I watched you run today.
Your arms stretched through the unseen air, hands scooping great chunks of it propelling you forward. Your gait, a tiny bit lopsided, the only sign remaining from your past surgeries.
My heart caught in my throat, as I watched you, trying so hard to be fast, my little girl, my final baby, fighting against the wind, growing up in front of my eyes.
For a moment I was choked on how much I love you.
You turned six just over a week ago.
I don’t even know where six years went. One second you were a baby nuzzling at my breast, then a toddler in pretty much the same position. Then I looked away for a moment and I had a little girl.
But what a little girl you are.
Cheeky, funny, utterly beautiful. A budding comedian, feminist and possible surgeon based on your intricate medical knowledge.
You change your outfit four times a day. Someone commented how ‘girlie’ that made you; you simply looked bemused and said ‘it is not a girl thing, it is a me thing… I just love clothes, but not as much as shoes.’
No one can categorise you. You will defy them with a smile.
This weekend, we went to our village sports day. You had to be cajoled to join in your race.
It was for ages 5-7. You wouldn’t be the youngest but there would be children older than you. Instantly your hand went to your hip.
Will I be slowest Mummy? I’ve not even walked as long as most of them.
You make me smile with your frank analysis. I don’t know what you remember of your five months in cast, but I know the frustration that pulses through you when your body won’t move as quick as your mind.
I didn’t even respond. Your brother took you in hand and spoke to you in a whisper.
Whatever he said worked, you returned to me, face tight with worry and declared, “I’ll do it Mummy.”
You came last.
Those little legs pummeled the ground, but still the others finished way ahead. I worried that the defeat would sadden you, yet you skipped towards me.
“I beat them Mummy,” you cried with a smile.
Confused, I questioned “who?”
You twirled around, pointing your finger at the people standing and walking around the field.
“All of them, all of those who didn’t even enter, I won because I tried.”
I looked at my son who was smiling to himself and felt incredibly proud of my kids.
Happy belated birthday my lovely,
I hope you read this one day and realise that although much of the time I was losing my rag as a mummy, or trying to parent and work at the same time, or I was cleaning up rather than destroying the house with you with paints and play doh, I really did love you more than life itself.
And that my sweet, will never change.