So I've spent a year with this gorgeous boy now and what has he taught me?
Firstly the capacity to love is infinite! I could never imagine loving anything or anyone more than Paul and I love our children, or each other.
Secondly he has redefined friendship for me; The friends I seem to have had a lifetime have proved they will be friends for life. I love and value them more than ever before.
Some friends I haven't had for so long have proved they are worth crossing the globe for! Most friends and especially Charlie's Godparents have simply 'been there', - quiet asides to Paul and I when it has been necessary, cuddles for Charlie and the girls, small things that ultimately mean everything.
I have also realised throughout the course of the year that people I had previously considered friends are actually just colleagues and that that's ok. We all have our own lives to lead and we all keep those who are the most important closest. In some ways this has been the most important lesson of the year. It allows me to spend time with those who actually make the most difference because I'm not so divided and I realise that I still care about and respect everyone else anyway. In almost every case, despite spending less time with people, I think no less of them than I ever did.
Thirdly family are, as they always were, fabulous! I wouldn't have thought it would be possible to become closer to my siblings as I have always loved them so dearly. Charlie has also changed my view on that! I spend less time with them out of necessity but value them more than ever and thank God for them almost daily, they are one of my greatest blessings! The Grandparents of my gorgeous children are as loved as they ever were but mostly, infinately more respected. They allow Paul and I 'private time' when we realise that as hard as it is to comprehend, we have a love, a friendship and a bond that exists beyond our children and is undoubtedly my greatest gift in life. There are some family members that Charlie seems to have forged more of a bond with and for this I'm also very grateful. I enjoy spending time with them far more than I ever thought possible before and I realise that ideas we have formulated over many years can be proved wrong and foolish in an instant.
Finally I have realised that there are some people who despite the opportunities and crossroads they are presented with, will never, ever change and I must allow them that. At the same time I don't need to agree with them and never see that as likely - that is also ok, because in all Charlie has taught me as I said initially, that the capacity to love is infinate. Those closest to me especially my gorgeous girls, my wonderful husband and of course the legend that is Charlie I have come to realise are all that is important in life. The most important gift Charlie has bestowed is that I hold no ill feeling towards anyone. Its probably the first thing he taught me! Many years ago I read that the last words Anne Frank wrote in her diary were "people are good." I remembered being astounded at the time that someone in her incomprehendable circumstances could think that, after all she had witnessed. I know nothing of her heartache and trauma but have realised in a year of adversity that strangers are kind, friends and family are 'soul food' and yes, basically people are good!
Charlie in one year you've been quite a teacher!