Saturday, 30 March 2013

Aeroplane Party

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I don't know where he got the idea for the aeroplane party, but I do know that it was entirely his. "I really, really like a aeroplane cake" he'd say, every time we talked of his birthday. "I really, really want a aeroplane party."
For months, I waited for him to forget. I offered him tractor cakes and dumper truck cakes, and I hinted at pirate parties and building parties and pretended to forget about the party altogether. But this boy would not forget. He really, really wanted an aeroplane cake. He really, really wanted an aeroplane party.
And so the aeroplane party was planned.  
The house was strung with paper plane bunting, party passports were made, sky blue jelly was concocted, a giant aeroplane target was painted, party banners were strung, party bag tags were printed and party bag gifts were bought. Balloons were blown, biscuits were iced, a giant aeroplane cake was created. For a week I awoke to the thought of nothing but aeroplanes by day, and when I slept at night paper planes flew about my dreams.
And then, on the morning of the party, we awoke to thick snow. It lay a foot deep on the branches and glistened on the untouched road. It smothered the cars and buried the daffodils and for a few miserable hours I thought all the effort was for nothing.
But despite my fears, they came. Slipping down the lanes, with shovels in their cars, sliding carefully up the drive and stamping their boots at the door. Little girls in welly boots and party dresses, and little boys in snow boots and hats. Friends with snowflakes in their hair and relief in their shivery smiles.

And as the house filled with friends, presents were ripped open, food was consumed and laughter tickled the aeroplanes hanging from the ceiling, I was so very glad I made the effort.

Because friends who come out in thick snow to be with me and my boy on his birthday deserve an aeroplane party. They deserve little aeroplane biscuits and party passports and all the aeroplane cake they can eat.

And the boy who wanted the aeroplane party so very badly for so much time? Well, he deserves it all and so much more besides. And his shy little smiles made every minute spent folding paper planes and icing aeroplane biscuits far more than worthwhile.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A Fort

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What do you do at the end of an unbelievably long week full of sickness and sadness and struggle?
Well, you build a fort, of course, and then decorate it with sparkly stars.
Sometimes it's the longest weeks, the hardest days the bleakest hours that force me become the best sort of mummy.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Being There

He's sick. His little body burns with fever and when he wakes in the night he screams in feverish fear until I kiss his cheek.

By day he lies listlessly on the sofa, his eyes empty and lost, and by night he tosses miserably in his bed and calls out for his Mummy through the darkness.

And all of a sudden my whole world once again revolves around just being there.
I hold him and rock him in my arms. I lie in bed and sing to him whilst he gazes silently up at me. I scoop him up in my arms and carry him whilst he buries his face in my neck. I wipe his tears and kiss his hot head and run my hands over his clammy little back. I cradle his head on my lap as we watch cartoons together. I stack the stories on the sofa and read them until his eyelids begin to close.
And for as long as he needs me I'm there, just as I was when he was a babe. A warm presence. A comforting whisper. Two enfolding arms. A constant.
Soon the fever will pass and he'll chatter and laugh and run once again. But just for now, I'm holding him closer and savouring the weight of his body in my lap. I'm reliving an echo of his babyhood and waiting for wellness to return. I'm just being there. For as long as he needs me to be.