September and back-to-school means change and adjusting to new routines and new sibling dynamics. Sophie and Thomas have gone from spending all day together every day to spending a large part of their weekdays apart again. The house feels very quiet with just me and Thomas at home during the day. Thomas misses having Sophie home to play with him. It is lovely though to see how happy they are to be reunited in the afternoon. I remember that so well with Jessica and Sophie.
Jessica’s absence is felt a little more acutely at this time of year. Sophie cried the night before school started. She was aware that she was starting year 2 and that Jessica never got to start year 2. She overtook her in age a few months ago, but starting back at school made her much more aware that she is now older than Jessica was. She wished that she was a fairy and could grant wishes so she could “make Jessica alive again”. A wish that we’d all want granted if only if was possible.
There have been moments of frustration recently when Sophie wants to play with something with Thomas, but he is too young to play “properly”. Moments she wishes he wasn’t so little, and when she misses having Jessica to play with. “Every day is a sad day, Mummy,” she told me the other day, “because I have no-one to play with my little toys with me.” And although we can do our best to make time to sit and play with Sophie, we can’t give it the undivided attention and focus that Jessica was able to; we can’t play with her quite on her level.
Thomas might be gradually getting more able to play with her, but there will always be that bigger age gap. They have their own bond and their own sibling relationship; he cannot fill Jessica’s shoes, nor would we really want him to. But it does make me so very sad for all those moments that Sophie has lost – and Thomas too – because Jessica is no longer physically here with us.
September is also Jessica’s birthday month. We marked her birthday in the way that has now become tradition – a birthday picnic at her forever bed, where this month’s siblings shots were taken. She’s still part of our family life, and always will be, but we miss her physical presence, her smiles, her laughter and those beautiful sibling moments that she shared with Sophie. How I wish she could be sharing similar moments with both her siblings.
Thomas (2 years 1 month)
- Thomas’s vocabulary has really exploded now. He is a little parrot at times and I do love some of the things he comes out with. “Stuck!” is still his favourite word though – it comes out whenever he is trying to do something and something is stopping him from doing it! “Smelly bum!” is also a frequent one to tell me he needs his nappy changing.
- Has been enjoying some longer walks out and about.
- Loves spotting numbers and shapes when out for a walk.
- Has been enjoying putting some wooden puzzles together. His favourite at the moment is his numbered 10-piece dinosaur puzzle.
Sophie (6 years 10 months)
- Is enjoying being back at school and being with her friends again.
- Is enjoying being able to do her tap classes again now that her dance classes are back in the studio.
- Has started reading the Rainbow Magic fairy books after a friend gave us a big bag full of them and loves them. I suspect we’ll be gradually adding to the collection as she works her way through the series.
- Has now outgrown most of the clothes that were Jessica’s. She loves her new clothes for the winter, but it is sad to be packing away clothes that Jessica wore.
Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)
- Jessica would have been nine on 6th September. I made her a Hey Duggee cake which we took up to her forever bed for a special birthday picnic there. Her birthday is also one of her heart days – she had her first open-heart surgery at eight hours old, followed by another op a week later. I’ll always be grateful for the skills of the surgeons and medical staff that looked after her during each of her hospital stays.