My gorgeous girl,
Today you are 4.
Every day as we leave your pre-school room, you are rigidly disciplined about moving your name from the registration boards to the basket. There are 4 boards, depicting various moods from sad to furious. Each morning as you go in, you choose which colour board to put your name on, according to your mood. And every day when we leave, we find your name on the green board – the “Happy” board – and you proudly declare “My name!” before moving it to the basket.
One day I asked you if you’ve ever chosen to put your name on any other coloured board. You thought for a minute and then, with a very serious face said “Of course not Mummy, why would I?”
And that, Phoebe Noa, sums you up entirely. Because every single day you choose happy.
Now let’s keep it realistic here. There are definitely some days where, for large portions of the day, you very definitely do not radiate happy. In many of those moments, you’re in witch mode level infinity and when you’re up there on that broomstick – whoooooooosh! Woe betide anyone who stands between you and what you want. I’m told by the vast majority of my family that I’ve made my own bed and I need to lie in it (frankly, they’ve got me all wrong, I’m actually an incredibly calm kind of a person 😈) but it’s for that exact reason that I’m normally the only one who can bring you back down to Earth.
An explosion of passion and emotion, you’re so far beyond any ability to listen to reason or logic it’s a case of fastening the seatbelt and waiting for exactly the right moment to wrap you up and cuddle you until the heaving and sobbing stops and you’re calm enough again to talk about what you need. It is in those most difficult of moments – moments which have been known to stretch from seconds to minutes to hours, that I love you more than I ever imagined possible. Because to be your safest place on earth is something very special. In those moments, I feel so absolutely confident that you are going to make your way just fine in this life. Because you care about what is important to you. You fiercely and wildly and unashamedly care.
I’ve made no secret of the fact I didn’t love having newborn babies. Aside from the sleepy snuggles, the magical weight of which I can still feel if I close my eyes, I found it much harder than I probably should have, both mentally and physically.
But 3? Well 3 has been just a dream. There is very little I haven’t loved about it… maybe with the exception of the nightly wee trips now that you’ve grown out of pull ups. HOW DO YOU KNOW?! How do you know whatever random time it is we’ve fallen asleep and wake us up just as we get into the deepest part of the cycle?! It’s such a talent! A talent which leaves us stumbling around trying to get you to the toilet and then dazed and confused trying to get back to sleep, whilst you drift peacefully back off, having barely woken at all 😏
This year you’ve found a love of dancing and it makes my heart sing to see you skip excitedly into class, just as I did for so many years. Watching you having the time of your life with all of your friends at your dance party made me feel such a strange mix of happy and sad because it made me realise just how much you’ve all missed because of Covid. I’m so glad you’ve finally been able to experience what it’s like to be the birthday girl because you’re a special kind of person my little love and you deserve all of the world (and I’m pretty sure you’ll demand it 🤣)
One thing which most definitely hasn’t changed in the last year is your adoration of Ivan the cat. He remains your one true love and the fits of giggles you collapse into when he gives you a stinky breathed lick would soften the hardest of hearts.
And then there’s your brother Artie. Your partner in crime. The yin to your yang. When the two of you get going it’s IMPOSSIBLE. But I wouldn’t change it for the world because I’d so much rather you were thick as thieves than any alternative.
The common thread here is that pretty much everything you do, you do with so much joy, it’s impossible not to be swept up in the emotion. You totally charm everyone you meet and you have a habit of giving a cheeky sideways glance at just the right moment, so that even if you’ve done something incredibly silly, it’s impossible to stay mad at you for long. You are just too… smooshy! You’re (annoyingly) good at everything you turn your hand to and I’m yet to win a single game of memory match against you – even at my most competitive.
Thank you for being such a total dream. For always being generous with your love. For reminding us all, in a world which feels heavy and cruel right now, to find time to be just that little bit more silly. That little bit kinder. And that little bit more determined.
And most of all thank you for always choosing the green board.
Because every day I get to spend with you is a green board day for me too.
With all my love, always