Dear Co-Captain

I wanted to write a letter to you. It’s been years since we have exchanged letters regularly. I felt like I needed to write down what I am too tired to articulate at the end of each day currently. To tell you between the spills, crumbs, overflowing bin, baby wipes, cries, park trips: I appreciate you. So much.

I can be a bit cold sometimes. I’m a terribly matter-of-fact type of person, and don’t really share my feelings easily with spoken word. Maybe that’s why I wrote them instead. I feel more so right now, it’s even harder. I feel like we just start a conversation and Henry’s asking for a certain tv show or Thea wants feeding. One day we will not be interrupted and I can’t wait for that season. But seeing you in this season has gotten me in absolute awe regardless.

I have fallen in love with you all over again since Thea’s birth. I can’t pin point a moment, but just as we have stretched and grown to be a family of four, my love for you has grown the same. It’s not been easy: there have been arguments, snappiness, the normal highs and lows of postpartum of course, but I feel strong with you. I feel secure, even though I’m learning again. Being pushed to my limits of patience and strength, and you hold onto me keeping me upright.

You’ve done the morning shift with Henry for what seems like forever. Since miscarrying, since Hyperemesis, since Thea being here. You rise, and you conquer. You never complain. You just do. I notice.

You tell me I’m doing a great job. Everyday, even when you come home to a duplo and dinosaur obstacle course from the front door to the kitchen. You always smile and are so excited to see us even when you’re exhausted from a long day. I notice.

You cook for us. You sort and wash our clothes, you handle every bit of life administration there is, you do our lawns, and make the bed. All while playing with Henry and making everything fun. I notice.

When I’m at my lowest, least confident, weakest – you carry me and you carry us. You take the helm with one hand with the other firmly locked in mine. I notice.

It’s a game of divide and conquer at the moment and that’s okay. One of us tends to Thea while the other is talking Henry down from a meltdown. One of us is taking the kids out of the car while the other is setting up the pram. You will settle Henry for the night while I settle Thea for the few hours. It sometimes feels as we are passing ships, but I remember we are in the same ship, just going about our demands at the moment. We smile tired smiles at each other because even though it’s hard, the season is miserably short. And if Thea is in fact our final earthly baby, we have already passed so many ‘lasts’.

It’s an intense part of our lives, but it’s a tiny intense part in the grand scheme. We will miss it. We may not miss the crying, the nappies, the stress, the exhaustion – but we will miss them both being within arms reach always. We will miss their tenderness. We will miss the sound of their feet, their laughter.

The season will change and the leaves will turn. We will see a movie together again soon. Maybe share a meal out together in peace with no spills or Bluey playing in the background or running that dummy under a tap to get rid of the dirt it just fell into. We will enjoy a coffee together without burning our tongues trying to drink it quickly or without it turning stone cold for the fourth time. And we will talk about how we miss all the things about our littles being littles.

But for now, thank you. Thank you for riding the postpartum wave with me. Thank you for parenting with me. Thank you for adoring me after everything, like I’m still 17. You’ve been the most consistent friend and lover to me. It’s always unconditional. You just love me because you simply do, and choose to, everyday. You’ve never flaked on us, you’ve never quit. You’re all in, always. I choose you too. I’m not very obvious about it these days. But just know I look forward to fall into your arms everyday at 5:30pm in the kitchen when you come home. And in that repeated moment, day in and out, everything else is background noise. The kids, the dinner, the milk stains, the tv, the washing, the mess of the day. It doesn’t matter. Because you are here, with me, just like always.