Every year, on the eve of my sweeet babes’ birthdays (after the cake has been made and the birthday table laid out) I plod upstairs with a sheet of paper and an envelope. I sit up in bed and I start to write…
I think of the birthday boy or girl…what I remember of them in the year they have just lived, the funny stories, what they are into, the milestones they have crossed…my memories and how I feel when I think about them. Then I put the letter in an envelope and address it “To ….. on the eve of your ….th birthday“. And it goes into a memory box for them to discover in future years.
I don’t know why I started this. Its just something I did instinctively on the eve of my daughters first birthday because I was so full of feelings about her first year and reminiscence about her birth that I just had to pour it out. And so this ritual began.
I do it because I just don’t want to forget the details, the little things that make up this amazing journey of childhood-parenthood that we are on together. I do it because I imagine that one day, it will be meaningful for them to sit and read words about what they were like as little ones. Can you imagine what a gift it would be to have 18 letters like this, one for each year of your life?
Last Friday, my sweet baby boy turned 4. Our home has been hosting two bouts of chicken pox (all done now – phew!) so we had to rejig the birthday plans – and after watching a real princess being made (!) many of us gathered in the back garden, adorned with metres and metres of bunting for lots of fun and eating and singing to celebrate the day our beautiful Toby came to us.
Extra sweet was the little note I found taped to the dining room floor by daddy, to mark the spot where Toby splashed into the world!