Wednesday, 21 January 2015

by the light of the street lamps.

Dear Ruby,
I have written to you before and said how I often compose letters to you in my head as we go about our day. This is one of those letters that I 'wrote' while we were on an early morning walk.

You had woken at 5.40am, crying and wanting milk, as you normally do. Once your tummy was content, you struggled to return to sleep, thanks to your congested nose. So I sat with you in the rocking chair, going back and forth, back and forth while you clung to my neck and groaned. Every now and then, you would calm down, your body limp and heavy with the weight of sleep being so close to you, but then the groaning would start again. After an hour of this, I needed to change tack, so we got up. My stomach was growling, as it always does in the morning, ready to start the day with food. I opened the tin on the side which held a batch of breakfast cookies that I had made last night. I gave you a piece and you climbed onto your chair and quietly nibbled away.
When you had finished your cookie, you walked over to your buggy and pointed at it. Knowing that you were still tired after a restless night, I asked you if you would like to go for a walk in the buggy to go to sleep, and you nodded, continuing to point at it. Your ability to communicate non-verbally continues to astound me, and I loved that you were able to let me know what you wanted to do. Ever since you were five months old, you have taken your naps in the buggy. We have done more laps of the block to lull you to sleep than I care to count. I used to wonder whether I should try and teach you to sleep on your bed for naps, but I stopped worrying about that a long time ago. After all, I doubt you will have any memory of how we got you to sleep when you are older. I often think that as Mother's, we do what we need to do in order to survive, and hopefully thrive. To some, this might seem ludicrous, that you have to go for a walk to get to sleep, but I have learnt to enjoy these daily walks of ours.
While we were out walking this morning, I thought about how peaceful it was to be outside while it was still dark, walking by the light of the moon. And then I thought how that seems like a bit of a romantic notion, really, because I couldn't see the moon anywhere - all I could see where the bright street lights and row upon row of terraced houses that characterises our neighbourhood. So, we walked by the light of the street lights, and I let the sky fill my view. There was a star so bright that I had to stand still just to confirm that it wasn't the light of an aeroplane coming into land at Bristol Airport. Sure enough, it was a star, and I felt a thankfulness that because of the light pollution that spoils our view of the stars, it feels all the more special to see such a bright star in the sky.

I know that this letter contains many small details of how our day begun, and I wonder whether we will look back at this letter in ten years time, and I will wonder why I bothered to write these things down. Every time I have this thought - this questioning over whether my words and thoughts are worth writing down in this place, the after-thought is always the same: I have never regretted the time I used to spend putting pen to paper and journalling, and I think I am more likely to regret the times I decided not to write. I know that my memory cannot be relied upon to recall these small details that make up our days, and I am sure that one day, when you are much older, I will hold a gratitude for writing these things down to remember what our days looked like when you were little.
Here's to many more walks together by the light of the sun, the moon, and the street lamps.
With love,
Mum xxx

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