Off you go...
Off you go baby girl, off into the world...your first day of independence, your first day on your own - a big 3 year old, a big kinder girl now. But you weren't meant to be on your own were you? And you reminded me of this today when you woke up - I didn't need reminding of course — I have been thinking about it for weeks now — but you surprised me when you remembered..."It's mine and Nora's first day of kinder today mumma!"
Oh gosh, the pain and the beauty of your words are so hard to describe. So hard. So painful. Yet so so precious.
You have amazed us since the day you were born, a tiny 1.1kgs, yet strong and loud from the very beginning. I remember the morning I met you, I was wheeled into the busy NICU, with it's machines, beeps and the chatter of nurses— yet all I could hear was a loud piercing cry that seemed to overpower the room. A nurse approached me and asked me who I was looking for. I replied, "My daughter, Clodagh..." I will always remember her response as she pointed in the direction of the source of the loud crying..."Oh, the neighbours will know when you bring this one home," she said. As I write this now, I wonder if that crying was because you were missing Nora even then, at one day old, separated not by death but by two different hospitals. You weren't meant to be alone.
You have grown up so quickly, your first couple of years somewhat stolen by grief and by a pandemic. But gosh you have been outstanding in so many ways. They told me in the hospital when we were getting ready to take you home that no one had told you that you were a preemie—if it weren't for your size, nobody would even suspect it! You flew through the NICU, you walked at 11 months , and now at 3— you talk like an old lady, you have a sweetness that melts hearts, and a temper that terrifies us... you my baby girl are a force to be reckoned with — and today has shown me that you will always do things your own way... and sometimes even for two.
You see, Mummy didn't plan to focus too much on Nora today - because we wanted to celebrate you. Yes there were a few purposefully placed butterflies - your outfit and a small keyring on your backpack...but I had no plans of making a fuss. They were just meant for me. But then we packed your bag, a pink backpack (because you are all about pink), and you surprised me again. "I want to take Nora to kinder with me today, can I put her photo in my bag too?"
Yes sweet girl... yes you can. Take her with you everyday. I know you won't always have room to pack her photo in your bag, but it fills my broken heart with pride and joy to know you will always have room to pack her in your heart.
So off you go baby girl, off into the world, your first day of independence, a big 3 year old, a big kinder girl now - with your pink backpack, your drink bottle, your lunch box, your hat, and our photo of your Nora. Off you go now, not so alone, because Nora goes with you.
Off you go my baby girls.
And I will here waiting, to pick both of you up.