It’s been a long day. Heck, it’s been a long two years. And right now, I am exhausted after helping you unwrap all those pressies (you lucky boy) and doing a compressed half day at work, and organising a modest but lovely family tea party for you, me and your sister.
And because you are you and I am and me, I am tired for other reasons, too. Your birthday couldn’t just be cupcakes and confetti, could it? Instead, it involved a phonecall to social services and a visit to the opthamologist. It also involved getting you used to the Lycra garments you got yesterday (more on that soon). And then I finished your Blue Badge application and sobbed for 10 minutes.
You are two, little man.
They say the twos are terrible. And I admit that there is something terrible about you turning two. You see, for premmies, two is the magic number. The year you are supposed to outgrow your prematurity. Some do, of course. Many, even healthy ex-premmies, don’t. And why should they or you? You’re not supposed to be two. Not for months…
But you are two now, whether I believe it or not. And as a family we haven’t outgrown anything, except the life we had before having you.
And frankly, it will be terrible in June to have go to your two-year (corrected) review with your prematurity consultant, who has the bedside manner of Dr Crippen, and go through a list of all the things you cannot do. I dread that day. Even though it’s months away, like your birthday should be. I fully expect that review to be a terrible day, sweetened only by the fact that it means we will never have to see that consultant again.
But it isn’t terrible that you’re two. No: it’s a bloody miracle. As are you, Boo. You amaze me and inspire me every single day.
You have the kindest, gentlest yet most determined character. There’s nothing terrible about you. You are a marvel.
And while I have had wobbles today – moments when I recalled the intense pain of the contractions I couldn’t believe I was having two years ago, moments when I could smell the NICU, taste hospital food, hear the carcophony of the effing monitors, and feel all over again the pain of them taking you away from me and putting you in a plastic box that would keep you alive – I have mostly been incredibly happy. Happy not just that my baby lived – I never take that for granted – but that my baby turned out to be you. A little marvel. A big personality in a tiny body that doesn’t always do what you want it to.
Happy birthday, Boo. I love you.