Letter to my second son




To my second child,

Even as young as you are, I can see your individuality. I know you, love you, and relate to you, in ways different to your brother.

As a second child, and a second boy, you may at times feel less special or less loved. You are absolutely not less of anything.

It’s true that I am a different mother to you than I was with your brother. I knew a bit about changing nappies and breastfeeding. I knew a bit more about what kind of mother I was before you were born, so prepared slightly differently.

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What’s the point when the memories fade?

Recently I’ve been thinking about memory and its fallibility. Yesterday I looked through some notes I had made when my eldest was younger and realised how many things I had forgotten. Like the day when he became upset and clingy as my husband was getting ready for work and when my husband turned one way to go to work and I turned with our toddler in the other direction to go to nursery, my son cried “Daddy! Daddy!” until his voice echoed off the surrounding buildings. Or how my son’s first word besides “Mummy” and “Daddy” was “apple” – which at first he always pronounced with a big buildup of “ah-ah-ah-ah-apple”.
And I thought how my youngest son, now nearly seven months old, won’t remember anything from these days of his life. It will be a couple of years before he’ll start to remember anything, and when he does he’ll be like all of us, at the mercy of memory and only able to retain certain things. Whole chunks of all of our lives are lived and then forgotten. And it led me to think, what’s the point?

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