I'm no longer special. And it's great!
When I first had Daisy, I became her world. Literally. Like any parent. When hubby went off to Germany while I nurtured our new baby to be, Daisy and I lived in a little bubble of love together. When Poppy came along, it was all about keeping them apart for fear Daisy would batter her! And I became Poppy's world. She wouldn't let me out of her sight for two years! But slowly something changed. They became friends, sitting side by side in their double buggy like peas in the pod. But still, for a long time, they were little selfish beings who just wanted me or daddy. But now, as Ruby has entered the fold - along with a very needy puppy! - our little bubble has expanded and enlarged, its membrane glowing with the colours of a rainbow as the sun shines and warms us.
And I watch an extraordinary thing. Alongside the wonderful connection I have with each of them, I watch how each of my children develops unbreakable relationships with each other - Daisy and Poppy, Daisy and Ruby, Poppy and Ruby. And of course Ruby and her soul-mate, Olly the dog. Now I can step back a little now and watch, mug of hot tea in hand (how many cups of tea have grown cold the last 7 years, neglected while I am pulled away again to give comfort, or respond to need?) and smile as I watch from the sidelines as they fight. bicker, hug, love, laugh, joke, tease, enourage, teach and learn from each other. I am still their world I think, but their universe is expanding and we are all satalites to each other, spinning round each other giving and getting life.
As my brother and I navigate the traumatic and emotional landscape of caring for our parents, our life together stands us in good stead as we steady and support each other (and annoy each other too!). And so I stand back and see that the beginnings of a lifetime of connections are forming now that will help carry them all through life. And me too. Phew, this tea tastes good hot!