It dawned on me the other day that Thomas is now at the age that Sophie was during that last summer with Jessica. When I think of my girls together, the memories of that last summer are usually the first that spring to mind – the way they’d play together and have fun outside together. It’s a very bittersweet realisation and reminder that there will be a time in the not-too-distant future when Thomas will have been part of Sophie’s life for longer than Jessica was. And as grateful as I am for the fact that Sophie has Thomas and for the beautiful sibling bond they share, it breaks my heart that Jessica is not there to share those sibling moments.
Watching Sophie and Thomas together this days, I see glimpses of the bond that Sophie and Jessica once had, but reversed. Sophie is the big sister, looking out for her brother. Thomas looks up to her in the way that she once looked up to Jessica. He’s now old enough to join in more with her play, although they are not the equal partners in play that she and Jessica were. The love that Sophie and Jessica shared is echoed in the love that Sophie and Thomas share. The way they love to snuggle up together, the cuddles at the school gate, the way that Sophie can make Thomas laugh more than anyone else – all these little things remind me of how much my girls loved each other.
It’s interesting too to see the differences. Sophie and Thomas are often more physical in their interactions than my girls were with tickle fights on the sofa being a daily occurrence. Sometimes I wonder where Jessica would be in this dynamic – whether she’d be in the thick of the action or whether she’d be the sensible one, trying to calm them down when it all started to get a bit out of hand! “Oh dear, this is getting very silly!” is one of her little phrases that springs to mind at moments like this.
She’s there in the background of those sibling moments – her photos on the walls, on the cushion and the photo blanket looking on the little moments of our family life together. Always there, and never there at the same time. A little girl that stays the same, forever frozen in time as her siblings grow. Such is the reality of life after Jessica. And as another summer starts to appear on the horizon, I shall look forward to making beautiful memories with Sophie and Thomas while treasuring the beautiful summer memories of my girls in my heart.
Thomas (3 years 9 months)
- Still loves spotting house numbers and telling me what French/English number they are. He’ll happily walk miles as long as there are house numbers to look at along the way.
- Likes to play the piano at church and try to copy Mummy. It made me giggle to see him sitting there before the service one morning, playing random notes while singing his own version of ‘Morning Has Broken’. He did surprise me though with being able to play ‘Row, Row Your Boat’ by himself.
- Likes singing away to himself while playing with his toys.
- Enjoyed seeing his little cousin Keegan when visiting Auntie Fizz. It was lovely to see him and Keegan happily sharing their dinner together.
- Loves the new chalk wall at Tots Go Wild. At our last ‘Superworm’ themed session, one of the rangers had drawn Superworm with the caption “Hi, I’m Superworm. Have fun!” and Thomas added “at Tots Go Wild”.
Sophie (8 years 6 months)
- Is starting to learn a new tap solo routine for after the summer. She was the only dancer from her dance school competing at her most recent festival and came fourth in her tap solo. We’ve got two more festivals left before the summer break.
- Got a ‘Brainiac’ certificate at school for ‘writing a very creative poem and always being so kind and helpful.’
- Was very excited to have a playdate at a friend’s house after school.
- Enjoyed getting to stay up late and have a ‘Eurovision party’ at home and it was lovely to see her excitement as the scores came in!
- Enjoyed coming along to one of my show rehearsals and seeing some of the people she’d acted with in ‘The Sound of Music’ again.
Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)
- I had a chat with a mum in the playground recently while Thomas was playing with her little girl. We were talking about older siblings (I’d just said Thomas had two big sisters, nothing more) and she said that her son was in Jessica’s class. Felt a little bad that I didn’t remember her but her mentioning Jessica spontaneously made me smile. Always means so much to know that Jessica is still remembered by her classmates.