Wednesday 16th June - 16 weeks / 4 months today #17
You can suck your thumb. You can move about for five minutes and if the placenta is at the back, some mums can feel it now.
Today I was thinking about why we do things and who we do things for. I started off writing this for you. I started writing it in my head long before I dared put anything actually down. I'd say on paper but this is an electronic note book. Such are the times. Who knows what you'll be writing or reading on by the time you can. And this is for you and always was and always will be.
But the more I write the more I see how much other people are involved. Some who know and some who don't. And I wonder if I'm writing it for them too. Or maybe I'm just writing it for me and none of the other people matter.
And maybe this is today's lesson. Whatever we do, whatever I do, whatever you do has long lasting effects outside of what we first realize. And these can be good and they can be bad and regardless they ricochet around and between the world we inhabit and the people we live beside. And just maybe we need to be a bit more mindful of this.
Today's chapter of writing started because I was thinking about when I had my tonsils and adenoids out. I was remembering the doctor - Gandhi I think he was called- there's some irony there if he was. I can remember seeing him some time before the operation. He was sitting behind a big desk. But everything seemed big to me, I was only four.
I remember his hands. They seemed strange, alien like, and I think this is maybe because this is a mixture of memories. I knew he was a doctor. I had some notion that he was going to operate on me and maybe he examined me and what I'm actually remembering are those strange rubber surgical gloves which I’d probably never seen before.
I can remember the nurse trying to put a band on my wrist and kicking out and kicking out not wanting to wear it. I've no idea why. This must have been instinct. Knowing or sensing something was about to happen that maybe was unusual. Maybe we are always aware of a little bit more than we realise. I think I kicked a table over.
I can remember being taken to surgery. I think they gave me a piggy-back. I can remember being told to count back from ten and getting to about eight before everything swirled and I fell asleep.
I can remember coming round, vaguely. Everything felt upside down, I felt dizzy and confused but I couldn't understand why. I think there was blood.
Mixed with this memory is my new 'brown teddy' in a box and a room that me and my mum stayed in. And a track of some sort that I could build a bit like a jigsaw and it made a road which I could play with my toy cars on. I think I had a new fork lift truck to play with.
In hindsight I think this was something my mum and dad bought me to settle me or make me feel better. And I'm going a little round the houses here, but that's what I'm trying to say.
Hidden behind all these thoughts, all these slightly scrambled memories, are my parents. They must only have had a little bit more of an idea of what was going on than I did, maybe they were scared and worried too. And that thought has only really struck me now. Nowhere in my memory is a sense of fear or worry or doubt. Only love and security and safety. And trust in these two people who were only as human as everyone else but never let me know it. They were quiet super heroes.
(Both your grandmas and your mum are reading this as I write it, piece by piece. Grandma Shirls just told me that my Grandpa paid for me to have my operation privately because they couldn't afford it and they wanted the best for me. I never knew he'd paid or that they couldn't afford it which kind of proves what I'm telling you today.)
The scariest thing of all, and probably the thing I'm looking forward to the most, is that this is what me and your mum will be for you. And if we do it well enough you probably won't even notice.
We will make your life magical. We will eat up as many of your fears as we can. We will take the pain and the hurt away as much as is possible. We will feel as much if not more of what you feel and we will be with you every step of the way, even when you don't notice. And most importantly of all we will help you to smile and laugh and be happy.
And you know, it's kind of scary for me and your mum, and we don't really know what we're facing or what's ahead, but you must always know, wherever possible and sometimes when it's not, we'll be a little bit ahead of you, ironing out your road forward and trying our best to smooth your way, not because we have to but because we want to.
I think the most remarkable thing is the impact you've already had on my life. You're already making me look at things differently and you haven't even taken your first breath of this world's air.
Your gran said to me the other day, your baby tugs at your heart strings from the moment it's born and carries on doing it for the rest of your life and I'm starting to get a sense of that already.
I think we all struggle with some of the big questions in life, why are we here? What is our purpose? What are we to do with a world we didn't choose to be a part of? I'm starting to understand these big questions a bit more clearly since your appearance.
You have already fought one of the toughest fights you'll ever face, to be you and to have your unique make up. And you did all of that with asking any questions at all.