My precious, precious boy. You are my messenger of love. No, it’s not just because you are a Valentine’s boy. It’s because you taught me how to love.
You see, I grew up confusing love with worrying. My grandma worried sick about me. All the time. I thought that was because she loved me. And even though some of her worst nightmares came true, I still didn’t realise that worrying had nothing to do with loving.
So long before you had arrived, I worried. I worried before every scan. I worried about the impact of those scans on you. I worried when they induced me. You weren’t ready to come out, so the whole thing was traumatic. I worried that in the end I resorted to pain relief. I worried that your birth wasn’t natural and serene. I worried that my worrying was affecting you, but couldn’t stop myself. I worried you didn’t put enough weight fast enough. I worried that I wasn’t feeding you well. After all, all other mums seemed to make 10-course meals for their babies every day. I worried when you kicked off your blanket in the night, so I hardly slept for seventeen months. I worried you might catch a cold. I worried if your hat wasn’t on properly, or you didn’t wear enough layers. To cut the long story short, if worrying was loving, then no one loved you as much. Ever.
Then I started getting a real cause for worrying. As you developed breathing difficulties and we ended up at children’s hospital, I worried sick. I hovered over you willing to take your pain away but unable to do much.
‘The best thing you can do is to relax,’ your daddy used to say.
As you can imagine, it didn’t go down very well. I used to get angry with him. Surely he didn’t love you enough if he didn’t worry as much as I did? And why would he stop me from loving, I mean, worrying about you?
Then I started getting a similar message from others. You got a croup several times and when we took you to a doctor, he said the best thing for us all to do is to r-e-l-a-x. It wasn’t easy. Needless to say, every cough and every sneeze of yours made me hyperventilate. I was on the lookout for any symptoms all the time..
Luckily for all of us, I got pregnant again. As the pregnancy progressed and it became harder for me to hover over you, you became happier. You grew out of your breathing difficulties. You blossomed into a confident toddler.
And as I took a step back, I realised that all this time I’ve been so confused about loving. Loving wasn’t making sure nothing bad happened to you. Loving wasn’t protecting you from life itself. Loving was holding you gently and letting you grow and unfold. Loving was setting healthy boundaries. Loving was laughing and being carefree sometimes. Loving was looking at what was triggered in me, as opposed to stopping things happening to you.
So my precious-precious, Caspian. Thank you for teaching me so much about love.
With much love, always.
Your mummy. xx