It’s very weird to think that Sophie and Thomas have now had more time together than Sophie and Jessica did. Another one of those tough milestones that come with life after child loss, and one that I’ve struggled with. As lovely as that bond between Sophie and Thomas is, as wonderful as it is that they’re making memories together, it will always be all wrong that it’s just the two of them making those memories rather than making them with Jessica too. But I’m grateful for the beautiful memories of Jessica and Sophie together, grateful for the love that will always bind them together and grateful for the moments I have with Sophie and Thomas too.
This milestone of Thomas reaching the age Sophie was when Jessica died has naturally brought moments of reflection and comparison. Thomas still seems younger in many ways than Sophie was back then, in spite of the fact that he’s already in Reception while she was still in preschool. He’s more advanced academically but less mature emotionally than she was. I see little glimpses of Jessica every so often though in Thomas – in the way he’ll say something and in his smile. The three of them have all been so very different – each of them with their own wonderful qualities and challenging moments.
The start of another year also brings reflection and the reminder of time moving on. An awareness once more of how precious these days while my children are young are. A reminder to cherish the moments, even if they can be bittersweet. To slow down a little, make more time to sit and cuddle and enjoy the giggles at bedtime for a few moments before encouraging them to settle down to sleep. These days are precious. I can’t slow down time or stop it marching on relentlessly, but I can try and enjoy the moments while I have them.
Thomas (4 years 5 months)
- Is currently fascinated by planets and learning about how many moons they all have.
- Enjoyed having Mummy help him out in his baby ballet class.
- Loved exploring a new playground while out doing a treasure trail.
- Has been flagged as needing extra support at school after a speech and language assessment and is now on the SEN register.
Sophie (9 years 2 months)
- Has been enjoying our new routine of sitting and reading a chapter of a book together each morning. We’re currently reading ‘The BFG’.
- Is enjoying being back at dance lessons and is working hard on her new tap routine.
- Has switched from vocals to guitar in her iRock class and is enjoying trying something different.
- Is looking forward to seeing how many activities she can scratch off this year on the ‘100 Kids Activities Bucket List’ chart that she got from her godparents for Christmas. So far we’ve done 7 of them.
Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)
- Jessica’s story has been shared again by Action Medical Research to help raise awareness of research they fund to help improve treatments for children with heart conditions. It means so much that her story is still able to help other children.
- It was lovely to see little green shoots appearing at Jessica’s forever bed from the bulbs I planted in the autumn. Last year’s ones didn’t get much beyond this stage (I assume they were eaten by wildlife) so I’m keeping my fingers crossed this year’s ones are able to grow.
- I had a brief dream visit from Jessica a few days ago. She was about the age she was when she died this time and wrote “I will love you always Mummy” with a silver pen before giving me a cuddle. I love how real those cuddles always feel.