Dear beautiful boy,
A very happy birthday to you! I can hardly believe that you’re three already. You’ll no doubt get bored with me saying it each year, but it seems like only yesterday that you came into our lives to the sound of Nina Simone, snow falling outside the window.
Now look at you. You’re not a toddler any more but a big boy, as you love to tell me. When I came in to kiss you goodnight the day I brought your baby sister home from hospital, I was struck by the size of my first baby. In the twelve hours between me leaving in labour and coming back, you seemed to have doubled. It was as though you knew that you were the big sibling now, with new responsibilities, and that you had to stand taller.
I needn’t have worried about how you’d react to having a little sister. As far as I could tell, it was love at first sight. You’ve been incredibly patient with her and so helpful to me. You haven’t complained that I’ve been distracted and had less time to play with you, and you seem to really relish your new role as a big brother. You show her how to do things, read books to her and make her laugh much more than the rest of us can. You share your things with her and think about how she’s feeling. If she seems a bit grumpy, you get your ukulele and sing to her; if she looks bored, you drag the playmat through from the other room for her. The way she looks at you, I know that she adores you too.
This year has been one of huge change for all of us, and I couldn’t be more impressed with how you’ve coped. As well as welcoming a new baby, we packed up and left the only home you’ve ever known and moved 200 miles north. You left behind your nursery and your friends and trusted us when we assured you that it was for the best.
You’ve settled into your new life really well. You love that we live so close to the park and can hardly believe that your grandparents are a ten-minute drive away. After a shy start at your new nursery, you’re really enjoying it. Although we can’t go to London Zoo all the time any more, you seem happy with the National Railway Museum as a replacement. We can hear the steam trains from our kitchen. What could be better than that for a boy who loves vehicles?
This year you’re really aware of your birthday for the first time and can’t wait to see your cake with a number three on it. You said you’d like to go to the seaside for the day, but have now accepted it might be a bit cold so we’ll go next year when the weather is good. Don’t worry, we still have a fun day planned for you.
You’re really excited about Christmas, too, and are full of questions about Santa Claus. This morning you asked why he doesn’t use the front door instead of the chimney, and I agree that that would be much more sensible. You’ve helped to decorate the tree, draw in the Christmas cards and buy a present for your sister. We’ve made biscuits galore, watched the Christmas Peppa Pig DVD more than is advisable and sung Jingle Bells endlessly.
Lovely boy, I hope this year brings you even more joy and happiness than the last. You make us very happy and incredibly proud, and we love you very much.
All my love,