On Friday we celebrated Elsie’s third birthday. I’ve struggled with this one more than I was prepared for, but I managed to write her this letter on the day which I’m sharing here, along with a handful of pictures taken on her birthday and at her little tea party the following day…
It’s true what they say, blink and you miss it. Your third year passed by so fast that I’m having a hard time accepting it’s been 12 months, 4 seasons and two shoe sizes since we celebrated your last birthday.
The anniversary of your birth stirs up a rainbow of emotions within me; I feel overwhelmingly lucky to have you as a daughter and have loved your company every one of these 1,095 days. I’m also reminded that time inevitably keeps pressing forwards, pushing you ever closer to adulthood. I’m not panicking about that, because we have many years of your childhood left to enjoy, but birthdays are certainly a marker, a reminder that childhood, and, in particular this year, the innocence of the preschool years, don’t last forever.
Three years ago, I very nearly died birthing you. I rarely allow myself to think on that because it find it quite haunting, the memories of your birth are still raw and uneasy. It all happened so fast I don’t think I processed it for quite some time after you were eventually placed in my arms. Because of the hours I missed with you just after you were born, we spent the first week skin to skin, enveloped together in bed whilst I regained my strength. Because of the unexpected path we took getting you here, your birthday is inevitably a reminder of the fragility of life and of how lucky I am to be here to celebrate with you.
You are a delightful child, a wild spirit, a giggler, a singer, a lover of books and of twirling and dancing around a room. This year you wished for a fairy for your birthday and a party at home with your friends. I decorated the table with a bunch of candy coloured ranunculus, beeswax candles and a string of tiny colourful paper bunting. We hung bright balloons and paper garlands and sung Happy Birthday to you at breakfast. After Daddy went to work and we’d dropped Raff at school, I asked you what you wanted to do with your special day and you requested that I took you to the heath and watched as you spent an hour splashing in the boggiest, muddiest of puddles. Your joy in the simplest of things is infectious and, quite possibly, the best thing about being your mother.
Happiest of birthdays to you poppet. Thank you for being such a generous soul and for the hundred cuddles you ask for each day, know that I need them as much as you do xxx