I didn’t know how to start this letter. When I sat down to write your first and second birthday letters, the words flowed onto the page and I knew exactly what I wanted to express. I was so full of light-hearted happiness and excitement. This time around, it’s harder. Even the happiest of this year’s memories are tinged with sadness. How do you summarise a year of so many twists and turns, heartache and turmoil, but a year in which you really blossomed and brought your daddy and me so much pride and joy?
Let’s start with the positive things shall we? Just over a week ago, I had a good old happy cry after coming out of a parent’s meeting with your class teacher, Ms Syndi. Her words really touched me. She thinks ever such a lot of you little one, not just for your ‘academic’ abilities (you’re a pro with words AND numbers, and good at art AND movement), but mainly because you are a kind, nurturing and lovely little girl who rushes to your classmates’ aid when they need help or are upset, who always helps to tidy up and who adds value to the world of others every day through your enthusiasm and gusto for life.
This strength of character was really put to the test in October when we had to be apart for ten days while I underwent radio-iodine treatment. I worried myself SICK over the build-up to that time – how would you cope without me? Would you sleep OK? How would you eat? Would you be sad at nursery? Would you be anxious? Little did I know that under the care of my wonderful mum and your amazing daddy,
you would be absolutely fine…scrap that – you would FLOURISH! When we were finally reunited and I was able to hold you again, I couldn’t wrap my head around how my little two and a half year old could have been so brave and resilient, while I had crumbled into a million pieces in your absence.
That’s what this year has shown me more than ever before – how incredibly strong and independent you are for someone so young. Every day you teach me what it is to be fierce and persistent and brave. Every day you teach me to be a better person.
OK, now for the sadder part. I don’t quite know how to express this, but I need to let you know that you saved my life this year. Between October and the new year, I wasn’t in a very good way. I cried every single day. It’s difficult for me to say this, but sometimes I didn’t feel like I wanted to go on. While I tried so hard to hide this from you, sometimes I just couldn’t manage it. But then you’d put your little hand in mine, or stroke my hair, or say “don’t worry, it will be better soon Mummy” in that sweet little voice and my heart just melted. It was in those darkest moments that you gave me a reason not to give up. I’m so grateful that I didn’t.
It’s funny how much we’ve collectively been through as a family in your short time alive, and I know there’ll be more to come in the future, but this year has taught me that we can get through anything that life throws at us. We’re a strong family unit, united by one, very important thing: LOVE! All we need to do is to depend on our ferocious love for one another and no mountain will be unsurpassable.
I love you with all my heart and soul little one.
From your Mummy xxx
Happy 3rd Birthday! I can’t believe you’re already three! It only seemed like yesterday that I was holding you in my arms at Al Ahli hospital and now you are a fully certified ‘threenager’! Bring on the theatrics or should I say ‘threeatrics’, haha get it??? (ahem, no more dad jokes I promise).
How do I ever begin to describe how proud I am to be your daddy? The truth is, I can’t. Every day, you fill our days will love and loudness …laughter and seeing your little cheeky face in the mornings is always the best part of my day. As you turn three, I thought long and hard about how I would best describe your fun-loving and fearless little personality and I’ve come up with the following words Sophia:
‘S’ is for ‘smart, sassy and self-confident!’
There’s no doubt about it that you’ve inherited mummy’s intelligence but it’s your sassiness and self-confidence that I’m always in awe of. A few months ago at nursery whilst you and your classmates were all being read a book, you asked your teacher if you could take over from her and proceeded to sit in front of your friends and read the story to them. Not only that, you got some props out! All your classmates loved it and we loved seeing your happy little face as you read to them.
‘O’ is for ‘obstinate’!
‘S’ could also have been for ‘strong-willed’! You certainly know what you want in life and you always find creative ways to get it. Now mummy, I do wonder where Soph gets that from?!
‘P’ is for ‘persuasive’
In the past month, you convinced boys to dress up in your princess dresses.
3 times. On different occasions.
I don’t think I need to say more!
‘H’ is for hilarious
I always say to people you’re the funniest person I know and I genuinely mean it. No one makes me laugh like you! I always think a day not laughed is a day not lived and with you in our lives, we’re certainly not in any danger of that!
‘I’ is for ‘Inquisitive’
In recent weeks, I’ve often thought my name is actually ‘why daddy?’ as opposed to just ‘daddy’ such is your curious nature. You’re always keen to learn and I have no doubt your inquisitive mind will take you very far in life.
(And finally) ‘A’ is for ‘adored’
This last one was the easiest to come up with. We love you so much and it’s clear to see that everyone else loves you too, from your family and friends, to Rowena and your teachers. You are such a loving, caring and kind little girl and we are all so proud of you. Happy Birthday!
Love daddy xxx