One of our new things for this year is our morning ‘snuggle time’. We start every morning with five minutes (longer at the weekend!) of sitting together on the sofa, snuggled up under the ‘Jessica blanket’ and enjoying a cuddle together. It’s a lovely way to start the day and I love that the photo blanket means that Jessica is included in the snuggle too. We often talk about her while we’re snuggling up together and imagine where she might be sitting if she was there in person too. Often, I can almost imagine her there – there’s always that space that just feels Jessica-shaped.
I wonder sometimes what Thomas makes of the talk about Jessica. He recognises her in photos and likes to spell her name with his letters, but I have no idea if he understands that she’s his big sister or if she’s just a name, a series of photos around the house and a wooden memorial in the middle of a woodland burial area. One day he’ll understand though, and know just how much his biggest sister would have adored him and how excited she was about having another sibling.
I think Sophie sometimes almost loves him enough for both of them. She is such a caring big sister and I love how she and Thomas have such a beautiful bond together. He looks up to her and she is so protective of him. It’s a very different bond to the one she and Jessica had together but it’s just as loving. I’m grateful for that. I hope they’ll always have as much love for each other as they do now.
Thomas (3 years 5 months)
- Still loves spelling out words with letters. ‘Walt Gisnep’ has been a favourite to spell out. Looking at the font, I can see why he sees it that way. Over the last couple of days, he’s been correcting it to ‘Disnep’ and occasionally ‘Disney’ which makes me feel a little sad as I loved the cute error. I have a feeling we’ll be calling them ‘Gisnep’ films forevermore though!
- Has been enjoying afternoon walks with Mummy (especially when they end with a trip to the playground) before it’s time to pick up Sophie from school.
- Has just started doing ‘Tots Go Wild’ forest school sessions and loved his first session.
- Seems to be coming through the ‘terrible threes’ phase – there are fewer tantrums these days and he’s much better at doing things that he’s asked to do. Of course he’s still a pickle at times (and an adorably cheeky pickle at that!) but I feel like we’ve turned a corner with some of the more challenging moments.
Sophie (8 years 2 months)
- Loved getting to spend a couple of hours with her cousins on their way home to Luxembourg at the end of December.
- Has been bringing home ‘Secret Seven’ books as her school reading books and is enjoying them.
- Is learning to knit using a knitting loom and is making a rainbow-coloured scarf.
- Started at a new dance school with her dance lessons and has been loving all her dance classes. She was asked to help out with the baby ballet class last week which she enjoyed doing.
Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)
- It’s now been four years since Jessica went into hospital for her Fontan surgery. Lots of bittersweet memories coming up on Timehop from that time and the hope that we had for the future.