My baby is turning four tomorrow and I am in denial. Four is not a baby. Four is not even a toddler. Four is a child. A child! Where did my baby go and why did time run away so fast? Today, she had a Fairy Princess High Tea for eight little girls (and two highly unimpressed little boys) and as I watched them all playing together, I was reminded that she really is a little person all of her own. She has opinions (lots of them), ideas and a really spunky little personality. I have the massive, incredible task of helping her to continue just as she is and guide her in the right direction so that she can grow up to be the beautiful young woman she has the enormous potential to become.
My Baby G, you are just four, but you have learned a lot more than I have in the last four years:
- You have learned to speak a whole language fluently. And colourfully. Yesterday, while playing doctor with me, you looked at the thermometer and proclaimed seriously and with great authority, “Patient, I’m sorry to tell you, but it’s twenty past six.”
- You have learned to crawl, walk, run, ride a bike and dance and sing. You do all these things with 100% effort and full energy.
- You have learned to hold a pen and even write some letters. You take this seriously and I treasure your ‘letters’ filled with love.
- You have learned to wrap your daddy right round your little finger. Your wish is his command.
- You have learned to crawl into the hearts of just about everyone you come into contact with and bury yourself in. Even people who have only met you online love you intensely. That’s some power!
- You have learnt the art of eyelash fluttering and, in fact, you have achieved master status in this particular skill.
- You have learnt how to make us laugh. You go out of your way to get a giggle from your siblings. You are a ray of sunshine.
- You have learnt the value of loud, guffawing laughter. You seek it actively and relentlessly. Our home echoes with your chipmunk giggles and the subsequent giggles of your siblings.
- You have learnt that boring isn’t an option.
- You have learned that there is nothing more joyous than PINK. As much as possible. Layers are essential.
- You have learnt that loss is intensely painful, but cuddling through the pain makes it better.
- You’ve learnt that you can feel love even when it’s not close. You talk all the time about the love you feel from your grandparents overseas and your Bumpa in Heaven.
More amazing than what you’ve learned, my Princess, is what you have taught:
- You have taught us that our capacity to love is endless. You will always stop and make time for a cuddle and it had better be a full body, two handed one.
- You have taught us to always be prepared for a kamikaze-cuddle. Unexpected. Totally. We have received many flying knees to the ribs, as you launch yourself into our arms. You are delicious.
- You have taught your siblings that they can fight with each other all they like but they must love you.
- You have taught us that compassion is innate and you have oodles of it. If one of us is hurt, you’ll always come over, frowning, asking if we are okay. If I’m sick, you’re there like a shot with your doctor’s trolley, ready to administer to me.
- You have taught us that when in doubt, wiggle and smile. A good wiggle is never to be underestimated.
- You have taught us that you can never wear enough accessories. More is more.
- You have taught us that if you’re gonna laugh, laugh loud and laugh until you can’t breathe. Same goes for crying.
- You have taught us to be grateful every day for the miracle that is you, our little one.
My darling Baby G, every night before you go to sleep, we talk about what you’re grateful for. I am always astounded that such a little girl has such deep thoughts. This year, you’ve expressed gratitude for:
- “Daddy working so hard so I can have lovely things”
- “My toys because some kids don’t have toys. Can we give my teddies to the children in hospital?”
- “My sister for teaching me to write an ‘a'”
- “My dinner that was not full of yucky sauce.”
- “My Bumpa cuddling my heart from Heaven.”
- “My Aunty for talking to me on the computer.”
Before you go to sleep every night, you open your Fairy Wishes Box and close your eyes and you wish for your dreams. With eyes squeezed shut, you say – word for word, every night – “I wish for dreams of fairies, princesses, love hearts, castles, ballerinas and rainbows.” And as you list each item, your little chubby fingers ‘take’ the wishes from your head and gently place them into the box. After you’ve done this, you quickly close the lid, close your eyes and go to sleep, trusting completely that these dreams will come true.
As you grow, your dreams will change. You’ll outgrow your Fairy Wishes Box. You’ll lose the chubbiness in your hands. I hope that you never lose the absolute faith you have now that your dreams will come true. This is my wish for you, on your fourth birthday.
Baby G, I wish you a year of all the fairies, princesses, ballerinas, castles, love hearts and rainbows you could possibly imagine. I wish you a lifetime of dreaming big, aiming high and believing in yourself as purely and decisively as you do now.
I love you all the way to Fairyland. Plus eleventeen.