When we’d been living in our flat for a little while, we went to collect some of Timothy’s boxes from his parents’ loft. Mostly GCSE coursework and merit certificates, that sort of thing. But also, this: a diary Tim’s mum kept about his little toddler habits and development at three years old.
There aren’t very many entries – if Tim was three, then Seb was five and Angus barely eighteen months, so I’m surprised anything got written at all (miracle woman) – but he loved it. He was so touched; I could see it in his face. You’re just coming into personhood, at three, and you can trace the first flowerings of the person you became. (Toddler Timothy was clever, precise, freakishly tidy and ate a lot. All of which comes as a STARTLEMENT and a SHOCK, I can tell you.)
For me, I’ve got this from when I started nursery at three-and-a-half:
Which shows that I was a pretty snazzy artist but had not yet, apparently, gained my proper respect for the apostrophe. (Why did my teacher think this was a ‘tasty’ picture? Seems a bit odd.)
As lovely as that is, it’s this I treasure more:
It’s a letter my mum wrote about me when I was around six. It has all the hallmarks of something my primary teacher asked her to write for a lesson at church. I love it. Not least because it reminds me that once I liked washing up more than I do now.
All of which has intrigued and inspired me this past month. Henry’s not big enough yet to contribute much to a scrapbook. So I’ve started this:
He is such a fierce little personality already, all thirteen-and-a-half weeks of him, that I’d like him to be able to read this when he’s older and recognise the beginnings of himself. And I’d like to do this, as well: write a letter to him on Mother’s Day every year to let him know about how I mother him from day to day.
He will be a force to be reckoned with, this boy. I am so proud of him.
This is an Instagram photo. Huzzah.