Back late February 2020 my toddler turned into a preschooler and I began to compose a ‘letter to my daughter’ style post to accompany the photographs we had created to mark her 4th year. It was going to be her last ‘little’ summer, *the magic preschool years* aged 3 to 4, but it had come around so quickly it was like a train had slammed straight into my face.
I secretly hate my children’s birthdays, every bittersweet second and no matter how many positive feelings *should* have about their health and happiness. Each year feels like another blurry station that we’ve passed at warp speed. I long to pull the brake handle and clear the smog of life that clogs up our everyday.
Ironically I didn’t finish her letter as the world became clouded by the coronavirus shaped clou. But here it is now May 2020 and the words seem more poignant than ever.
My promise for the last summer .
My girl, my baby. You have just turned 4 and already I can feel you slipping away from me. This is your last summer, with me before school takes you away and a whole new host of adventures, lessons, triumphs and falls will come your way. I thought that I was going to sail through this, you are my third child after all. Instead, here I sit late at night compelled to write these words for you, for us, just so I can ease the aching in my heart and hopefully one day you can look back and see how deeply my soul ached when you turned 4. This summer I promise to let you be wild, we’ll go to the beach as many time as possible and make an uncountable amount of daisy chains. I will make cardboard castles with you in the garden fill them up with your fairies and read stories to you of brave girls, magical lands and Dr Suess.
We will paint, I will guide you and show you how you can use colour to express yourself and I won’t take over. I promise. I’m going to let you wear what you want more often. I always cringe at character clothes but life is too short and if you want to be head to toe in Frozen faffery then fuck it you can. I’ll embrace it and I’ll let you. Even if I ‘swore’ I wouldn’t be ‘that’ mum, it’s ok. I know you’re just trying to define yourself and If I consistently limit this type of harmless self-expression how are you ever going to learn to define yourself and make your stamp on the world? We’ll put the Disney posters you love up on your walls and the sequin pillows you love on your bed. I understand that you are not me. Even if you told me this week that you want to be and made me cry in the kitchen as I washed the dishes. The most humbling words I’ve ever heard…
…I’m going to be the best version of me as often as I can. I’m going to show you how to love passionately and care deeply. We’ll go for walks and talk about our family and all the things we love about them. We’ll make little surprises for them together, for the pure reason of simply seeing the joy on their face. I’m going to teach you how nice it feels to give to others.
This summer I am going to hold your hand as much as possible, swing you around anywhere and everywhere and tickle you for as long as you’ll let me. And kisses. I’m going to shower you with kisses and raspberry face farts and remind you over and over again how loved you are and how I’ll never stop loving you.
I’m going to try and teach you about friendships the best I can for a girl of such a young age. Women can be mean and I’m so nervous about you navigating this when I lose you to school. I’m going to help you to try new things this summer we are always going take things a little further and i want you to know I’ll be right there and it’s ok to try new things. We’ll build your confidence Inside and out. I’m going to teach you to be proud of yourself.
Love Mum, aged 36.
(wow 36 seems older when you type it!)
11 May 2020