Before you turn One | Letters to Athena

Dearest Athena,

How are you already turning one my littlest darling?! It feels like only yesterday that I was writing a letter to Lyra on the eve of her first birthday and yet now she is three and it is you that we celebrate tomorrow. This time last year I was already having a few contractions but was most definitely in denial that you were on your way. After all, your sister kept me waiting with four whole days of contractions before she made her appearance. That, Athena, was my first mistake. Comparing you to your big sister has always been a complete waste of energy and we learnt that pretty quickly. In appearance, in character, likes and dislikes, you are different. You are utterly and completely your own little person and I love you with every ounce of my being for it.

You arrived with a bang, following the most perfect labour and most horrific aftermath. A complete contradiction. And a contradiction you have remained. You are a thrill seeking daredevil who wants to stay close and refuses to sleep unless touching me. In the past twelve months there have been more times than I can count where I have felt like a clueless new mother all over again. You stripped me of all of that carefully built confidence in my parenting ability within moments of entering this world. People always talk about how they feel reborn when they meet their first child, how that is the start of their life as a mother. And of course that is true. Your big sister’s entrance into this world was magical and utterly changed me as a person. But I feel like my rebirth wasn’t complete until your birth was. I wasn’t expecting another fundamental shift in the world, perhaps naively I thought they only happened once, but I can honestly say that you completed me. Your sister made me look at the world differently but you have cemented my place in it. So thank you for that Athena, thank you.

You right now are a complete joy to be around. If you find something really funny you throw your head back as you laugh which is quite frankly adorable. You laugh, and live, with your whole self and that is something I am hoping you can teach me to do as you grow. You throw yourself into everything. You are curious, single minded, exhausting, quick, clever, brave, and beautiful. Everything I could ever wish you to be.

Sleep well little one for tomorrow you are one.

I love you,

Very Much So xx

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