Cherishing the Only Child I’ve Ever Wanted
Awoken from a light sleep, I hear the pitter patter of little feet on the hardwood floor.
She approaches my side of the bed, softly saying my name; “Mummy. I want huggles with Mama.”
I’m beyond tired, I haven’t slept properly for what seems like month’s but her voice tugs at my heart strings.
I slide her into bed with me. She instantly hugs to the contours of my body, relishing in the familiar comfort.
I smell her hair. I touch her soft skin, remembering that moments like these will fade in the future that lies ahead.
I trace the crease where her wrist and hand meet – a crease that reminders me she’s just a toddler, my sweet baby girl. For once that crease is gone I know that she will have transitioned to another age, another milestone.
She’s already asleep. I listen to the light snore that passes her lips and my mind races with the reminder that life is passing us by quickly as each day passes.
I feel a twinge of regret for not relishing in the smaller moments when she was a newborn. For being too preoccupied with the fact I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, I wasn’t enough – wasn’t the mother I thought I would be.
My thoughts drift back to the wise words my mother told me when Casey was just a few weeks old: “I’m worried that you’re going to miss out on enjoying your little girl.” In those first months, I realise now… that I did.
I did miss out. I was forever preoccupied with what I thought was the right thing to do, and I was trapped by my own demons that never gave me the opportunity to cherish the smaller moments. I was too concentrated on the ‘what if’s’ rather than what was right in front of me.
Yet here we are, my little ray of sunshine, beaming with love, next to me in the darkness.
As I lie awake in the small hours of the morning, I listen to Casey’s breathing, the rhythmic sound calms me, a reminder how lucky I am to have this precious girl in my life.
Feelings of gratitude wash over me as I realise the extremity of unconditional love that I feel for this little girl, asleep in my arms.
I realise now why I only want this one child and nothing else. Because how can I love another life as much as I love hers? How can any other child I bear compare to this sweet soul, so full of life, love, and kindness?
My thoughts remind me that having one child is often deemed as selfish, yet I realise now that that is not the case. Having one child who you want to give everything you have is not self-serving, nor is it egocentric. It’s perfectly understandable… to those that wish to listen.
My child is healthy.
She has all her fingers and toes. Her chocolate coloured hair falls down to her waist, ending in flawless ringlets that make even the most beautiful of females, envious. Her porcelain complexion and heart-shaped lips compliment her eyes, the colour of the ocean.
And her smile, full of sincerity, love, compassion and warmth, radiates whenever she looks into my soul.
My child is enough.
She will always be loved and will always have an abundance of friendships. As an only child, I vow to make sure she spends time with her other children to develop close relationships and special bonds where she chooses.
I always remember people telling me how cruel it is to never give my little angel a sibling – a comment I still feel is flawed to this day.
Growing up, I didn’t have a close relationship with my brother, nor did my husband with his sister – therefore it’s a reminder that the children we produce can be entirely different from one another, and although we hope they share a special bond, it’s not always guaranteed.
My child will have all we can give her.
My husband is passionate when he explains to me that he wants us to give our daughter the best possible choices in life, (that we can). We want her to be able to go to university, to travel, to one day own her own home and do with her life as she pleases.
Driven as we are, we aren’t rich, yet we are mindful that opportunities cost money. Ever since Casey was just a few month’s old we started a small saving fund for her which we contribute to automatically each month.
Without my feelings for Casey, let’s not neglect the endless pain I endured throughout my pregnancy, and the aftermath that followed with post-natal depression.
My husband and I want Casey to live a full life, and we want to enjoy our lives as a family, in our own way.
And because of that, I vow not feel guilty for never giving Casey a sibling. I will not feel pressured because society exclaims that it’s wrong to only have one child, that it’s unfair to them (and their parents) to be satisfied with a tribe of three.
I feel more than satisfied, I feel complete.
Complete with Casey by my side, my yin to my yang… the only child I will ever want, need, and love, for the rest of my life.