Dear Caterpillar

In many ways the last year has flown by so quickly. How can you possibly be six already?  How can you be in your last term of Year One?  My baby is no longer a baby, no longer a toddler, no longer even a tiny child; but he is now a fully fledged small person with his own wants, dreams & ideas.

On the other hand, so much has happened in our lives I can hardly believe it’s only been a year since your fifth birthday.  As I always do when I write these annual letters to you, I just went back and re-read last year’s and it was so happy but also tinged with sadness when I touched on our acceptance that we’d only ever be a three person family and how we were slowly relaxing into that idea.  And now here we are – you’re sixth birthday is mere weeks before your surprise miracle baby sister is due to join us!  

There is absolutely nothing I’m looking forward to more than watching you meet your sister for the very first time.  It’s something we’ve dreamed of for so many years, and something I’d put in a box and tried to forget about when I believed it wasn’t going to happen.  You love her so much already – you hug and kiss my belly, you talk to her and once even sang.  I feel my heart could explode with it and I can’t wait for that moment when you get to kiss her for real.

Anyway, enough about Sis – this post is all about you, right?

You make us prouder and prouder every day, little man.  School continues to be a massive strength and you’re near the top of the class for reading and writing which makes this writing mother want to burst.  You have so many friends and even a little girlfriend who you insist you’ll marry and have four children with!

There is so much to be proud of but my favourite thing about you is your emotional intelligence.  You are wise beyond your years when it comes to understanding and respecting other’s feelings.  Sometimes you take my breath away with your gestures, questions and compassion.

A few weeks ago I got my c-section date; it was closer to my due date than I expected and I wasn’t able to hide my emotions in front of you.  I cried and you asked why and I admitted it’s because your birth had been scary and I didn’t want that for me and your sister too.  Two days later you drew me a picture of the two of us and from you a speech bubble that read “Mummy, forget about how I was born.” This was your way of comforting me; of saying “It’s okay, Mum.  Be brave.  There’s no need to be scared because we got through it, remember?”  I burst into tears again (happy this time), held you close and reassured you that I would never wish to forget completely because it’s how you came into the world but that yes, you’re right, I don’t need to hold onto the fear anymore.

As you grow, your life continues to include interests outside of our little unit.  You’ve joined clubs at school and have started new hobbies.  You talk about friends I barely know.  You have learnt things I’m not aware of.  You read and understand more than I give you credit for.  Much as this can be a bitter pill to swallow for us mothers of six-year-olds it’s also an absolutely beautiful thing to witness.  Can there be any greater gift than watching the child you grew and nurtured learn to spread their little wings and think independently of you?  It’s a genuine privilege and I’m thirsty for more.  

The next year will be a huge adjustment for all of us.  You’ve had me to yourself for six years and I wonder how well you’ll share.  I can’t wait to see you become the big brother I never thought you’d be and watch everything you and your sister can teach each other; moments that you’ll share that can only be shared by siblings.

Happy 6th birthday, baby.  We continue to learn and grow together and I wouldn’t have it any other way.



Related posts:

On Your Fifth Birthday

A Letter To My Son After PND

Pregnant After PND – The First Trimester

6 Ways To Prepare An Older Child For Potential PND Relapse

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