In 2012 I started a parenting blog, Franglaise Mummy, (which I’ve since retired) and in 2013 I decided to write a birthday letter to my daughters for their 1st and 7th birthdays. I continued that tradition every year, and although this doesn’t really fit with this new blog I don’t want to stop it! So here is my open letter to my youngest daughter, Clémence, on her 6th birthday (you can read the other open letters here: 1st birthday, 2nd birthday, 3rd birthday, 4th birthday, 5th birthday):
Happy Birthday to you my funny, happy, sweet, loving, big girl. This year has seen so many changes in you, and my heart bursts with love the more time I spend with you.
I know this letter means nothing to you now, but I have visions of you reading it when you’re older and smiling at how you used to be. Maybe you’ll read it when you have your own 6 year old daughter. Maybe you’ll read it after I’m gone and you’ll know just how much I loved you. Maybe you’ll read it as a moody teenager and you’ll know that Mummy is not such a monster after all 😉
In January you started school in Year 1 and it was a big shock to the system. Suddenly you HAD to be up at 6am, rather than choosing to wake up then. By 7am you were on the school bus, being taken off to school some 12 miles away.
You were so big and brave as you set off independently with your big sister, without Mummy and Daddy.
But the new long school day took its toll and every day you would fall fast asleep on the bus on the way home, exhausted from the heat and the need to sit, listen and concentrate for 5 hours a day.
Despite this you LOVE school. Everyone tells me that when they see you at school you have a HUGE smile on your face. You are so comfortable and self-confident, you chat away to everyone and really love life.
You have this air of happiness about you that can’t help but lift people up. Strangers see you and smile. People we know tell me how much joy you bring.
You smile pretty much constantly (except when you’re exhausted and have meltdowns!) and you’re such a clown. You love pulling faces and being silly. There is nothing you love more than making us laugh. And oh how we laugh.
Even when you don’t try to make us laugh you do, with the funny things you come out with. Just last night I put you to bed and you said to me “do you know what I like Mummy? I like writing 7s.” It was said so seriously I had to hold my laughter until I left your room, but it makes my heart burst and made me so happy, and made me laugh.
Oh to be 6 years old and to have something as simple as writing 7s make you happy!
You are so full of love, it literally bursts out of you.
You hug, you kiss and you tell us how much you love us all the time. It is just the best, and you know we love you so much too, even more than you, although it’s hard for you to believe that.
You tell us time and time again “I love you 159” as that’s the biggest number you know at the moment.
I am so proud of you and everything you do. You are an absolute fish in the water and you are in your element in the sea or the pool. For a couple of years now you haven’t thought anything of jumping off a boat in the ocean to swim with dolphins in the wild, with no swimming aid. And this year your swimming strokes have really come on too.
This year you also started doing drama, gymnastics, contortion and aerial hoop and you love them as well as doing them well.
When I watched you pole dancing around a parasol yesterday I realised the progress you’ve made with these activities, even if that’s not exactly the career that we would choose for you 😉
You might not be reading well yet, and you might still be working at riding your bike without stabilisers, but you are having fun as you learn. And things are very different here in Mauritius to when your big sister was doing all this in London, when she was your age.
I love that you know that Mummy works, and that sometimes she talks to ladies on her computer for work, and that although you don’t disturb her most of the time, sometimes you do, and you wave and say hi to those ladies 🙂
In the last 4 months you have lost 5 teeth; for about a month you sported this awful Nanny McPhee look as your final top tooth just turned wonky but wouldn’t fall out. Then, finally, the night before your birthday party you were playing with Léna, bit her leg, and the tooth came out leaving you with a vampire mouth full of blood! How we laughed! And now you have that very cute gappy toothed grin of kids your age, and it makes me love you even more.
I’m writing this while you are at school and it’s making me miss you as you are such a wonderful, happy, positive, loving and fun person to be around.
Stay happy my Clémence, stay positive and fun, keep letting small things like writing 7s bring you joy, don’t let the negative people and society bring you down. You are fabulous just as you are.
I literally could not love you any more than I do right now.
I love you 159 and even more,
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