An Open Letter to my 4 Year Old Daughter: Happy Birthday!
We have just celebrated your 4th birthday (this letter is a bit late as we have been having so much fun I’ve not wanted to stop to write this!), and as I’ve done every year since you were born I’m writing you an open letter, to read when you’re older (here are the letters from your previous birthdays: 1st birthday, 2nd birthday, 3rd birthday).
I’m still trying to wrap my head round the fact you’re now 4 years old. I always used to laugh at my mum when she would reminisce back to when I was born, but now I get it. I can remember every second of the 24 hours leading up to your birth 4 years ago. I remember the excitement of finally getting to meet you.
It’s hard to take on board that you’ve been part of our family for 4 years, but equally it’s hard to remember what it was like without you.
You are like the missing piece of the puzzle that makes our family perfect. You are the most incredible little girl – you are beautiful inside and out, and I wish that more people in the world were like you, as it would be a far better and happier place.
If you see someone is sad you try to make them happy again.
You tell everyone close to you that you love them several times daily, totally unprompted.
You will put your cutlery down during a meal to lean over and give Daddy or me a kiss or a cuddle.
All you want and need in your little world is love. Love from Daddy, Léna and me. Love from your friends. You want to receive it as that’s your currency. That’s what you give.
Not only do you give lots of love but you provide us with tons of laughs too. When you were little we used to call you our little clown. And it’s a role you’ve developed into more and more.
The things you say, the facial expressions you pull and pretty much everything you do cracks us up (in a good way!).
Spending time with you literally lights up our lives.
You are loved by so many people.
You have a huge amount of friends who all think the world of you.
All the adults you spend time with (nursery teachers, ballet teachers, swimming teachers, horse riding teachers) gush over how adorable you are – both your cheeky face but also your unique personality and the way you are.
We can’t walk down the street without people stopping to talk to you, pinch your cheeks or take photos of you. There’s just something about you that everyone loves.
You think you’ve nailed the alphabet which just cracks us up:
You can now write and recognise your name, and I love your obsession with “Curly Ks” whenever you see them (what small children call the letter “C” in English).
You are not quite as adventurous (I mean crazy) as your big sister when it comes to climbing and dare devil stunts but you certainly are fairly fearless, and love following in your big sister’s footsteps.
Over 10 years ago, before I’d had my first baby, I really wanted to have two children, close in age, because I thought that way they’d grow up to be great friends. As it turned out that just wasn’t possible and there is a 6 year age gap between you and your big sister, Léna. It made me sad to realise you’d never have that closeness. What I didn’t realise was that age really didn’t matter as you two are so incredibly close, and have been since the moment you clapped eyes on each other.
I love that the two of you will spend hours together, playing in the pool, making up imaginary games or simply colouring side by side. You really are crazy about each other and best friends. The relationship I had hoped for so much is there and far stronger than I ever dreamt it would be.
This last year has been a bit of a crazy one for our family. For your 3rd birthday we had just arrived in Mauritius – a place where we knew no one and which we’d never visited. Over this year you have made some great friends, including two very special ones 🙂
You have started a new nursery, you have discovered that people around you speak both French and English, you have welcomed two new dogs into your life, you have started new activities, you have learnt to deal with being covered in sun cream and sometimes being covered in mosquito bites. You take great joy in pointing out geckoes to us.
Three weeks after your 3rd birthday you swam unaided for the first time and since then have turned into something of a water baby. You have snorkelled in the Indian Ocean unaided and watched dolphins swim alongside a boat we were out in.
You are growing up in such a different world to the one your sister was in at the same age, and I’m so crazily happy that your daddy and I took the risks and sacrificed time and money over the years to provide this life for you.
If I had to choose one word to sum up this past year as a family it would be HAPPY. I don’t think any of us has ever been this happy. Individually or as a family.
Thank you for bringing your special joy, fun, laughter and happiness into our family life and into the lives of everyone you touch.
Words might be my thing but I am literally lost for them when it comes to expressing just how much I love you.
You, and your sister, are the highlight of Daddy’s and my life, and you make us both insanely happy.
So today and every day of your life, remember that I love you more than words can ever say. Keep being you, keep being happy and keep living and loving life every day 🙂