Dear Avalyn Grace
Today, Friday 24th of February marks your 3rd birthday.
You've had a letter from me every year of your life. The first one when you were born, (this is the one I wrote when you were 6 months old) and (this is the one I wrote when you were soon to be one year old). You have been the inspiration for a whole series of blog posts describing our rather eccentric adventures together. So here's another letter from me to you.
The biggest change in your world right now ~ well, in all our worlds, is that you have a gorgeous little baby brother who worships you unquestioningly and unconditionally. Make the most of it because as soon as he starts walking, you're in for trouble!
Other changes: we've migrated from the Purple Buggy with a Mind of Its Own to a second hand collapsible buggy with dodgy brakes, which always go at roundabouts when we're travelling to my house, skeetering you across the bus at high speed and sending me into a panic. You find it terribly funny.
You are also a fully paid-up member of the Accessorize Club. You have a box of tiaras, crowns, necklaces and headbands. Yes, You Must Be Mad has tried to bring you up in a pinkless gender-neutral environment, but you have managed to tunnel your way out. Now each one of our adventures begins with a selection of appropriate bling to accompany it. I have to confess to being slightly envious: I'd secretly love to wander round Sainsburys in a tiara and sparkly boots, though I remind myself that I may yet come to it in my dotage.
For your birthday, you are going to the zoo ~ which you are looking forward to huguely as it has a soft play area with a gigantic slide. Animals? Well yes, there will be some animals obviously, but let's get our priorities right. There will also be a party in your house at some future date when the 'hand/foot & mouth' virus that I, in my ignorance, thought only occurred in cattle, has run its course.
As we approach our third year together, I look back and see how much you have taught me: your ability to live in the now; to find amazement and fun in mundane and ordinary things. Your life may be very circumscribed in one sense, but it is crammed with wonder, joy and delight because that is how you choose to experience it.
Happy Birthday, my special girl. You have inspired and entertained us all ever since you arrived in this world. Long may you continue to do so.
As for the thought that your next birthday marks the end of our carefree adventures together, and the start of your schooldays ~ well, we're not going to think about it, are we?
EDITOR: There are many many super blog posts from Carol about Little G on the website. Click on Relationships/Familes link.