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Maybe Next Time.

It has always been you and I since the moment you came into this world.

A cluster of photos is all I have left to remind me of those quiet days. The days I would spend holding you, feeding you and singing to you. I had no one else at this time until papa came through the door each evening when the promise of conversation lured me into a comfort zone I became so used to.

I loved baby time, I loved how I could watch you for hours with no concept of time. The smell of your fluffy head rested on my sick stained shoulder and the warmth of your soft skin against mine.
Sometimes you cried for what felt like hours but I didn’t mind so much I just frantically tried every method in my memory from reading books in the library about crying babies.
Nothing worked but you soon slept and I was alone again.

More than 3 years have passed and I still think about those days. I didn’t know you as well then I was just getting to know you, getting to know us.

People always tell me I can’t be friends with you because I am your mummy but really I smile politely and pretend to agree. It is the best way sometimes.
When I take you for a juice date and you pack a bag full of cars and plastic to amuse yourself whilst I sip coffee I feel like we know each other so well that this has become habit. We talk about silly things, things that make us laugh.
I smile.

But when you nap I am alone again.

Pottering around cleaning the house I am occupied. I stop to write or film with my camera it gives me focus and I feel sort of alive.

When you wake we often go to the park I spot other mums grouped together and try to pluck up the courage to talk to them hoping that Francis will interact with their children so it gives me reason to do so.
But maybe next time.

You hold my hand on the way home and we try to spot the ginger cat we always see on route. He is not there today which makes you mad and you take it out on me but it’s OK because I tell you ‘maybe next time’.

The build up for dinner time and papa coming home becomes the slowest part of the day. You follow me to the kitchen and I can tell by the slight whingey tone to your voice that you are beginning to get tired. The dull sound of cbeebies in the living room and the piles of arts and crafts left scattered on the floor is nice it’s a reminder of the day.

As night time draws near my shadow still follows, and even when my head finally reaches the comfort of my soft pillow you are there with me because you are too frightened to sleep in your bedroom alone.
I don’t mind because I tell myself ‘maybe next time’.

I love what we have and that I am still learning after all this time. I love motherhood. I love it for its simplicity and for giving me a love I never thought possible.
I love my toddler friend and how even when I have no one else (or so it feels) I still have a tiny hand to hold, a little squishy body to cuddle and a voice that fills my day’s with such joy.

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