Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Letting Myself Think

All weekend I baked and cleaned and busied myself with the business of his birthday. I made jellies in little moulds, hung bunting and streamers from the ceiling, bought stickers to place between the layers of the pass-the-parcel and didn't let myself think.

I talked endlessly about the party and John's little friends and the way that he kissed them goodbye;  and even when my mother-in-law tried to take me back to that birth day two years ago I smiled and shrugged it off and talked instead of last year, and the chocolate cake that I baked.

But when the guests had gone, the cake was boxed up, the rest of my family were asleep and the house was totally silent, I couldn't help but sidle over to the bookshelf and take the album in my hands.

I looked through those well-loved photos of my fat baby boy, and for a moment I could almost feel his weight in my arms. I could almost feel the ache in my breast as he snuffled and whimpered at my chest and I could almost capture the drowsy contentment of sitting with a sleeping baby in my lap.

And in the last few minutes of my little boy's birthday I finally let myself think. I allowed myself to ache for those baby days with an intensity that I never would have believed possible two years ago, and I allowed myself to cry just a little. To cry with loss, to cry with longing, to cry with regret and gratitude and tiredness, and a whole lot of other reasons besides that were too tangled to fully unwind.


  1. I cry on each and every child's birthday.

  2. Ah, you've got me in tears now. Lovely words.