I have a One Line A Day diary that I started when Arty was born: a space to write a line that encapsulates that day or helps me remember something special. Lately, there have been too many moments of sweetness to choose from.
It reminds me of when Mark and I were on our ‘Round the World with Diabetes’ trip and we had a wooden heart engraved with the line: The Best Moment of the Day. We only had a crappy V1 smartphone (it was 2009!) so the video recordings are terrible, but we recorded a series of Best Moments of the Day, and oh! They take me back. (I would like it if some of them actually took me back… What an amazing trip.)
These days, the best moments of the day are less momentous, and sweeter. When I take Ella out of the bath, she wraps her arms around my neck and nestles in – the only guaranteed cuddle of the day from my very busy little lady. I sing her a little song and she tries to sing along without being able to say any of the words (it’s mostly oooh and aaaay but in a sing-songy tone). I close my eyes and hold her close and breathe in her little girly smell, fresh from the bath.
Every evening, Arty and I lie on his bed and I read him three books and tell him a story. He picks an animal from his illustrated world map and I make up a (generally not very good) story about that animal – last night was a clumsy swordfish who kept spearing things by mistake, till his best friend the crab found a little bouncy ball to put on the end of this sword. Then we switch off his lamp and he holds my hand and falls asleep in minutes. Oh! His little hand in mine…
Then there are the long conversations we have, where he asks me questions and tells me ‘facts’ (a snake lies on his prey to soften it before he eats it, apparently). And then ends the story with: “Isn’t that interesting?” Yes, it is.
And Ella’s pure unadulterated glee when she sees me at lunchtime every day, like she can’t believe her good luck that I’ve returned to her (I return to her every.single.day.)
Yes, in between there is clinginess and crying for no reason – although yesterday Arty told me all I need to do if he’s crying for no reason is stroke him like a cat and tell him a story. We shall see! Parenting is hard and exhausting and full-on. But it is also so, so sweet.