Today is the anniversary of the first day we met you 6 years ago.
It was almost over before it even began. You got a wind-up car all caught up in your hair and I had to take to it with the nail scissors to get it out. I cut 3 of your beautiful curls out whilst you howled and thrashed about on my knee. The social worker scribbled in her Diary Of Doom. I didn’t sleep for a week thinking about what she had written. Urgent reassessment of parenting ability required! They’ve only cared for him for 30 minutes and already he looks like he’s been scalped by a wild tribe of Native Americans. This woman cannot possibly be trusted with a baby!
Thankfully they let the introductions continue and I happily paraded you around, showing you off for a few allocated hours every day. My curly little angel perched on my hip.
You moved in on 19th September - your very first birthday. We had been warned over and over that you didn’t sleep. At all. Horror stories about foster carers driving around town at 3am with Wailing Will. We finally got you home at 8pm after hours of handover paperwork and put you straight into your little room - everything plain white, no toys or furniture just your bunny and your cot - a calm space that would help you sleep. You slept for 16 hours. Your brothers thought we had broken you. You’ve slept for at least 12 hours a night ever since. We never once had Wailing Will out in the car at 3am.
You knew you were home.
And then we were a little family of five. We called you The Curly One and we spent every day together whilst the boys went to school and dad went to work. We had many, many rows. You threw a spectacular tantrum or ten per day. You did not like getting help with anything. You did not like rules. You did not like it when you couldn’t figure something out. You were upset that I didn’t appreciate your sharpie art on my Laura Ashley wallpaper. You couldn’t understand the drama when you dropped Jack’s lego plane from a great height and watched it splinter on the ground at the bottom of the stairs.
Your brothers constantly tease you about being the baby of the family. She’s so crazy, she’s never gonna let you leave the house or have a girlfriend or a life of your own without her. Listen to them, for they are correct. No-one will ever love you more than me and you will always be my baby. No woman will ever be good enough for you. You belong to me now. Forever.
I know it’s cheesy but you complete us Will. We worked as a team when you moved in because none of us had a clue. Now we all sort of look at you in amazement/horror/awe when you are doing things none of the rest of us would ever or could ever do. You are a true rebel like your Granda Billy, the rebel I wish I could be. You are utterly fierce like your Auntie Heather. You are completely feral some days - I don’t know where the love for bare knuckle fighting comes from - certainly not your Da! You are so brave and confident and charismatic. You are also generous, soft, loving and sweet. You give the best hugs in the entire world. You are smart and you can read people and situations better than most grown ups. To think we were told you probably wouldn’t be able to go through mainstream school. Some days I think you could run the school if you wanted to.
Curly little King Will. We thank our lucky stars for you every day. You are so much fun to parent, we never know what’s coming next. Once you asked me if I had ever had a Tummy Baby and when I said no you asked me why not? I said because I can’t make Tummy Babies and after a pause you said is that why you got Forever Kids? Yes that’s right Will. Well I think that was a much better plan because I was a Forever Kid and you got me.
Damn right kid! Sometimes when life seems like it's going pear shaped it is just gearing up to give you everything you could ever need or want.