What we talk about when we talk about Christmas

https://vimeo.com/245884669 I remember my Christmasses past in traditions. Holidays matter to small children, and they mattered to me: whatever had happened that year, I knew that Christmas Eve would find me sliding across the sofa in new satin pyjamas, static sparking merrily from my shiny backside, and that Christmas Day would bring bulging Santa sacks, … Continue reading What we talk about when we talk about Christmas

Down the rabbit hole

*taps mic* Is this thing still on? I don't know how many times I've looked at this blank page over the last couple of months. Well, the last eight months. The eight months since there was a day where we didn't have another baby and then, suddenly, we did. (Not very suddenly, from where I … Continue reading Down the rabbit hole

Two thousand, one hundred and ninety two

  Dear Henry, At some point in the last couple of months, your face has changed. I noticed it in your back-to-school photo, and when I catch your face in repose in my rear-view mirror. Your face is thinner, older. You feel taller. You've just had a birthday, and now you are six. In your … Continue reading Two thousand, one hundred and ninety two

New worlds, old stars and red lipstick: some advice on being a woman, for my daughter

Little girl, you sleep. I wanted a girl desperately, and you came like a song in the night. That’s a true thing - but in person you are less melodious. Squawky, hungry, passionately attached to us. You take up all your allotted space and more, and I am quietly proud of you for it. There … Continue reading New worlds, old stars and red lipstick: some advice on being a woman, for my daughter

Love after love [and birth]

  The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to … Continue reading Love after love [and birth]

A letter for four (for Teddy)

Dear Teddy, On the evening of your birthday, while the sun printed itself onto the carpet and your aunties pored over your new Lego sets, you buzzed around in the kitchen, high on cake. Then something occurred to you, and you popped your head back in the door to say, gratified, astonished: ‘People just KEEP … Continue reading A letter for four (for Teddy)

Let it grow

This week, a surprise: my rose plant bloomed. Three, four, five pink rose heads, heavy and scented on spindly stems, unfurled themselves within a couple of days. It's 'my' rose plant because I bought it and planted it last year, but that's about where my involvement ended. We haven't even trimmed it, let alone fed … Continue reading Let it grow

It’s all coming back to me now

11pm. I'm sat in bed next to a baby I will need to wake up soon, eating a boat-sized slice of buttered toast. I don't know of any diet that recommends toast after 10pm, but I am trying to look after myself. And sometimes that looks like going to bed at 8.30, so I get … Continue reading It’s all coming back to me now

Sometimes your newborn feelings are not pretty, and that’s ok

Anyway (she said, mouth full of Easter chocolate), I thought I would let you know that being in the newborn phase for the third time is more complicated than it seems. I really thought that having done this twice before, I’d have it down. That there wouldn’t be anything to be surprised about. And there … Continue reading Sometimes your newborn feelings are not pretty, and that’s ok

This Is Where We Are: a letter to my children on Mother’s Day (6)

Every year on Mother’s Day, I write about how I mother my babies day-to-day. I think they might like to know how the little things felt, as well as the big ones. Here goes the sixth, an entire week late (this is the first year I've had a proper excuse).  Dear Future Versions of Henry, … Continue reading This Is Where We Are: a letter to my children on Mother’s Day (6)