2 Years Plus 9 Months
My darling baby boy,
Another year has flown by and here we are. You’re 2 years old! The thought that I would be writing this sitting atop your hospital bed never crossed my mind however, but as much as I wished you wouldn’t have to spend your 2nd birthday in a hospital ward, the more I have come to appreciate you even more over the time that you have spent in here. You’re my beautiful, amazing, strong, courageous and wonderful little man and you give your joy freely to the world in every moment – and what a year full of moments it’s been.
There are so many, many things I have loved witnessing in your journey through life this last year, each and every one more amazing than the last and I feel so privileged that I have been there through it all.
My little traveller – you’ve spent the second year of your life in three different countries and in four different cities. In Senegal, you adapted instantly to farm life – and the dogs, particularly Rainbow and Petit Bouba, were your best friends; your giggles and your joy exuberant when they sat with you and allowed you to poke them and prod them in all different places. You made so many friends; from Senegalese farmers to golden-haired little French girls – and you shared your smiles with everyone.
I remember when we first got to Mauritius, you were only 10 months old. You hated the sand and how it felt on your toes, lifting your feet up in the air whenever we tried to place you in it. By the end of our visit, aged 15 months, you were crawling off, your own independent little man, to the waters edge; building sandcastles and bucket-and-spading all over the place. Those Chinese tourists thought you were wonderful and managed to each get a picture with you to show their friends and family back home.
This last year you learnt to stand up, pulling yourself up using the bamboo chairs in our Mauritian living room, then looking at us with a great big grin on your face. You also said your first word, “light” after which came “clock” – and that is when your obsession with clocks and numbers began, and in particular the absolute love of your life, Big Ben – and is something I’m pretty much sure will stay with you always. It is so fascinating to see how you will spot a clock or a watch from a mile off and fill with such pure happiness, beaming as you softly express, “thasaclock”. What amazes me even more is how you know your numbers 1-10 inside out, whether it is counting them, pointing at them or even attempting to draw them. My little Einstein, the way you use your building blocks to build such magnificent structures is astounding – your sense of balance and your eye for beauty is mesmerising. I honestly do not know how you do it! It makes me wonder where you will take these talents in later life, and how you will use them to do good in this world.
You were a late walker – 19 months to be precise, but I guess you wanted to make life easier for us, because now all we do is spend our days chasing after you. But don’t get me wrong – we love it. I remember the first time you walked independently in public. For some reason, All Saints in the Trafford Centre was your walking spot of choice, and as you walked off on your own through the rows of clothes I couldn’t help but feel like all of a sudden you were all grown up! My little man, set free in the big wide world.
There are so many things… So many reasons…
From the way you love the great outdoors and feeding the ducks, to the way you are mesmerised and at one with all animals large and small;
from the way you remember every tiny little thing we tell you to the way you could spend hours drawing away with your crayons and your current favourite, a biro pen;
from the way you enjoy a good Nandos just like your mama and papa to the way you ask for us to take you to John Lewis just so you can spend time admiring their clock walls;
from the way you run and chase after your 3-year-old cousin Rayyan, to the way you are in awe of your 20-year-old cousin Naim;
from the way everything you see is either ‘mama’ or ‘papa’ to the way you especially love your grandmother ‘Mimi’;
from the way you sit excitedly to watch Mr.Tumble and Charlie and the Numbers to the way you choose which book you want to read and bring it to me, getting comfortable in my lap while I read it to you;
from the way you are joyous in every little thing you do to the way you teach me to see through new eyes every single day… and even though you still don’t sleep well the whole night through and even though I really could do with a holiday at times, words could never express how much I love you, how lucky I feel to witness your growth day-by-day and just how proud I am to be your mama. It’s been another precious year and I feel so very, very blessed and honoured to have you in my life.
Happy 2nd Birthday Aly-Ibrahim, my beautiful baby boy.
I love you more than you will ever know. X