Now I should really be posting about my trip to Butlins, but I can't escape the fact that today my eldest daughter turns 5. So sorry Butlins, but you will have to wait. And just as a quick update, I wanted to let you know that the party for 25 little monsters in my own home turned out to be not quite as hideous as I had imagined. The sun shone for the whole three hours of the party, there were no tears, no accidents and no one actually set foot inside the house, except to use the loo of course...I'm not quite that mean. I won't bore you with the details. Suffice to say, you can now call me party planner extraordinaire!
But now back to today.
My darling Renée. Happy Birthday little one. I can not believe that you are 5 years old - so grown-up, with your long hair and flawless skin, able to tell me what clothes you want to wear but quick to throw a tantrum when I choose something you don't like. A big girl, but still so small and vulnerable. You are brave beyond words and can hold back your tears when you fall over and scrape your knee, but you can still cry when your balloon bursts (and I'm so sorry about the enormous red one that you saved all the way through Butlins, even rescuing it after it had flown off the balcony, only for me to burst it on the rose bush as I was unloading the car at home). I'm sorry I made you cry - I will buy you another big red balloon and kiss your broken heart better.
I remember when you were first born. Your face was so wise. I seriously thought that you had already lived a thousand lives. Maybe you had. Your name means 're-born', so maybe that says it all. When you cried I sang you Amazing Grace and explained that you had to stop crying or else you'd wake up the whole hospital and I'd look like I didn't know what I was doing. You obliged in an instant and I will be forever grateful.
Thank you for coming into my life and making me smile and cry and feel things that no one, except you could make me feel.
You are unbelievably clever. More so than I ever was, I am sure. And as much as I am able to teach you, you can teach me too. You have taught me a lifetime of lessons already - to be patient, tolerant, kind, loving...all these things I owe to you.
Thank you for being the most amazing daughter. Every day when I look at you I realise just how lucky I am. Happy fifth birthday my little horserider, swimmer, comedian, daughter, sister, grandaughter, friend.
May only good things happen to you in your life. And if for any reason they don't, then I will be here for you, always loving you and remembering the first ever time I fell in love with your little squashed face.
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