To my darling eldest girl,
Today you are four. As I write this the day before your birthday it seems extraordinary to remember that this time four years ago I was in labour with you, pacing around the hospital ward trying to persuade you that you really did want to come and meet us, back in those last few hours before you made us a family.
And now we sit here four years later, although I’d swear I’m not a day older than I was when you were born, and what was once my little plump baby is now a very tall, very bouncy big sister to a little sister and a little brother.
I am so incredibly proud of you my lovely girl and thankful for you every single day. There are days when I’m ratty and you’re tired out and it all seems to be going horribly horribly wrong I know, but somehow we always manage to find our way back to an even keel.
Right now you have an impish sense of humour and a deep love of a little gentle mischief, though the twinkle in your eyes gives you away in a heartbeat if you’re even so much as thinking about trying to do something that you know isn’t really allowed, and you find it impossible to smother your giggles if it’s Mummy or Daddy pushing the boundaries; especially when it’s Daddy. It’s usually Daddy.
I can see so much of both your Daddy and my personalities coming through in you, especially the bits that are pure eldest child. It made me smile when your nursery teachers told me one day that having finished the art project you were all doing in record quick time, you then promptly sat down next to your friends to help them finish up theirs, telling (and probably showing) them exactly what they needed to do all along the way.
You like things to be logical too, and fair; you’ve got a very strong sense of what is just – all the way from the little things like making sure you have exactly the same number of blueberries as your sister, to being utterly bemused when one of your nursery friends suddenly decided that she didn’t want to be friends for 24 hours.
But the thing I treasure most is your sweetness; the way you run to give your cousin a hug, or cuddle your sister if she’s sad, even if you’re also not entirely unconnected to the reason that she’s sad! You absolutely love that you’re big enough to hold baby Pip and you’ll come running in to give him a little kiss and a “gentle cuddle” every morning or whenever you spot him even vaguely awake.
At four years old you’re easily the size of a six year old and given that you’ve already got size 11 feet I think it’s safe to say that you’re going to be tall. And as you’re definitely a people person and you come across as fairly articulate and confident it’s no surprise people keep asking you which school you go to. I know you miss your friends who went this year but I think that school time will come around before we know it and in the meantime we’ll make the most of your freedom while it lasts.
So what would I want you to know on your fourth birthday?
Be true to yourself. You are a wonderful little girl, and you’re going to turn into an amazing young woman. Right now you are so clear about who you are and what you like and what’s OK and I hope that you never loose that clarity.
Know that you are loved utterly and completely with a fierceness that sometimes takes my breath away.
Keep seeing the world as a glass full all the way to the brim; I love your optimism and I hope it never fades.
Oh, and enjoy shoes. I’m afraid the way your feet are going your days of pink shoes with flashing lights in the heels might be numbered!
Happy Birthday my beautiful girl, I love you. xxxx