Is it wrong to mourn the baby my little boy was yesterday? Although I can hardly bear it, Finley will be two tomorrow, and while I had long suspected that Motherhood was destined to be punctuated by intense moments of grief, I never imagined that the longing for my seven pound little babe in arms would be quite so sharp…

As Mothers we learn to stand on the sidelines of somebody elses life: we experience bliss no man could ever understand, and we pay the price in the sheer sorrow of what it is to watch a child grow and change and leave only the most fleeting of memories behind. I, surely can’t be the only Mommy in the world to hardly recognise my little boy in some of the photographs we took of him in the early days of his life? Who, we ask, is that stranger? Where did he go and who will he become?

We do our best to grasp what we do remember. We photograph it, hoard, dream of it and journal it. But we know we cannot live it again. Not how it was to feel them at our breast in those few moments after they are born. Not how it felt to be close to collapse with total exhaustion and absolute joy  in the middle of the night. Not how it was.

So, blessed are we that human nature let’s us look forward to the child our baby is becoming. To the man he will one day be. To let us look forward to the next word, the first three legged race, the day he discovers a passion for Batman. And more than that, to understand that we exist to document all of these moments for our children to look back upon, and more than that even, to document them in such a way that our babies will look back and understand how much those moments meant to us, because those same babies were so absolutely loved.

The night before Finley was born, I couldn’t sleep. My legs were throbbing and my heart all a flutter with the the knowledge that the very next morning I would finally meet the child I had somehow known all my life. (I had a ceasarean) . At three o’clock in the morning, I  took a cool bath, drank hot chocolate and wrote Mark a letter, marking our last moments as just us. Then I wrote to Finley, a long meandering tired happy letter, telling him who I was, what I felt like that night, how loved he already was and what it felt like to be on the brink of  Motherhood. Then I tidied the living room, emptied the dishwasher and put Mark’s letter in the fridge and Finley’s into his treasure box, and finally went to lie down in the darkness and worry about epidural needles and never coming home again.

And so began a ritual I have come to treasure. Writing to my son. Each Christmas, Easter, and Birthday I have chosen a card, and sat down to tell my son how our life was as I saw it.  What he was like. Who he was becoming. How he makes his Mommy and Daddy feel. Our pride, joy and daily little sorrows. I write until I feel I have said all there is to say, then I put the letter inside the card, seal the envelope, wrap it in fine, pale blue ribbon and put it in Finn’s box, to remain there until he can read, until he is old enough to understand what I am saying to him and what total bliss I have found in knowing him…