I haven’t ever really been one to go in for the ‘on your birthday’ posts before. Perhaps I’ve not really felt the need, made the time, or given it thought on this blog. Birthdays can fly by in a crazy whirl of planning, doing, hosting and celebrating, that often the actual milestone of being another year older gets lost amidst the mayhem.
But this year, it’s pulling on my heart strings a little, that my first born daughter is six. I guess it’s because the past year has seen such a change in her. Both physically – as her legs have shot up and her face slimmed down, as well as developmentally, with all that 18 months at school brings.
Last year she was just learning to read and write; this year we have war and peace on every scrap of paper she can get her hands on. And, as I watched her open some early cards at a family gathering last weekend, she read the words written inside, without prompt, for the very first time.
Her artwork which has always been such a huge passion of hers, fills our home and I struggle to keep up with where to put it all – never bearing the idea of throwing it away. Her hands are never clean, even ten minutes after a bath they are covered with pen lines again, and as we always say, that’s the sign of a true artist, which is what she claims to want to combine with teaching when she grows up. Saddened by not being able to choose between an artist and a teacher, she’s never forgotten that I explained she could be both.
Suddenly, our little tot doesn’t seem so tiny any more. She has learnt what it means to help others, to value the things she has, and express her own views. Never more so than how she decided wholeheartedly that she could never eat the animals she loves so dearly, nine months ago. And never has a piece of meat touched her lips since.
Tigs, at just five years old, you’ve shown incredible patience and nurture towards your sister, who worships you. Your ability to help me encourage her to eat, to be well behaved and to try and potty train her is just heart warming, and at times I haven’t been able to take much more of the day, you have stepped in and talked her down from her toddler tantrum in a way that leaves me both astounded and a bit ashamed. I’ve often thought that you are a better Mum than me.
You have shared with her, read to her, played with her and been an amazing big sister. May you girls always share that bond that I see before me now, and don’t let life get in the way of how you love each other so deeply.
I will always cherish this stage as you probe and question all that you see around you. Life, the universe, death and nature. You have been so frustrated at not being able to get back to the allotment while the winter took hold, the love of the outdoors and wildlife being at the very core of you. Life mesmerises you and you take it all on board in a sensitive and caring way. When we recently lost your great Nanny, you didn’t shy away from asking questions, and yet you accepted and understood in a way beyond your years.
And yet, your eyes fill with tears as you show such deep emotion when a story makes you sad, or you worry about others.
Your friendships with your oldest friends remain so important to you, and you have embraced new friends along the way. This year you got to join your cousin, who you adore so much, at a gymnastics club, and I rarely see you the right way up anymore. Whilst you may have proven to be a fair weather footballer, you made your Daddy and I so proud to be the only girl on the football squad.
In so many ways you have changed so much, but yet when I kiss you goodnight before I go to bed, laying asleep with your glasses on the table beside you, you still look and twitch in your sleep the same way you did as you lay in the moses basket beside me, six years ago.
We are so proud of you, our crazy, kind, happy little flower fairy. One day you will change the world my darling.
Happy Sixth Birthday.