Today you got out the shower, wrapped yourself in your favourite green towel and said “where is tummy?, where is tummy?”. You do this every day and you think it is very funny, it’s one of your favourite games.
A few days ago I picked you up from ‘school’ and we discussed whether or not to go to the shops on the way home. You said, ‘no shops, I want home,’ and we discussed in detail what we needed to get, why and how fast we would be to buy everything at the shops. It was one of the first times I felt I had a real conversation with you. It gave me a glimpse into the future.
I wish I could learn as fast as you. I’m watching the way you absorb information and words. You remember what happens in each of your books and you can tell the story without being able to read the words. I am constantly teaching you things – right now I’m teaching you to use the potty, not to jump on the bed or table, how to be gentle, and that you’re not allowed to carry your little sister.
But, though it sounds cliché, I am learning so much more from you.
You are teaching me how to love. Oh, to love like you, little one. You love with everything you have. You have such a big heart. When your sister so much as murmurs you run to her immediately, you cry if she cries, you try to cheer her up, you come and tell me ‘Zara’s crying’, even though I can hear her myself, you say to her ‘awww Zara, what’s wrong?’. Though you are very assertive with other children you have a specific gentleness that you save for your sister. You constantly say to us ‘cuddle, cuddle’ and ‘I love you mummy / daddy / Zara / Nanna / Granpa’. It absolutely melts my heart. You melt my heart multiple times a day. You make my heart full. You make it sing.
You teach me to embrace life, to live in the moment, to notice little things, to question what every noise is that we hear together.
You have a favourite song and you insist that we always put it on and dance to it in the kitchen. Sometimes I feel we can’t possibly dance any more. You show me that we can. Sometimes I am tired of dancing. But I know, when you no longer want to dance with me every day, I’m going to miss this.
You adore your little sister. You literally cannot leave her alone. You ask about her constantly when she is asleep, you cannot wait for her to wake up. You are so lucky have her. She is lucky to have you. I hope you always love her this much.
You have big emotions, and that’s ok. I have big emotions sometimes too. When life overwhelms you I try to drop everything to cheer you up. I want you to always run to me when life is too much to deal with alone.
On Sunday nights you make pizza with Grandpa. You stand on a chair at the kitchen bench and pat the dough onto the pizza tray and spread the toppings out. You never want to miss making pizza. When you eat it you pull all the toppings off and only eat the base.
You are very strong willed, extremely determined. I knew this about you almost from the moment of your birth. This is a gift. Use it for good.
You are so clever. Now you are learning to talk I’m getting an insight into the depth of thoughts in your head, I’m starting to understand how good your memory is. Today you remembered that I packed chocolate cake for our picnic at the farm. You were talking about the chocolate cake all morning. And, after we ate it, all afternoon. I love that you are learning to talk. I really love talking to you.
You are so friendly, very outgoing. You remember everyone’s name and something about them. When you see your cousin Elizabeth you always give her a big hug. Your warmth and love is truly contagious.
You are friends with everyone. But your favourite people are me, Daddy and Zara.
Never forget that we are your favourites. You are our favourite too. Because family is first and forever. We are the ones who will never give up on you. You can run to us when you are two. And you can run to us when you are 32. We’ll be here, little one. We promise you that.