This is the last siblings post where Sophie is still younger than Jessica and my three children are in age order. By this time next month, Sophie will be older than Jessica ever was. And while of course, I want Sophie to grow and thrive and keep getting older, it breaks my heart too that she will overtake her sister; that she will no longer be the ‘little’ sister than she was. Jessica will always be my first-born child, but she will no longer be my oldest child. Another reminder that time keeps moving on, but Jessica will never be older than 6 years, 7 months and 8 days old.
Of course, in many ways, Sophie has already overtaken Jessica. She’s further into her Year 1 year, even if she too didn’t get to go back after Easter. She’s reached a few little milestones that Jessica never reached – reading levels at school, being more advanced academically etc. And while I’m always so very proud of her, each of these milestones is bittersweet too.
She’s been talking a lot more about Jessica lately and writing little notes to her big sister, all saying how much she misses her. Not seeing her friends due to lockdown has made the loss of Jessica so much more apparent. She misses having a playmate – someone who can play with her on a similar level, the way that Jessica did. Sophie adores Thomas and is a wonderful big sister to him. She is so good at playing with him. But he cannot play with her ‘properly’ – she comes down to his level to play with him, but he cannot play with her at her level. She and Jessica used to play so beautifully together; used to lose themselves in their own make-believe world. For two years, she’s tried to fill that absence with her friends and playdates, but now she can’t even do that. And while Mummy and Daddy try to stop and play with her, it’s not the same. None of us can fill that Jessica-shaped hole. Just Jessica.
But there are beautiful moments with her and Thomas. Watching them run around in the garden together; watching Sophie teaching Thomas to play hide ‘n’ seek; hearing them giggling together; seeing them splashing each other in the paddling pool – these are such beautiful moments. They have such a lovely bond, just like Jessica and Sophie did. There is so much love there. And Jessica is part of that too. She might not be here physically, but she is still there – still part of my little trio. I hear her sometimes in Thomas’s giggle and the way he says something. I see echoes of her in the way Sophie interacts with Thomas. And the love that she gave Sophie shines through in the love that Sophie gives to Thomas. Oh yes, Jessica is still part of it all and will never be forgotten.
Thomas (1 year 9 months)
- Loves numbers and gets very excited whenever he spots them on something. He’s getting quite good at identifying them as well.
- Is starting to recognise shapes and gets excited when he spots them too. Circles seem to be particularly exciting.
- Is sleeping through the night more often now and having some lovely long naps in the day too. Fingers crossed this lasts for a while – it’s amazing what a difference getting a decent night’s sleep makes.
- Is putting more words together and asking questions “Where Sophie?” “Where Iggle?” [while looking for his toy Iggle Piggle?] “Oh no! Where eight?” [while looking for one of his numbered stacking cubes]
Sophie (6 years 6 months)
- Continues to cope well with being at home and doing home-schooling. We’re now taking most of our lessons outdoors and taking advantage of the nice weather.
- Has been doing lots of baking with Mummy and managed to make cupcakes with very little help.
- Enjoyed singing ‘Into the Unknown’ and taking part in the WOS open mic evening via Zoom with some of the other cast members from The Sound of Music. We were also very excited to hear that The Sound of Music won two district NODA awards – best musical and the Flame award for the Von Trapp children.
- Has lost her first top tooth and has a gappy smile as a result. She now has adult teeth at the bottom in place of the first two baby teeth she lost.
Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)
- It is two years today since we said our final goodbyes to Jessica at her funeral.
- We were able to visit Jessica’s forever bed last week thanks to the relaxation of some of the lockdown rules and will be going again today.
- We took part in the 2.6 challenge in memory of Jessica and joined with 25 other heart families to walk a mile each (making 26 miles in total) and fundraise for Little Hearts Matter.