Letters to my children

To Henry on your fifth birthday

Oh my darling boy, where do I even start.

As you turn 5, the world seems to be getting ready to take its first steps into a life living with Covid. We still wear masks, we still socially distance but there is also seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. A hope of hugging our loved ones again, and spending time with our friends without restrictions.

Through it all though you have been such a star. You have taken each and every change in your stride and have accepted a new world with an ease most adults would envy. Home school, isolation, too much time with me. You’ve adapted to it all and I could not be more proud. I sometimes have to remind myself that you are only four – now five – and not to expect so much of you.

You are thriving in school though, you love your friends and the number one thing you want to do for you birthday is to have a superhero party with them all. I worried that 12 months in lockdown would impact your social abilities, but I needn’t have. You love your friends and it’s wonderful to see you engage with them.

Your teachers tell us that you are a lovely little boy who tries hard and is always willing to help. You know all your sounds, can count to 100 and are starting to pull it all together to read sentences. Next year you move up to year 1 and to be honest my love, it all feels like it’s going too quickly.

It feels like yesterday that I held you in my arms, the little bruised bundle of perfection that completed our little family. And now here you are. 5 years later and the most wonderful boy.

You are still such a gentle caring soul that loves your family – even your sister despite the fact you bicker and fight constantly – and you still love to snuggle in for cuddles: something that I treasure. It’s been amazing to watch you find your voice and start to stand up for yourself against a headstrong older sister, but you now hold your own. You choose your battles though and will often let her get her own way because you love her and care. I desperately hope you hold on to that sensitivity my lovely boy.

The dinosaurs and trains have given way to superheroes, monster trucks and Hot Wheels. You are still a fussy eater, though we are working on it. You’re still a bed invader most nights under the cover of darkness, though we secretly relish the midnight snuggles. It’s a wonderful reminder that – despite the fact you are growing up, finding out who you are, and growing more independent by the day – you are still my baby boy.

Happy birthday Henry Bear.

I love you always and forever, for all the stars in the sky xxx

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