On Your Fourth Birthday

Jack, today you are four and I can't quite believe it. At three I could still just about class you as a toddler (albeit a very large and shouty one) but at four there's no denying it...you are boy.

At four you are really coming into your own. You are clever, funny and so sweet natured. You are beginning to show a real interest in reading and writing. You can just about write your own name now (although you write your K backwards and tend to get the letters in the wrong order - Granny says it's something to do with you being left handed) and you love stories. Julia Donaldson is a big hit at the moment but you've still got a soft spot for Hairy Maclary. You love the library and the other day you got really cross because - I quote - 'I can't read yet! WHY CAN'T I READ?!' I'm still not a fan of a tantrum but that, that I'll allow.

You are still a collector as you always have been. No favourite toys, just a small collection of interchangeable possessions that you religiously carry around in your plastic doctor's case or one of my old handbags. You've long since ditched Mr Tumble and you're now into Star Wars and The Avengers (Carl's influence). You have a best friend now - he's called Jack too - and you tell me that the pair of you 'don't like girls because they're poo poo heads' but I suspect this will change as the years go on. You are so kind and thoughtful towards others that I sometimes forget you're still so little. A few months ago your nursery teacher told me how a little girl had cried because a boy had taken her seat so you built her another one out of big blocks (so much for not liking girls, hey?!) You're a gentleman in the making with such as sweet heart; it makes me so proud.

Four will be a very exciting year, you know. It's the year you'll start big school. And although the prospect seems to frighten you a little bit right now, I know you'll be in your element when the time actually comes. As for me, well I'll miss our weekday afternoons together. Our swimming trips, our walks, our library visits, our cafe dates. But I'm so excited to see how the next phase of your life unfolds.

Your birthday is a little different this year. You've been on holiday with daddy this week. You're coming back today so I'll get to see you later but I wasn't there this morning. I wasn't the first to wish you a Happy Birthday and kiss your beautiful, four year old face. That feels strange and a little bit unnatural to me but you're what matters and I know you've had a lovely time this week. I'll never be 100% OK with saying goodbye to you for any length of time but I can put my feelings to one side as long as I know that you're happy. And you are. You take everything in your stride and have always made my constant worrying seem unfounded. You honestly amaze me. Some days I look at you and wonder how I possibly created something so brilliant and brave and perfect.

The more you grow, the more you learn about the world and the more I learn about being a mummy. I wasn't too sure about it at first but four years on, I'm convinced it's the greatest thing I've ever done. You are an absolute joy, Jack. Happy birthday.

All my love,
Your mummy xx


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