At this time a year ago today our little family became complete. That’s not to say that one day you might not have a little brother or sister, but in that moment, at that time, we were perfect in our completeness.
What a year it’s been, my darlings. I had never before experienced such highs or moments of such pure joy. Of course, these moments were counterbalanced with times of exhaustion, frustration and irritation, but such is life with two tiny babies and I wouldn’t change a single moment.
Getting to know the two of you has honestly been one of the greatest joys of my life and has brought your mummy and me even closer as we have united in delight over a new skill learnt or a new quirk revealed.
As I sit and write this, the two of you are busy cruising around the furniture, casting smiles at me over your shoulders and dancing – a million miles from the fragile, skinny infants who were placed in my eager arms a year ago, but still providing the same sense of oneness as I wrap my arms around you and wonder when I end and you begin.
I’ve kissed hot cheeks flushed with fever; I’ve tasted tears; I’ve experienced the wonder of a tiny arm curled around my neck and a tiny hand holding mine. You already share a wonderful connection with each other that I desperately hope continues through childhood and beyond. As much as you often seem unaware of the other’s existence – crawling over legs and arms, sitting on each other’s laps without seeming to have as much as the tiniest clue that the other is there – there have also been some beautiful moments between the two of you as you smile at the sight of one another or reach out to touch and cuddle.
You are so different in so many ways and complement one another perfectly. You are both so inquisitive although, Claudie, you are far more cautious and like to stay close by. You love music, whether it’s nursery rhymes at the library, the tinny jingles from your toys or music from our iPods or the radio. Last week you were bopping up and down to One Direction and Rihanna.
You love food and are so good at eating now. You love blueberries more than anything on earth and have been known to demolish a punnet in under five minutes flat. We really hope that you continue to love food and experiment with new flavours. We want you to enjoy food the way that we do and are really looking forward to eating out with you more and more as you get older.
You’ve started trying to talk. Claudie, you love to say “cat” and although you are often right – there are three around after all – you also like to point out various other objects and proclaim them to be cats. You are both quite good at saying “bye bye” and are starting to give shy little waves. I can’t wait for your vocabularies to grow and look forward to all the conversations we are going to have.
Your smiles both have the capacity to light up a room, even though they really are so different. Immie, you like to show us all eight of your teeth (and another one cutting through) when you smile at us. It’s almost a grimace but it’s the cutest thing. You also like to growl at us. Immie started this first, but you soon followed suit Claudie. You both do this cute little growl and we say there must be a monster inside you. Speaking of monsters, the hair monster visits you most nights, Immie. Your hair is quite out of control and more often than not, if I try to clip it out if your eyes, Claudia takes the clip out and tries to eat it.
Everything you do is so delightfully funny. You are constantly entertaining everyone around you – including each other. You have so much spark and I don’t know if it’s because you have each other to bounce off, but you seem so much happier, livelier, inquisitive and giggly than any other babies we know.
We often observe you learning a new skill or performing in a certain way and try to predict what you will be like when you are older: what will you be good at? What will you enjoy? What sort of people will you be? We love to guess, but at the same time I never want you to be constrained by our expectations. You can be whoever you want to be and I know you will continue to surprise us as you grow older. Just know that the best you can be – whatever that may prove to be – will always be good enough in our eyes. We love you more than we could ever begin to put into words. You are beautiful and brave and clever and funny.
You are everything I dreamed you would be and so much more. You are so precious and so, so loved, by many more than just us.
Happy birthday my precious babies. I know that you won’t remember this day, but I hope that some day you read this and know how important your first birthday was and how the first year of your lives gave us such immeasurable joy.
We are looking forward to your party on Saturday and all the people who want to come and celebrate with you. There really are a lot.
Have a wonderful day my darlings.
I will always love you.
Music: A Thousand Years, Christina Perri; Run, P!nk