One of the many things that I’ve felt sad about when taking my monthly siblings photo is not being able to take a spontaneous shot of my three children together. That to include Jessica, it always had to be thought about and posed. Not really capturing the bond between my children and the little moments in the way I’d like it to. And then I spotted Sophie and Thomas having a cuddle on the sofa together, having just happened to position themselves in front of the cushion with their big sister’s photo on. Maybe spontaneous photos aren’t such an impossible thing after all.
Of course, I still can’t capture the moments I’d really love to. The little moments between Sophie and Thomas that should been moments with all three of them. Dancing along to Strictly together; playing with toys. Helping Thomas take his first steps around the park – a big sister holding a hand on either side. These are the moments that I can imagine, but never capture.
I see echoes of Jessica when watching Sophie with Thomas. I hear Jessica in the moments of caring big-sisterly concern, in the moments when Sophie takes charge. I love it when Sophie talks about her big sister when she does things with Thomas and tells me how if Jessica was here, they would be able to look after Thomas together. I know how she feels the absence of a big sister figure and I see how Jessica has taught Sophie to be a big sister through the love that she had for Sophie. That love, those moments, the example she set is constantly there in the interactions between Sophie and Thomas. In all the little moments, Jessica is there too. Woven into the bond between her younger siblings. My trio, bound together with love.
Thomas (1 year 2 months)
- Is now walking quite confidently.
- Has his first pair of shoes which Grandma bought him. It took him a little while to get used to them, but he’s quite steady in them now and enjoying being able to take his first steps outdoors.
- Has finally moved into 9-12 month clothes. They’re still quite big on him though and sleepsuits can be a challenge to walk in as the legs are too long and he keeps standing on them and tripping up!
- Loves watching Strictly and dancing along. Sophie is enjoying having a dance partner again. He‘s very tolerant of being picked up and danced with too.
- Has shifted to only having one nap most days but could often do with two which means we find ourselves having to fight the danger nap at dinner time!
Sophie (5 years 11 months)
- Has started going to dance and drama classes and is enjoying them.
- Has moved up two reading levels at school and is now on orange books.
- Is getting very excited about her birthday which is coming up at the end of the month.
- Is doing brilliantly in rehearsals for The Sound of Music and is absolutely loving it. She’s so excited for show week next week. It’s also lovely to watch her with her ‘show siblings’ – they all get along so well and the older ones really do watch out for her.
- Loves drawing and colouring pictures to give to her friends. Seeing her enjoying this reminds me so much of Jessica and her love of drawing.
Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)
- It’s been 18 months now since Jessica died. Thomas and I went to take flowers to Jessica’s forever bed. I love the way he looks so intently at the carving of her and how he always reaches out for it. A little moment of giving his biggest sister some love.