For Harry, on your second birthday

Haribo,

Today you are two and, although I am still very much in denial, no longer a baby at all.

Your birthday has, and perhaps always will, hit me the hardest, knowing that all of your firsts will also be our last, that every stage we say goodbye to will be the last I experience as a Mummy. You remind me so much of Lewis in that way, not only in your appearance and your demeanour, but in the emotions you instil in me. You take me back to a time when I was certain that all of his firsts would be our last, those bittersweet moments when I watched him grow, so scared that I would never again be lucky enough to ever have another baby in my arms. It was different with Eva and Megan, there was always something to keep me from crumbling into a broody, snotty mess each year, the promise of another newborn, the excitement of all of those firsts to come. But with you, the very last one year old, it suddenly feels so very final.

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It seems like no time at all, and at the same time it feels like forever, since I first held you in my arms. You were so small, so poorly, so very precious, and I was so scared to let myself believe that you would be ours to keep. And yet finally the day came where we took you home, and rather than wish away the sleepless nights and dirty nappies, I promised myself to savour every single moment of those baby days, to keep you a baby for as long as possible. And I was so grateful that you took the longest out of all of your siblings to sit, to crawl, to walk. I am still so grateful that you have kept your baby face, that you still love to snuggle up against my chest, to hold out your arms to me and ask, “Cuddle?”. I still squeeze you into your little white babygros, still put you down each night in your cot, still allow you your bottle, and to heck with those who judge. I’m still not quite ready to let you grow, not just yet, not completely.

I’ve always been very honest about the fact that you were never a part of our plans. Megan was very much supposed to be the baby of the family and yet fate stepped in and twelve months, four days and two minutes later, along you came and turned our lives upside down all over again! And I have to admit, although I was over the moon to finally have another little boy, I was so scared of what it would be like, of whether it would hurt too much to watch you grow, so like your brothers, a constant reminder of all that we had lost. It was only after you were born, and in the two years we have known and loved you, that I realised how much I needed you, not to replace your big brother, but to give a little piece of him back to me, to see glimpses of him in you from time to time, to remind me that life goes on, that there is still so much to be thankful for and to look forward to.

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And as with all great blessings, you have been an absolute delight. From day one you have been the easiest baby, the most chilled out toddler and now, as you hit the terrible twos, you do so with such a mischievous twinkle in your eye that it is very hard not to laugh, to not want to scoop you up in my arms and tickle you, right in that super ticklish spot in the crease of your thigh, and watch as you throw back your head and laugh, the most beautiful sound I have ever heard.

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This year as Eva started pre-school and Megan increased her hours at nursery, we have, for the first time, had some time together just the two of us, and it has been lovely to share those days with you. Although you would happily sit and watch Twirlywoos on repeat or play Saga Mini games on the Ipad all day long, you also love to play in the garden, to sit on my knee and cuddle and admittedly, should I leave the room, to wreak havoc on the house. If you aren’t emptying cereal all over the floor, you are in and out of the fridge opening yoghurts, spilling milk, eating butter with your bare hands. If you aren’t clambering up and down the stairs you are teetering dangerously on the edge of the sofa, launching yourself off head first, shouting, “Ready, steady, go!” as you lie there, crumpled on the floor, and with a rub of your head off you go again, no awareness of danger or even pain!

Unlike your siblings, who have never really had a special toy, you have become surgically attached to your “Baa”, a grubby looking sheep who never leaves your side, who you take to bed, out in the car, to the supermarket, holding him by his ear and talking to him in whatever gibberish language it is that the two of you speak.

And you are so funny, even when you’re not trying to be, you have us in stitches with your little routines and the things you say. You are obsessed with princess dresses, with glitter and sparkles and dressing up. When the girls put on their clothes each morning you look at your boring old boy clothes, launch them at me with complete distain and you shout, “Me!! Dress!!”, while rummaging in the toy box for your princess crown and fairy wand.

You are equally obsessed with your willy, as I think all little boys your age are. You constantly remove your nappy, just to check it’s still there, and just the other day you told me, “Look!! Elephant!!” while holding on to your ‘trunk’ and making elephant noises as you paraded up and down. That’s one to remember on your eighteenth birthday for sure.

At the same time you can be massively hard work, and just like your sisters, extremely grumpy when you want to be! Some of your first words were, “No!”, “Get off!”, “Go away!”, “Stop it!”, and you have an uncanny ability to answer every single question with, “NOT!!”. When people come to the house, or a stranger tries to speak to you in your pram, you simply squeeze your eyes shut, as tightly as possible, curl into a tiny ball to make yourself ‘invisible’ for so long that, nine times out of ten, you end up falling asleep!

You are the most jealous out of the four of you, very protective of “Mine Mummy” and should I hold a friends baby or pay attention to another child, you appear by my side in a flash, crying to be picked up, clawing your way up my legs for prime position in my arms, nuzzling against my cheek to remind me that you are my baby.

And you are so clever, just yesterday you counted to twelve unaided, your vocabularly is amazing, not that anyone would know as you rarely speak in public places, and I know when I look into your eyes that you are taking it all in, that you know so much more than we give you credit for. You are sweet and kind and handsome, and you adore your big brother, your sisters, and most of all Oscar.

I have loved every moment of watching you grow, seeing you change from a baby into a little boy, witnessing your personality emerge in abundance. I have loved those moments just the two of us, the days with all six of us, the memories we have shared together, good and bad, the moments that make us a family. I can’t imagine what our lives would have been like without you in it, how painful it would have been to live my entire life knowing that Lewis never got his little brother, how desperately sad I would have felt to never hold a little blue bundle in my arms again. You have given me so much, given all of us so much, and on the days when things are hard it is your little face that makes me smile, it is seeing you there between your sisters, like two little book ends, or watching you and Lewis cheek to cheek, like a miniature mirror image. Those are the moments that make me happier than I ever thought possible.

I say this to you all of the time, but I truly believe that you are Heaven sent. You have healed my heart in a way that words can’t describe and completed our family in the most perfect way. I am so excited to see what the next year has in store, how life will be with a 2, 3, 4 and 12 year old and I know, when it comes to you four, that although it might not be easy, it will always be worth it.

Happy 2nd birthday Harrison Joseph, our little Haribo, the very last little Dove. xxxxx

 

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84 Comments

  1. May 27, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    lovely Laura. Mine turned five this week. It still makes me melancholy and like you say, probably will every year. #binkylinky

    • May 27, 2016 / 3:44 pm

      Awww happy birthday!! It’s so bittersweet isn’t it? So much to look forward to as they grow but much sadness that they grow so fast!! xx

  2. May 27, 2016 / 4:27 pm

    Such a beautiful post – and so many gorgeous photos! I got all teary reading this, so goodness knows what I’ll be like when my own hits the milestone. 🙂 #pocolo

    • May 27, 2016 / 6:54 pm

      Thank you! Aww I know, one still feels like a baby, two is most definitely a little boy. Waaaah!!!! xx

  3. May 27, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    Happy Birthday to Harrison! What a lovely post.

    • May 27, 2016 / 8:48 pm

      Thank you!! My baby is all grown up!! xx

  4. May 27, 2016 / 9:13 pm

    Aw Happy Birthday Haribo. He has such amazing eyes they say so much x

    • May 27, 2016 / 9:18 pm

      Thank you. I could look into those big brown eyes all day, they get him out of so much trouble too!!! Thanks for reading. xx

  5. May 28, 2016 / 4:21 am

    So beautifully written, I hope he had an amazing birthday xx

    • May 31, 2016 / 2:37 pm

      Thank you, he really did. Xx

  6. May 28, 2016 / 5:01 am

    What a handsome little chap he is. I love the pictures, you can tell he’s full of mischief. It’s funny how watching them grow makes you so proud and so sad all at the same time. Happy Birthday Harrison.

    • May 31, 2016 / 2:37 pm

      Thank you! Oh he is most definitely full of mischief!!! Xx

  7. May 28, 2016 / 8:09 am

    Happy birthday, handsome boy. This is such a moving post, I have tears running down my cheeks. My boys are coming up for four and I know that we are not having any more. Your words have really struck me. I hope he had a lovely birthday, enjoy those snuggles – I am sure there are many many more to come. xxxx

    • May 31, 2016 / 2:37 pm

      Aww thank you so much. Gosh four is emotional in itself isn’t it? Eva was four in February and now we have the whole primary school drama to deal with in September! I’m not sure I will hold it together!! It’s lovely to watch them grow but so sad that it goes so fast!! Xx

      • Double the Monkey Business
        May 31, 2016 / 2:39 pm

        Oh gosh yes, I am not looking forward to that. We have to apply for school this year !! It all passes so quickly!! X

        • May 31, 2016 / 2:52 pm

          Yes us too, Eva starts in September, Megan the following September and Harry the September after. I’m going to be a wreck!!! Good luck!! Xx

  8. May 28, 2016 / 11:41 am

    Happy Birthday Harrison, hope you have a fabulous day xx

  9. May 28, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    What a brilliantly enjoyable post, fantastic pictures full of happiness and love. Happy Birthday to your last little dove. x

    • May 31, 2016 / 2:35 pm

      Thank you for such a lovely comment! Xx

  10. May 28, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Happy birthday Harry , you’ve a beautiful smile

  11. May 28, 2016 / 11:14 pm

    Literally loved this Laura.
    Made me sob and I know exactly what you’re saying as my little one is my last and I’m feeling all these things too. So weird.
    I know I don’t want anymore but on the same hand, I can’t even think about the fact this stage of my life is ‘over’ and I’m never going to have these moments again as a mummy. And in a way, I’m totally not ready for that… 😢😢
    Maybe I need a pet… 😉😂😂😂😂
    Happy birthday again Harry.
    Gorgeous boy – gorgeous family.xx

    • May 31, 2016 / 2:33 pm

      Ahh thank you. It’s hard isn’t it? I’m trying to enjoy every moment while not falling to pieces because it’s our last! I know i have been so lucky to have five children but to know that the baby days are over is such a bitter pill to swallow. As for the pet, we already have a dog! I’m going to have to convince the husband to let us get another!! Or at least a goldfish!! 😂xx

  12. Nige
    May 29, 2016 / 7:30 am

    Happy birthday Harrison super cute photos thanks for linking to the Binkylinky

  13. May 29, 2016 / 8:29 am

    Wrote from the heart and pictures taken with the soul. Happy birthday Harrison x

    • May 31, 2016 / 2:31 pm

      Thank you, what a lovely comment!! Xx

  14. May 30, 2016 / 6:55 am

    Oh this is just beautiful! Happy birthday little man! Laura he sounds like the most lovely child. We’ve just had our second baby and knowing that she’s our last makes me sad so I have to not think about it too much! xx

    • May 31, 2016 / 2:29 pm

      Thank you!! He really is such a special little boy, can’t imagine our lives without him! It’s hard with your last isn’t it? I totally see why some people just keep going and going!! Xx

  15. May 31, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    I love your birthday posts – you must be busy busy as Meggy’s birthday was not long ago too! Harry sounds so wonderful, and the photos are just gorgeous -what an amazing family you have xx

    • May 31, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      PS: Visiting from #KCACOLS oops always forget that!

    • May 31, 2016 / 2:25 pm

      Thank you! I know, just a year and four days between them!! And our wedding anniversary inbetween the birthdays! Busy, busy!! Thank you so much though. Xx

  16. Fuss Free Helen
    May 31, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    Happy Birthday Harry! What a lovely lovely gallery of photos!

  17. May 31, 2016 / 3:52 pm

    Oh Laura you made me cry again! What a beautiful post. He is one special boy. I love his grumpy pictures and that he likes to dress like a princess! I am so happy that he came along and helped heal your heart a little more and completed your gorgeous family. #KCACOLS

    • May 31, 2016 / 5:22 pm

      Aww I’m sorry!! He is such a special little boy, we have been so blessed and I genuinely believe that Joseph played a part in that. Thank you for reading. xxx

    • May 31, 2016 / 5:21 pm

      Thank you. I totally get why some women just keep having one after another!! xx

  18. May 31, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    Aw such a sweet post, Harry looks completely adorable. I only have one. one boy and he is nearing three this coming month. I feel like my little boy is gone already :/ he is protective of me too – always saying my mummy if someone else wants attention #ABrandNewDay

    • May 31, 2016 / 6:02 pm

      Aww that sounds like Harry! He is very possessive of me, he doesn’t like anyone else getting a look in! Definitely a Mamas boy!! xx

  19. May 31, 2016 / 7:29 pm

    you make me cry every time I visit your blog!! beautifully written you are so talented. Happy birthday to your Harry as #bigpinklink

    • May 31, 2016 / 7:48 pm

      Aww thank you so much! Sorry for making you cry though!! xxx

  20. May 31, 2016 / 8:29 pm

    What a gorgeous little boy, it sounds like he has bought you and your family a lot of healing and happiness

    • May 31, 2016 / 8:30 pm

      He absolutely has, thank you. xx

  21. May 31, 2016 / 9:18 pm

    Gosh, this is beautiful. You write so eloquently and with such emotion. You can feel the love for Harry through your words. And your pics are beautiful.. This is such a lovely way to mark his milestone (v impressed he can count to 12!!) My baby is turning one soon and I am trying to write a poem for her but keep getting too teary so I can relate to the sentiment behind this x #abrandnewday

    • June 2, 2016 / 9:19 am

      Thank you so much!! I cried writing this, I just feel so hugely emotional about it all, with my eldest at twelve and now my baby at two, it’s hard to accept that they are growing up so fast!! xx

  22. June 1, 2016 / 12:41 am

    Happy 2nd Birthday to Harry. What a beautiful post! It is definitely a time to celebrate all the small wonderful moments. Enjoy the milestones. You have a lovely family. #KCACOLS

    • June 2, 2016 / 9:17 am

      Thank you! I am very lucky that’s for sure! xx

  23. mackenzieglanville
    June 1, 2016 / 4:12 am

    I LOVE your birthday tributes and all the adorable pics!!! He is so cute!!! I love the pic with him and Lewis just divine. I can imagine it must have been both beautiful and sad having another son after all you had been through, but yes what blessing. I love how he is so attached to you too, my Adam is like that it’s sweet even if exhausting at times, I dread the day he gets a girlfriend and I loose my hugs lol. Beautiful post and thank you again for linking up #mg

    • June 2, 2016 / 9:17 am

      Aww thank you!! I think boys are far more affectionate, even at twelve my eldest still loves a cuddle. As for girlfriends? NO WAY!! Haha!! xx

  24. June 1, 2016 / 1:05 pm

    What a lovely tribute! My twins were a surprise as well, and I find myself savoring their moments a little longer. But alas, your post has made me weepy so I’m going to go snuggle my babies! #TwinklyTuesday

    • June 2, 2016 / 9:12 am

      Thank you! Aww twins!! That must have been an amazing surprise!! I am soooo broody at the moment, good job my husband had the snip or I think there’d be another on the way!! xx

  25. June 2, 2016 / 7:22 am

    Ahhh! I always find the birthdays so bittersweet. I always feel emotional but especially so when it’s your youngest. I hope you all had a lovely day together, he looks like a happy, cheeky chap! Beautiful words and photos. #BigPinkLink xx

    • June 2, 2016 / 9:09 am

      Thank you, he really is! And yes, there will always be something very bittersweet about our youngest, it makes me want to have another!! xx

  26. June 2, 2016 / 11:50 am

    Happy Birthday Harry! It is indeed a bittersweet moment when it comes to your last baby. My last is older now and I too tend to think of “this is the last time I will be doing so ….”. Last year we said good bye to the Kindy block and I knew we were never going to go back there again. Gorgeous pictures and I did have to laugh at the Look! Elephant!. Definitely a wonderful letter for him to read when he is older. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

    • June 2, 2016 / 6:38 pm

      Thank you. It’s hard isn’t it, probably whether it’s your second, your third, or your twentieth!! I’m sure he wont thank me for sharing the elephant story, typical boy!! xx

  27. mumzilla
    June 2, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    This is such a lovely, lovely post. I can feel the love coming off it in waves and feel privileged to have read it. What a gorgeous boy and a beautiful family xxx Thank you for linking up with #KCACOLS and hope to see you next week! xx

    • June 2, 2016 / 6:48 pm

      Thank you so much. He’s such a lovely little boy, we are so lucky! Will see you next week for sure! xx

  28. June 2, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    My son turns two mid june! 🙂 Your little Harry is adorable and i loved all the pictures in this post. What a lovely little boy he is! Happy Birthday little man! #KCACOLS

    • June 2, 2016 / 6:47 pm

      Thank you!! Good luck when you’re son turns two, and Happy Birthday too! xx

  29. June 2, 2016 / 2:00 pm

    Oh he is gorgeous! He was such a cute baby but undeniably a ‘little boy’ now and not a baby. Happy birthday Harry!

    #ABrandNewDay

    • June 2, 2016 / 6:42 pm

      Thank you so much! And shhhhh, I’m still trying to convince myself that he’s a baby…..!! xx

  30. June 2, 2016 / 4:35 pm

    Beautiful pictures and a bittersweet post.

    Thanks again for sharing in such an honest way. The descriptions of the dress fascination and Marshall like resilience of a horrible accident followed by a cheery “I’m ok” reminds me of my own son!

    #mg

    • June 2, 2016 / 6:41 pm

      Thank you! Boys are hard work aren’t they? Harry is completely fearless, nothing at all phases him and he is black and blue with throwing himself about! The girls are the complete opposite, the smallest scratch and you’d think they had lost a limb!! xx

      • June 2, 2016 / 6:45 pm

        He’s a glass cannon. He has insane bravery one moment and then freaks out at the smallest upset or hint of injury. His sister has been tormenting him with an eerily accurate Japanese ghost girl impression. Ahhhhhhhhhhh….*shudders*

        • June 2, 2016 / 6:46 pm

          Haha don’t you just love the tormenting? Its the root of all arguments in this house, mainly instigated by Meggy!!! xx

    • June 2, 2016 / 6:40 pm

      HAHAH I have never heard that song before but I just laughed out loud! How funny!! Will have it stuck in my head now!! xx

      • June 2, 2016 / 6:43 pm

        I’ve been singing it all day at work. “They’re big, red and awesome / even worn by possums”

  31. madelinelittlejohns
    June 3, 2016 / 9:03 am

    This was such a lovely read! And gorgeous, gorgeous photos. x #KCACOLS

  32. June 3, 2016 / 10:38 am

    Aww… he is just the sweetest. You are truly bless with a lovely bunddle of joy there. <3 Thank you so much Laura for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost xx

    • June 4, 2016 / 6:13 pm

      Thank you so much, he’s very special that’s for sure! xx

  33. twotinyhands
    June 3, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    Aww, the last little Dove. Such a cutie and a Happy Birthday milestone. I always love all your photos of the kids. They are all really special. THanks for linking up to #abrandnewday

    • June 4, 2016 / 6:13 pm

      Thank you! I’ve just about stopped crying about it, I’m refusing to admit that he is no longer a baby though, he will ALWAYS be the baby of the family! xx

  34. June 3, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    Laura, what a beautiful post. You gave me goosebumps and a lump in my throat. It made me want to grab my girls (9 and 13) and hug them tightly…but we are on a train back from Edinburgh on the last day of our hols and they may get embarrassed by public displays of affection at their age. They are still cuddly but thanks for a reminder to treasure each moment. They are gifts from God. Stunning photos of a gorgeous boy and his family too. #kcacols

    • June 4, 2016 / 6:11 pm

      Aww thank you. Haha yes, public displays of affection aren’t allowed after a certain age are they? My eldest is 12 and although he will cuddle me at home, in public is a no go!! Time goes so fast doesn’t it, sometimes we do need a reminder of that. Thank you for reading. xx

  35. June 4, 2016 / 7:17 pm

    What a lovely keepsake for Harry’s birthday! And oh my goodness, he is the double of your partner! He sounds like a reflective little boy who has captured your heart – quite rightly. #abrandnewday

    • June 4, 2016 / 7:43 pm

      Ahh thank you!! My husband will be made up with this comment, everyone says he is more like me although I only see Lewis in him! He is such a special little boy, an absolute blessing! Thank you for reading. xx

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