Christmas has been different this year.
The decorations are up, the cake and turkey were cooked and eaten but something else happened.
It was months in the limbo stage; all the usual social services blurb and all the red tape, and now suddenly she’s here in time for the celebrations. Our beautiful daughter!
This is our second time around and most of it feels old hat.
We are familiar with all the upheaval and the feeling of being emotionally dishevelled, but this time we had an added element to consider – our beloved son.
We have been amazed by his reaction to all of this. He is 4 but blimey! – it feels like he could be 24!
He has taken all of this on board and has shown courage, compassion and an immediate beautiful love towards his new sibling. It’s like watching a beautiful masterpiece being painted, watching him shape his enthusiasm, outline and profile his brotherly reactions and eagerness to embrace and cuddle his future. A future that he will now get to share with someone else.
I am awestruck at how willing he is to accept this baby so unconditionally. We were both apprehensive of course and I definitely was nervous about where I was going to find the same equal, immeasurable quantity of love I hold for my son; how was I going to double up? But it came in a heartbeat. Flowing and pushing its way up out into a smile that my wife lovingly calls my ‘giddy as a kipper’ smile.
In the meantime we have been waiting, preparing, fixing things, stair-gating, baby-proofing, John Lewis buying, the Christmas shopping’s prepared and wrapped early; yes, we were ready for her arrival.
Our daughter came home for good with us a couple of weeks ago. We are exhausted already and I have a pile of ironing taller than me to get through. The dishwasher is on twice daily and the washing machine is on a permanent spin cycle. Oh, and on top of that – I almost forgot – my son also asked me to make a cake; a green cake with an elephant on for our celebration as a family of 4. December really is magic this year. I best crack on!