So here we are, one year since we became a family of four. To say I was unprepared for this journey is the understatement of a lifetime.
I had a wonderful image of the parent I was going to be. It mainly involved lots of play, exciting trips, healthy home cooked meals and lots of love. I’ll be honest, the kind of parent I am currently is one of survival.
When I imagined our family life, I never for one second imagined that I would be parenting a child for whom love would be terrifying and that she would shy away from my every touch. I never imagined that I would be parenting a child who would hurt me most days. I never imagined that I would be lying on the street trying to contain one child whilst desperately trying to get an oatcake out of the buggy to help the other. I never imagined that I would spend most of my day and night thinking of strategies to try to help my children live in this world. That does not always cater for children who deal with things differently.
So this year has been nothing like I imagined it would be. But, we are a family. We have little routines that we do that only we do. (Admittedly one of us has MANY more routines than the rest of us but hey!) We eat together. We play together. And we have made huge progress as a family and as individuals.
Big is now speaking in sentences and is even beginning to entertain the idea of a conversation. Little now comes to us for help if she hurts herself. Big is beginning to tolerate a hand on the knee, or a stroke of the hair. Little has let me rock her to sleep. I’ve said before that sometimes for us it’s hard to see the good bits because they look different to other people’s but these are huge things.
So,one year on, we can see some good. Maybe this time next year, I’ll be able to write much more. Maybe next year will be the year that I stop relying upon chocolate and be patient every single day and we won’t have baked potatoes at least three times a week because the thought of actually cooking is just too much. Or maybe it won’t!
I’ll be honest and say that this year has been hard. Living with trauma is not easy and affects us all. I’ve not yet learnt how to deal with this and there are days when I do it very badly but there have been days when I’ve done it well so hopefully next year there will be more of them.
Here’s to next year and everything that it’s going to bring for our family.
I’m going to leave the last word to Little as it’s a best bit and one of my ultimate best bits. The other day I overheard her saying to Big, ‘I’m going to go and see MY mummy.’ She’s since said. “I want my mummy.’ Not, ‘I want mummy’, but ‘my mummy.’ And she’s right. I am.