Another Mother’s Day and this one is a strange one. Home, no lunch out, no big family get together, no spa day (pushing it too far?!) I wanted to keep up the tradition of writing to you children, with those motherly thoughts that will make you roll your eyes as teenagers and cry when you are parents.
To Alfie, being 9 during a pandemic means you get it, you understand you are off school. Lessons will be from Mum and potentially there will be seriously more tablet time. (I suspect you are right). You still are our only boy (that’s a fact forever, sorry chap), still basking in the attention of having 5 sisters, loving the attention we get when out and about – but I watch you now remove yourself to be away from the screams, to curate Lego masterpieces without interruption and be head into games in the digital world. My Mum guilt is raging, I realise that it gets to bath time and you’ve been an taken yourself off to play whilst I juggle the rest of the gang and we haven’t spoken, you sit and watch the chaos at teatime eat and disappear again. Some days, if it wasn’t for the persistent winding up of your closest sibling I’d think you weren’t here! So, Alfie, in case I don’t tell you this enough. You are fab. Your new hair cut is ace, and I love that you are braving hearing aids being on show. I love that you read faster than anyone I know and smash Park Run 5k every week! May we use this time at home together to reconnect and please please please stop arguing with Grace.
To Grace. The journey at 7 is tough. The girlfriends at school are best friends and rivals several times over in a day – oh how I wish I could calm your drama and let you enjoy friendships and not panic every moment when a friendship doesn’t go your way. You are the girl without a twin in our gang and being just one suits your independence. You are a lovely big sister, and I know the little ones drive you mad. Bedroom’s like yours are an Aladdin’s cave and your sisters just want in, to play, and be you. You are a beautiful dancer, and made us proud in your dance show and at the same time are a mean Karate kid. So, Grace, I’m sorry I push you off my knee to make space for a smaller person, I’m sorry that often I forget to come and turn your light off and discover that you have just fallen asleep – but you are brilliant – a little shouty at time but brilliant.
To Emily. Twin one of twin set number 1. You girl are the girl who keeps us on our toes. Never have your Daddy and I felt more tested than now. We often say that you would be the perfect only child, because most of the time your frustration is having to wait, to ask again, to seek approval. But, do you know what Emily? you are our measure – if you think something is good, it really is good. If eyes could say it all, you’ve got it down. If you are happy we are all happy. Sometimes I can feel so cross with you, and then you tell me “I love you Mummy” Here is to becoming 4, as I have all the faith that 4 is going to be your year and in years to come we’ll smile at the 3s.
To Olivia. Twin two of set number 1. My mini me. This girl, looks like the same child as me as a little one – uncanny. You have a ready-made best friend every day. You wake up together, play together, and boy do you fight together. But there is something about being a twin that gives you that extra bit of confidence, because Emily is always right there with you. When we took you out separately recently, I was dying with guilt, thinking it would be an opportunity for 1:1 and all you wanted was your twin. Olivia, we love how since being a baby you have always been so amenable and sociable, so now seeing the riot of your siblings you sometimes just pull the punch that no one is expecting.
To Poppy. Twin one of set number 2. My mini me number 2. You girl, have a path to be Olivia. I mix you up constantly, your temperament is the same, your thighs are the same (sorry!!).The words are many, the translation is slightly missing, but that look… the look that says “you know what I mean right?!” and we do (ish). You are the girl that talks yourself to sleep, we hear you randomly chatting late at night, happy, just plenty to say. Poppy you keep saying that only decipherable word “Stop” its helpful in the chaos! May your hair find a parting and may you find a new love for hair clips so you can see.
To Amelia. Twin two of set number 2. The smallest of our brood. You might be small but you are mighty. The volume is incredible and the fiery determination is to be feared. Your obsession with shoes (other peoples) is funny – we just give each other knowing smiles as you plod around the house in Daddy’s trainers or Mummy’s boots. And visitors, make no exception, if your shoes are good, Amelia will be wearing them. You are the last one to sleep through the night, and still like to say something shouty at 3am. We’d quite like that to stop now please, and maybe spend some more time dreaming about shoes.
In this very weird time of coronavirus, I am faced with relentless daytimes over the next days and months at home with you 6 whilst Daddy works his merry socks off and I catch up with work when I can. I’m scared of the tiredness, I’m a bit shouty already and I’m being told by social media that you won’t remember the virus, the shutdown, the social isolating. But you biggest guys will remember how we responded. That is pressure in itself.
And you smallest will just enjoy the family mayhem.
May I be the best I can be.
And to my Mum – thank you for keeping me in check, supporting my motherhood journey and providing FaceTime dancing lessons in this time of crisis. You are the best.
With love, always, Mummy x