On Friday I had a rare day where it was just Ethan at home, and for once not because he was “sick” from school. We had several hours where it was just the two of us…Megs was back at preschool and Mr Smith university. I for a brief moment wondered what the heck we would do together? He is so much more grown up these days and the activities we did before he started school somehow seemed a little less appealing or not as fun solo. I looked into his big beautiful eyes and it clicked, I am his mother, I know him and I knew exactly what would make that day for us special and adventurous.
I decided in the spur of the moment to take him to the Media museum in Bradford, where we had fun playing retro video games, pretending to be on TV and getting our own little booth to snuggle and watch old movies in (he chose “Wallace and Gromit” – totally old school) and as anticipated, he was totally in his element surrounded with technology and wires and getting the ins and outs of how it all worked. I loved being with just him and getting to know how he was, where he was at and just enjoying time together. We giggled and played and just chilled out talking and enjoying our little day.
We then headed into the city and enjoyed lunch and a little shopping, and most of all the amazing water features. He laughed and played in them for ages, carefree and loving life – a beautiful sight.
We walked and talked all the way back to the car hand in hand and realised how fast it had all gone and it was evident by his smiley little face that we had had the best time together.
I loved spending one to one time with my oldest kiddo and having deeper conversations than we once did, more thoughtful questions now and a whole load of laughs and fun like we always have done and do on adventures when he is around.
My ordinary for the first part of motherhood consisted of life with just Ethan and I… he was my little buddy, my boy and it was just the 2 of us. Even when Megs came along, I seemed to mostly have the time and attention to dedicate to him that he needed at that age. I never worried that a sibling or siblings would take from this, I just saw him gaining a new friend for life in a sibling and a natural change in flow to family life. I never wanted it to be all about him but for him to feel cherished and loved for who he was in a family of many special people. I wanted him to know love can be shared but not necessarily depleted, and that he had a special place as the oldest child and in our eyes and hearts as one of our children.
I know now that this is what is happening; he recognises his role as big brother and adores Megan (and Poppy) and the prospect of a baby sister. He has confidence, is a happy child, and knows one to one parent time is very special and fun, but so is family time. We all know how lovely it is to have these moments together where we make memories and talk more one to one – they are special, like dates are and they help build love, trust and communication when family life is harder, we face problems or need to talk. They build our individual relationships to make family life more full, enjoy each other more and help us love more intently .
I did so much love this day and time with just Ethan, he really is a great kid, and moments like these help us clearly see things like that don’t they? We forget the naughty things they do, what made us get cross and the fact their PJs are still on the floor from that morning despite being asked to move them 10 times! Sometimes I feel a little sad that they do only come along now occasionally as he is in school, and that’s why when they do I know we need to just grab them, treasure them and make the most of the time we have just the 2 of us, but I also know they are also just one small aspect of the lovely ordinary moments of family life as a whole and they add to that unit we are building, creating and all playing our parts in.