It's part of some sort of blogging experiment so no doubt I will totally cock it up. Experiments and me tend to be a dangerous combination - I'm still trying to recover from the day I let cold water siphon back up into my boiling hot test tube and exploded glass and Potassium Permanganate across the entire Chemistry Lab. I had to be sent away for decontamination.....
Anyway as tempting as it is to write:
1. Child Benefit.
2. Free Dental Work for a year.
3. Free prescriptions for a year.
4. An excuse to eat birthday cake more times a year than you otherwise would.
5. No need to spend anymore money on bikinis as I will never be going near one ever again....
I will actually go all serious on you for a moment and say that I will put all 5 things in 1 giant big one and say this:
My children have undone me. They have deconstructed me and taken me apart.
Between them they look me into the labyrinth of my own mind and showed me how it feels to lose it. They took to me to the precipice of death and let me look over the edge - and then they called me back again. They showed me how it feels to be imprisoned by your own mind with the people you love most in the world on the other side of the bars. They gave me a new definition of pain, of loss, of guilt and of depression.
They stripped me of what I thought I was and took me away from where I thought I belonged in the world. They shipped me to a foreign country from which I thought there was no way home.
They rebuilt me. It was they who taught me how to walk again. How to keep putting one foot in front of the other even when the journey seemed impossible and the top of the hill invisible. It was my children who taught me where I really belonged in the world - this new home of motherhood.
My children - you have shown me, the hard way, what courage is and made me prove how hard I will fight to be your mother again. To hold you without charade or pain or fear.
You have taught me who the real me is - far from faultless - but your mother. Forever, yours. In eternity. Because even when I'm not here - I will be with you.
So thank you. Thank you for taking me apart and rebuilding a truer, better, stronger me.
I would change nothing because when you have stood on the brink of eternal darkness and you get the chance to turn back towards the sun, everything is touched by a golden light. Whilst you fear the shadows you revel in the warmth.
Your beauty, your laughter, your delight in the small and shock at the old. Your energy, your light and your eternal love.
So thank you for everything, for proving the power of a mother's love. For taking me home and giving me a better future.
Motherhood - the hardest and the greatest thing I ever did and keep on doing.
(Are you crying yet? Because I bloody well am!).
Right I can get back to shouting at them for unravelling the loo roll now.....