This is my favourite book that Gracie possesses. It’s the first book she was given at her baby shower while I was still pregnant. The simple reasons children gave for loving their mum made me cry.

At the time I felt so daunted by motherhood, to be possibly faced alone, and felt so black about myself. All these looming issues of parenthood: developmental milestones, education, financial constraints, career, friends, mental health, stability, support networks.

My concerns were wound so tight I was a coiled spring of nerves fearing the future.

“I love my mummy because:

• She holds my hand

• She takes me to nice places

• She plays with me

• She helps me

• She teaches me

• She is beautiful

• She kisses me better

• She feeds me

• She smells nice

• She gives me a bath

• She sings to me

• She always hugs me

• She helps me sleep at night”

These words took away the complexity. My child wants me as I am, to do what I can. These simple words made some of my tightened fear release. I could see what I could do instead of focussing on the unknown.

I’m yet to know Gracie’s memories, how she will see this time. But I hope she remembers how we drew together, had mumma-huggies, went to nice places, made meals and snacks together, read and sang together. How she has enjoyed her childhood.

As she grows older and school draws closer, these larger issues impinge once again. It feels overwhelming, but as I reread this book tonight, it has reminded me again about the importance of the journey and not just the destination.

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