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

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)

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)

One thousand, eight hundred and twenty-six

  Dear Henry, Today is your birthday, and you are five. You are asleep, finally, after an exciting day where you have made all the important decisions: bacon and waffles for breakfast, a trip to London to visit the 'dinosaur museum', hot dogs and milkshakes for lunch, episodes of Transformers Rescue Bots for an evening … Continue reading One thousand, eight hundred and twenty-six

A letter for three (for Teddy)

Dear Teddy, Today is your birthday, and you are three. You have just gone to sleep in fuzzy dinosaur pyjamas, so thoroughly squashed in by soft toys that you look like a pharaoh buried with treasure. You haven't the heart to banish any of them to the toy box, so we come in later to … Continue reading A letter for three (for Teddy)

This Is Where We Are: a letter to my sons on Mother’s Day (5)

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 fifth (late again - will this become part of the tradition? Yes). Dear Future Versions of Henry and Teddy, This … Continue reading This Is Where We Are: a letter to my sons on Mother’s Day (5)

One thousand four hundred and sixty-one

Dear Henry, Today is your birthday, and you are four. We've just got you to bed after a long and thrilling day, and I sort of want to run back upstairs and get you up again. Being four is such a serious thing. Your birthday was the last milestone between you and school. As with … Continue reading One thousand four hundred and sixty-one

A letter for two

Teddy, Today is your birthday, and you are two. Your day is supposed to be over, actually, but you haven't yet given up the good fight: I can still hear you bouncing and yelling in your room. Most of the street can. You have two volumes: the cracked little fake-sorrowful voice you put on for … Continue reading A letter for two

This Is Where We Are: a letter to my sons on Mother’s Day (4)

Having read about it here, I wanted to write about how I mother my babies day-to-day, every Mother’s Day. Here’s the fourth. A bit late this year! Dear Future Versions of Henry and Teddy, This has been my fourth Mothering Sunday, and you are three-and-a-half and twenty months, respectively. It’s the end of the day, … Continue reading This Is Where We Are: a letter to my sons on Mother’s Day (4)