Just recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about my eldest son: my relationship with him; how he’s developing from a toddler into a little boy and how much I have to thank him for. I know it’s oft said that our first borns teach us so much and that we muddle through, making mistakes as we learn about this parenting game, but it has taken my second son’s arrival to make me really realise what this means. Being Harry’s mum has been so much easier thanks to Toby and I owe Toby a debt of gratitude that can only be repaid through much love and, perhaps, a few words for him to read when he’s bigger to let him know:
To my beautiful boy, Toby,
I know that I call you my eldest and, of course, you are my first-born (which makes you very special!!), but you were not my first baby. There was a little one before you who did not make it to grow big and strong like you and although losing baby Rose was very sad for Mummy and Daddy, it made us realise how important our children were going to be for us. What it did do, however, was make Mummy very very anxious all the time you were growing and I still worry that this stress, experienced while you were so little, was not good for you. But I got used to feeling anxious about you and there have been times in your little life when that seems to have overtaken just enjoying you and for that, I will be forever sorry. But, my little Toby, you have always been bigger than that and despite my almost constant worry that I was not doing the ‘right’ thing, you , with your big eyes and cheeky grin, did all the hard work in convincing me that all you needed was my love (and not those bloody parenting books!). When your brother Harry was born, all that hard work that you’d put in allowed me to fall in love with you both all over again without any hangups and with a confidence I didn’t know I could find. Having Harry made me realise just how much you had taught me about letting go and just accepting each of you for who you were rather than some idealised version that you read about in those books. He needs to thank you too; he inherited a much calmer and more relaxed Mummy! All that work that you and I put in to make ourselves understood has meant that I can be a better Mummy to you both. And I will always be there with that little bit extra just for you, just in case all that worry and stress I exposed you to makes you feel a little bit uncertain at times. I love you so very much and want the best for you which is about letting you know how much you are loved so that you can go out into the world feeling secure and confident.
Thank you so much Toby