This Diary of Motherhood is a series of weekly letters to my first baby, my little son who I call Baby Bird. I know not everyone wants to read about the highs and lows of motherhood so you can read non-baby related posts about travel, writing, freelancing or Amsterdam instead. Alternatively read one of my short stories or check out some book reviews and recommendations.
Dear Baby Bird,
At around 5.30pm on Tuesday this week I was making a salad for dinner - mine and your father's that is though yours was also being made very close by! - and I chopped up two avocados. I sliced the first in half and marvelled at how perfectly ripe it was. All fleshy and soft but firm and shiny and that creamy green colour I've come to love. The stone even came out easily, something I always manage to mess up with it either flying halfway across the room or getting hacked into, its splinters getting lost in the flesh of the avocado.
"That's a good one," I said to you as you were bundled up on my front in your sling, often the only way I can make any kind of dinner that doesn't come in a plastic dish.
I reached for the second avocado and to my very great surprise, it was at exactly the same perfect stage of ripeness. I chopped it up and added it to the salad. I then went on to get some potatoes ready for baking before tidying up a bit. As I did I kept talking to you.
"How nice to have not one but two perfectly ripe avocados! Your father being Australian will see this as quite a small miracle and an event that should be celebrated. Maybe I should pop a bottle of wine in the fridge for later (sidenote: who am I kidding, there were already two chilling!). I guess it's been that kind of a day actually. You went down for your naps well, you didn't ruin any clothes with poop or vomit, and yes you did pee on me when I was changing you but that was actually kind of funny because you practically gave me warning by lifting up your top so you could take aim or so I could have an unimpeded view... We laughed about that didn't we? And we laughed together when I pretended to eat your feet, and when your dad sat you up on the sofa but was too slow with cushions so you fell to the side like a tree being chopped at its base. What a good day it's been, hey little one?"
I looked down and saw your eyes closed, heard your breathing deep and slow.
"God, I'm so lucky to have you in my life, Baby Bird." I added out loud.
That's what I thought in that moment, and forgive me, but I haven't instinctively had that precise thought for some time. I definitely had it when I held you for the first time and there have been moments when I have thought it in a brief passing moment during a quiet, calm night feed, just before sleep takes over. But it hasn't consciously risen to surface of all the thousands of thoughts (and worries) I now seem to have racing through my mind at any given monent.
Of course,I've thought good things countless times, like "God I love you so much, Baby Bird." or "I think you're the cutest thing I've ever seen." but because I've found getting from Week One to Week Sixteen a lot of hard work - embarrassingly difficult and challenging and demanding work - I haven't felt very lucky. And I should have. Oh, boy, I should have because I am lucky beyond most peoples' wildest dreams.
Yes, I feel rotten and sore about realising this so late, but I'm not going to dwell on this. That would be the wrong thing to do.
Because when you chop into an avocado and it's not perfectly ripe, that doesn't mean you simply stop eating avocados. No way. They're far too tasty for that. Trust me, you'll find out soon. There is so much you're on the cusp of finding out, and the taste of a ripe avocado is one of the better things.
I can't wait to eat ripe (or not quite ripe avocados) with you.
I am so so so lucky.
Your feeling good, feeling proud, but yep, still feeling tired, crazy-in-love mother x
Photo of a photo (how silly, but that quote!) taken at the Humans of Amsterdam exhibit at Amsterdam's main public library which we also visited this week.