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Letter to Tom


I’m concerned with death and therefore very concerned with life. How fleeting it is. In the early mornings, as you feed, I look at the outline of you and I try to commit every moment to memory. I roll them over in my mouth, tasting the sweetness. Tomorrow will come too soon and then the next day and then the next.

I have a strange relationship with birthdays and this is why; it measures time. It reminds us that it is all temporary and as much as this seems depressing, it is not, it makes me appreciate life more. I’ve tried to explain this to friends, usually through tears on my actual birthday. One of them gets it. Also my partner in this adventure, your dad, he gets it too. Nowadays I cry not only on my birthday but also on the birthdays of my children.

You are but a few weeks old, born into chaos. Not only in your own home (Clare describes you as little lions and this is true. Your siblings are wild, loud, unpredictable), but also because of the world. How it is now. How will I protect you, my littlest lion? How will I make sure we know each other well enough for you to trust me with your questions, for you to seek out my protection?

Now you are warm in my arms. I can hear the breaths of every one of your family members. The ones who will help shape your soul. Who will colour your journey with fun and laughter. You are milk-drunk. Only the cat and I are awake. We know that tomorrow is on its way and that now is all we have. Sleep does not matter sweet boy, being awake at all hours gives me more time with you.

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