Six months ago today we were both ensconced in a small corner of the maternity ward at the RUH, delirious with a mixture of sheer joy and utter exhaustion, after having welcomed our little girl into the world. It really is crazy how quickly the time has gone since then. Everyone tells you to make sure you savour every moment because they grow up so fast, and while it’s not a case of not believing them, you tend to take those comments with a pinch of salt…. right up until the point you realise that they are growing up so fast!
When she was born she seemed not much bigger than my hand, with a mass of dark brown hair and a cute little nose that mirrored her mummy. To this first time father she appeared so fragile, and every cuddle in those first few days came bundled with a scary sensation that I might somehow break her.
Since then she has changed so much. At the moment it seems that every day brings something new – a different chuckle, a different facial expression, a new way of getting both of her feet into her mouth at the same time – all helping to give our little one her very own personality. Seeing her discover different foods over the last couple of weeks has been priceless – the introduction of broccoli was a personal favourite…
Today we visited my Dad and his partner for lunch, and as we dined on homemade burgers, goats cheese and watercress quiche and salad, Thea demolished the end of a banana, propped up in her little red Bumbo seat at the end of the table. She is so at home with people that she doesn’t see every day, and when my Dad holds her it makes me reflect on parenting in a totally different way. It sounds like a cliché, but as with most clichés it is very much true that when you have your own children you finally understand your parents. The sacrifices they have made, the unconditional love they have given you without a second thought, the stress, worry and heartache you must have caused them over the years – it all just clicks.
For the last six months I’ve done my utmost to be a good Dad to Thea and a support for Gem, who has been nothing short of incredible. Her dedication to our little girl is amazing, and the unassuming, undemanding, unconditional love she has for Thea is the main reason why we have such a happy little munchkin. If I can ever become half as good a Dad, as she is a Mum, I will be happy.
Happy half-Birthday Thea, and Happy Easter to you all…..