my open letter to Archie on his 5th birthday

May 9th 2019

I’ve juggled motherhood with businesshood for five of the six years I’ve been in business, and tomorrow Archie turns 5!  This is my letter to him (warning, it’s a novel):

Archie, you took forever to come into this world. We were ready, you weren’t.

15 days after your due date, when April had become May, you finally started making your move and 34 hours later, I held you for the first time. It was 10:30pm the day before Mother’s Day. You looked battered and bruised, but alert and calm, and you filled me with confidence that I could totally do this mummy-gig.

You gave me such an easy start. From the very beginning you showed me the ropes of this new life as a family of three. You fed well and slept well and went through the night from 7 months old.
Everyone said you seemed like such an old soul; maybe someone who had been here before.

And that wise way hasn’t left you.

But somehow, 5 years have gone by.

One minute you were so teeny tiny and completely dependent on me to keep you alive.

Now, you’re still pretty tiny, but you’re a powerful force. A planner, a thinker. Your little mind never rests.

You’re so inquisitive, and so interested in life and learning – you remember everything, and constantly recall adventures we’ve had and places we’ve been. It makes it all so worth it.

Archie Bear, you tell stories with so much detail and intensity that I feel like I was there, experiencing it all first hand. And I love that. I love that you’ve chosen to let us in so deeply to your life by sharing every second of your day. I promise I’ll always listen.

And my goodness do you love dressing up! You confidently wear whatever the hell you want and you’re so proud of it. I hope you never lose this feeling of security that allows you to be you. Don’t let anyone take that innocence away. I wish I could shelter you from the mean kids forever, but I can’t. I can only hope they see the kind heart underneath the dress up, and if they don’t, I’m confident you’ll get them with your webs.

When you became a big brother, at only 15 months old, I think you fell in love with Bossy almost as much as I did. You guys have been so tight since day one. Sometimes I’ve felt like its two against one and I’m outnumbered. And when Otis came along, our three musketeers were complete.

The early days were easy. The terrible twos weren’t even a thing. Neither were the tantrum threes. But the last couple of years have been more challenging. There have been days where I wondered where my sweet little Archie Bear had gone, to be replaced by an argumentative, angry little boy. You’ve told me I’m not your best mummy and I’m not invited to your birthday. You get mad and sad. And then I get mad and sad.

Our house is loud, and busy, and boisterous, and I’m often pulled in three directions at once. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming. Some days I wished you’d grow up quicker so you were more independent and I didn’t have to do everything for everyone. All. The. Time.

And then one day, that happened.

You didn’t need me to push the swing anymore.

I didn’t even realise it was my last time doing it, until it was too late.

When I think of you going off to school, I wonder if I’ve taught you too little, or too much, the right things or the wrong things? Are you too wise or too naïve? Have we had too much time together, or too little?

I know you’re a clever boy. You’re so good at your writing, and reading, and counting, and drawing, but I also know that’s not what makes a good human being.

Being good is not about what you can do, it’s about what you can be.

Be kind, be courageous.

Archie I’m so proud to be your mum.

You’ve wanted to turn 5 ever since you turned 4, and now the time has come.

But unlike when you came into the world, this time you’re ready, I’m not.

Happy birthday my little geek. xx

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