I drink in the fragrance that fill our bedroom, I wonder whether you will be like me in your enjoyment of beautiful scents. A home is characterised by so many things, my precious girl, and one of these things is scent. Each home has its own distinct smell, and I hope that the way you remember home as you grow up brings with it fond memories and happy scents. I will write to you another time about my favourite fragrances, but for now, I want to remember how I fill our dining room with the smell of Spring Dress as a tiny candle heats the oil and water to fill the air with wonder, and as we cozy up in the living room, I light the Fairy Dust candle. To me, these scents speak of comfort, calm and familiarity, and I hope that our home is always a place where you feel safe and comfortable.

I love these days where you are my constant companion, and I will forever hold them dear. It is a joy to be your Mama, little one.

With all my love,

xxx

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