Today is our sweet Grace's fourth birthday. Waking with the sun, we sat by the warmth of our fireplace and showered her with cuddles, presents and birthday wishes. Us three girls enjoyed morning tea at Grace's cafe of choice followed by a long play at the park in the sunshine.
In true mama fashion, I spent much of the day thinking about the four years that feel as though they've passed in the blink of an eye and about how much my heart bursts with love and pride for our 'Gracie girl'.
As I did last year, here is a letter I've written, a few snapshots from the past twelve months and a little birthday interview...
My beautiful girl,
You have blossomed into such a sweet-natured, caring little poppet who is a delight to spend time with and whose happy spirit and gentleness make you such a 'Grace'. Physically, you are tall and slender with a whisper of a waist, long limbs and delicate features. Your hair is long now, long enough for braids and you proudly declare how much it's grown every time you brush those silky curls.
You are a girl with confidence and enthusiasm, yet a shy side around strangers. You have a nurturing heart and a sensitive soul... an over-thinker whose little mind ticks away over the world's workings and your niggling concerns. Outdoors, you are most content pottering about - picking flowers, making 'cakes' in the sand patch and mothering Asha. Afternoons are spent whizzing about on your scooter or bike and having adventures with Sophie who you've quickly learnt listens to your every word and copies your every move. Indoors, you draw and colour and craft away, practising your newly learnt writing skills and dressing up your stuffed toys with ribbons and hair clips and dolls' clothes.
I'm often amazed by the kindness your little four year old self displays. The other day I found you unstacking the dishwasher before we left for kindy, telling me you were doing so because "then you'll have more time to play with Sophie". This morning, you emptied out your money box wanting to give Daddy a handful of your coins after he'd jokingly remarked he was in need of some cash. If I ever use a stern voice with your mischievous sister, you chime in protectively with, "But Mummy, don't forget she's still a baby".
Recently, as we were driving in the car you asked me,
"How long will I be grown-up?"
"A long way away," I said, "After you've been to school and high school, then you'll be a grown-up".
There was pause as you thought about things...
"But Mummy, will you still be my Mummy when I'm grown up?" you asked, the concern obvious from the tone of your voice.
I reassured you with, "Of course. I'll always be your Mummy. Forever."
... I'm so very blessed to be able to say you're eternally mine...
All my love,