My dearest, darling girl, it’s been another incredible year.
I didn’t quite expect to be writing another letter again so soon. It feels like just yesterday that your daddy and I sat down together to write you your first birthday letters, but as clichéd as it sounds, time really does fly when you’re having fun.
Fun is definitely the word I’d use to sum up your second year of life. From those first early toddles around the marina, to the time that you’d gained just enough confidence to let go of my hand and waddle off ahead of me (a definite sign of the headstrong little girl you were rapidly becoming), from those ‘peek-a-boos’ to full on games of hide and seek around the house, I have giggled more with you this year than I ever have with anyone else in my life.
I have been so proud as I’ve watched you form loving attachments and strong friendships which I didn’t even know were possible in somebody so young. You can name every single one of the people you love, from your nursery friends to your uncles, aunties and cousins, and they come up in conversation all the time. You have even named your huge Duplo figurine entourage after most of them, and it warms my heart whenever I hear you engaging in imaginative games with these mini people who represent bigger people who already mean so much to you.
There have been oh-so-many moments this year when my heart has swelled with parental pride, but none so strong as this week, in the lead-up to your second birthday. We’re currently away in Oman, having a little family break and you have been an absolute delight. Your language has developed just enough now for you to strike up a conversation with people you meet, and you have done so with gusto, proudly telling everyone you encounter about the food you’re eating, the sandcastles you’re making and when you’re going to go swimming. Your bubbly laugh and sweet, inquisitive nature is contagious and everyone on the resort has taken to you overnight. You’ve already made quite a name for yourself!
At the same time, I made the decision this week to finally wean you from the one or two feeds that you’ve been continuing to have during the day – and the many you attempt to snatch at night. It’s been difficult for you, but you’ve responded admirably, opting for long cuddles at night time instead. Tonight as I said goodnight and you tucked into me, you stroked my chest and said “I uv you mummy” and I had to strain so hard to stop myself from disturbing you with my quiet sobs. I know that however hard this transition has been for you, it has been 100 times harder for me. My body already aches to bring you to my breast and feed you one last time.
But the truth of the matter is, you’re growing up now, and you don’t need me in the way you used to. This bittersweet realisation is one which I’m sure will hit me again and again as you grow older, and I’m ready to embrace it all because I know that each change in you brings with it so much happiness and joy.
Every day you thank me. “Tatu mummy!” you exclaim as I pass you your breakfast, and “tatu mummy!” as we pick out a story to read at night, but do I thank you enough? I don’t think I do. So today, on your birthday, I want to say a huge thank you to you for turning my life around, for making me burst with happiness each and every day and for being the person that you are – full of vibrance and energy and light.
I’m so proud to be your mummy.
Happy second birthday little one.
Where is the time going?! It seemed like yesterday we were at the park, celebrating your first birthday. Now I feel like life has been put on fast-forward and here we are in Oman, celebrating your second!
Seeing your little face every time I wake up is my favourite moment of the day. Your cheeky grin is contagious and your little laugh is infectious and it’s exciting to see your little personality taking shape. You’re headstrong like me and you certainly know what you want in life (and you have an uncanny ability to always get it!), plus it seems you have also inherited my sense of humour (something you can thank me for or, more likely, blame me for as you get older!).
You’re such a caring and thoughtful little girl and you seem to captivate the attention of everyone as soon as you walk into a room. These are traits you undoubtedly share with your mummy. We still don’t know where your bossiness comes from, or indeed your artistry to sing songs so wildly out of tune but let’s just say mummy doesn’t seem to agree with me on these points which might be a strong clue…
Little Soph, we are all so proud of you. Now, I know I may not be perfect but at least I know when I look at you, I got a few things in life perfectly right. I constantly go between wanting you to be my little girl forever and being excited by seeing you grow up. I can’t believe my little girl is now two. Just promise me one thing: let me continue to love you a little more before you’re not so little anymore.
Happy Birthday to my little bear.
All of the photography in this post is courtesy of the talented Carmen of With A Little Grace Photography. For information and bookings, you can contact her via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or via text on: +974 3334 1683.