For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you may know that I recently became a dad for the second time, a daughter called Margaret (Maggie) to go with our first, the three year-old, and ever opinionated, Elizabeth (Bess). Elizabeth and Margaret, an entirely unconscious regal nod in a Platinum Jubilee year…
Those parents and grandparents amongst you, regardless of how recent your experiences are, can no doubt recall the rollercoaster ride of early parenthood. The elation, the despair, the exhaustion and the never ending laundry…
For me, as with our first child, the first few months were gruelling. Feeding, crying, occasional sleeping and a sense that this cycle will never end.
And yet, in the midst of this, just as I felt the fatigue and the darkness envelop, Maggie smiled.
There is nothing quite like that first moment of connection to spirit away the new parent fog. It’s transformative and reminded me of all the ‘firsts’ to come. The first word, the first steps, the first piece of art proudly pinned on the fridge. The first ‘I love you, daddy’.
With my eldest, I have vague memories that certain times were excruciatingly difficult but those recollections are diminishing over time. In contrast, I can vividly remember the pride and joy at all those remarkable developmental ‘firsts’. Thankfully, these are the memories that have endured.
I cannot presume to understand how challenging parenthood is for mums and dads who have children with life-limiting conditions. I know, from speaking to families, that the severity of the illnesses faced by their children can make those milestone ‘firsts’ seem out of reach.
But I also know that inside every child is the innate ability, desire, need, to enjoy life, to smile, to create and to communicate with the people they love.
By helping to unlock those universal abilities through the power of the technology we donate, I hope that we are helping families to create those precious, ever lasting memories that shine through the parental fog in the months and years to come.