Tomorrow my little boy will be three.

I’ll have been a mother for three years. Wife to a father for three years. Student, advocate, defender, friend, supporter, champion, apprentice, guardian, and teacher to a beautiful little soul for three years.

Co-leader of Team Awesome established 30 September, 2012.

It’s all feels so big. Like I am the luckiest person on the planet. Like this is momentous. Enormous. I know it’s just a birthday – and three isn’t even one of those birthdays like five or 18 or 21.

But it is big. Three years of being a mother when I never thought I’d be a mother. Three years for a little boy who has laid on an operating table three times without me to touch his hair and with all of these people working on him to help him breathe. And he made it to three when at any time he could have caught something worse than the cold that collapsed his trachea. Or in ICU with a machine to help him breathe – what if he’d not recovered? I ask that, but I can’t imagine it. My mind will not allow me to think of a life without my baby.

It’s impossible to express the gratitude I feel for the people who saved his life so many times – by diagnosing him, treating him, operating on him, healing him.

I catch him intently drawing, his face pressed close to the page like I used to draw, and I see him stare at the sun to think, and I watch him stick his tongue out while he concentrates and I feel like I could fall. And I do fall, in love with him more and more and more until I feel like my heart could burst at any moment. Each day I think I’ve definitely hit my limit of adoration for him – but then he still takes my breath away by his ordinary wonderfulness.

It’s amazing that parenting is literally something so many, many people do. One of the most shared experiences in life really. Yet when you become a parent it feels as if nobody has ever felt the way you do. That this is an experience that is fundamentally different to any other thing – it’s unique. There’s a baby born every minute but when you give birth it’s like it has never happened before.

I remember my first post-Eddie outing and I wondered if strangers could see I was different. I had a baby! I’m a mum now! I’m a mum! I felt like everything about me said mum. And there could have been another parent in the supermarket, shell-shocked, staring at the veges and trying to remember what they were here for. But we didn’t see each other and everyone went about their lives because that’s what you do.

Because it’s not special in the way society measures special – but it’s so special if you break it down. You’re raising a child. That’s huge!

Sometimes when someone shares a photo on Facebook of that classic “putting the baby capsule in the car for the first time” moment, I get a little electric shock. Almost every parent has that moment. We are so tied together as parents – all of this love, so similar, even when our lives, our cultures, our ways, our values, are so different.

Almost all of us – thank goodness – love our babies in that painful way. That – HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE THEY’RE SO PERFECT IT’S AMAZING – way.

There are third birthdays all over the world. Parents all over the world laying in bed and thinking – where did the time go? Their hearts bursting with pride as they think about the last three years. The next three years. Life with this little being.

And that love that brings tears to your eyes.

How grateful I am to have had that love, my little sweet boy, for three years.

Happy birthday my sunshine. Happy birthday to all of the children who steal the breath from the people who raise them. May you continue to make your parents cry forever.

three years ago

I’m a mum!


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8 Comments on “Three

  1. Happy birthday, Eddie! You’ve charmed us all – excited that someone as cool as you is coming up in the world 🙂

  2. I’m crying with you! You wrote exactly my thoughts and feelings. Just in the morning, I was holding my baby boy after a not-so-good night, and although I was soooo tired, his smile makes me want to do all that will make him even more happy. Wishing you all the best for all these next wonderful years with your kids!

  3. Oh, why did you have to write something so beautiful that made me want to cry? Happy birthday to your adorable son, and may you and your family celebrate many more happy occasions together!

  4. That is absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing, Emily. Happy 3rd birthday to your little man! Continue to cherish every single moment as a Mum! Much Love <3

  5. Eeeeee that brought a tear to my eye. Happy birthday Eddie and happy 3 years of mummy hood Emily xox

  6. “There’s a baby born every minute but when you give birth it’s like it has never happened before.” This right here x