January is also the month of babies being born, well both of mine, which means birthdays. Which means a whole range of emotions. So really January is a time for massive change, well it has been for the past 8 years when Theo tumbled into the world and into our lives, changing them forever. It's been a time of learning something new, embracing new normals and finding strength to carry on. Sometimes I can't believe we've been parents for 8 years but at the same time where has that time gone. How is Theo 8 already? Soon it'll be double figures.
There's this massive bittersweet feeling that's so hard to describe, but it always breaks my heart every time a birthday rolls around. I have a big sob and cry looking at old photos and videos because my body aches to be able to travel back in time and spend a day with Theo (it's a little different with Rohan) at each of his ages. His tiny newborn self all froggy legged and velvet haired, his cheeky toddling one year old just starting to discover everything around him, the train obsessed word saying two year old with the sweetest high sing song voice, the outgoing adventurous tree climbing (still train obsessed) three year old, the curious independent but still my baby and best little friend 4 year old, the most sensitive, caring, bravest brand new brother and school going 5 year old, the non stop talking, Harry Potter, lego and books obsessed 6 year old who thinks he knows everything and finally the game obsessed, sensitive, confident, fact obsessed, strong willed 7 year old. How can it be that all this time has passed?
I'm so conscious of the fact that we had five long years of a life of just Theo, getting to know him and whilst there is a huge part of me that regrets not having a sibling for him closer together and of course a sibling relationship that was perhaps easier than the situation we have now I'm still so thankful of all that time I had with Theo, just him. He was truly my little mate and sidekick for so long and I miss that. I miss our days just playing and learning at home, going out on adventures on trains or to the park, the travels we took as just a family of three. I know it's easy to look back with those rose tinted glasses and think how idyllic it all was but sometimes I look at photos of us and think about myself that I had no idea of what was to come.
Gosh it really sounds like I prefer it before doesn't it? But I really don't, I'm just still really trying to come to terms with it all and just mourning that life we thought we'd have still, or our life before. That's why I don't or can't look back at Rohan's early years or birthdays in the same way just yet. Those times are filled with happiness yes but also so much pain and worry and stress. Our lives changed in unimaginable ways and it's still not or will ever be the way we imagined it. I feel guilt, I feel sadness and pain over so much that happened but I also feel love. I think it's important to realise that I can feel both at the same time, just because I feel pain over what happened with Rohan doesn't take away the love I have for him, they don't cancel each other out but co-exist. I may not be ready to look back at his birth and the years that have followed quite in the same way I do with Theo, I'm not ready to jump back there if the chance arose but I'm hoping with some help that one day I will.
But now that January is coming to a close and the birthday's have passed I feel like it's time to start coming out of hibernation, once we shift these colds of course...