I’m staring at a blank page, fingers poised above the keyboard, wondering what I will say to you as I write this. Right now, you are five years old, you are almost unbelievably sweet and adorable – except I do believe it, since you’re my little girl, daddy’s little princess.
Do you drive me mad sometimes? Of course you do – that’s what kids do to their parents. You’ll get upset over how your gloves feel over your hands, you’ll need to be cajoled into seating down at the table at dinner time, and you won’t go to sleep when you’re told – bedtime is apparently just an extension of playtime!
Yet, these are things easily forgiven, as you’ve not only given me the best memories of my life so far, but I know there are many more happy milestones to come.
I still recall with crystal clarity the day you were born. You were so tiny, so precious, so beautiful. I have never felt so emotional and happy as I did in that moment that I got to see you for the first time, and from that first little cuddle we shared, I’ve never wanted to let you go. So many of the best moments for me have been when you would lay your head on my chest and drift off to have a little nap, even snoring away contentedly on daddy, feeling snug and safe in my arms.
At this stage of your life, people might say you’re not where you should be at school. I say that’s a load of tosh and that you are exactly at the stage you should be at. You’ve learned so much and every day you learn a little bit more. Every child learns at their own pace and besides, it doesn’t matter how bright or clever you are, what matters to me is that you are happy. I’m not exactly the smartest man in the world, and at one time I wished I was smarter, fitter and well, better than I am, but I’ve come to learn that I’m fine the way I am. I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin and I hope you learn this lesson faster than I did. As a happy and content five year-old, you certainly seem to have learned it already!
You have a wonderfully creative mind and I hope this stays with you. Your imagination is a powerful gift and can be the source of so many amazing journeys. It makes me smile watching you line up your little toys for a race – then we have the epic battle between your evil pony(s) and the good guys! Especially funny is the spider game – I will walk my hand toward you like a spider, you will offer it catfood, and the spider will recoil in terror.
Another moment I will cherish forever goes back to when you were two. In your bedroom you had a net basket that held, among other things, your Toy Story figures. You proceeded to get them out, one by one, telling me who each one was, until you got to Rex. At this point, you stopped, looked at me and said ‘rawr rawr rawr!’ It was a brilliant, wonderful, spontaneous moment, and it still makes my heart swell when I think of it.
When you started nursery (and you looked simply too adorable in your little uniform), you went straight on in, without fear or hesitation. I was so proud of you for that – you took it completely in your stride. You also had your mother and I in stitches when we collected you – you told us you had bacon ice cream for a snack!
Another one of your early quirks was to go very shy whenever my mum and dad paid us a visit. You’d usually bury yourself in daddy’s arms for a few minutes, before warming up to them – this trend would continue for a little while, though you’ve since grown out of it!
You’re a constant source of surprise, but the best one has to be the deliberate (and very patient) prank you played upon me as a five year old – I’d come home from work and your mother and I had gone upstairs. You were babbling away downstairs and then all of a sudden went quiet. I thought nothing of it – sometimes you played quietly – and went to open my wardrobe. Inside was you, hands held up like a monster, wide-eyed too! You scared the life out of me, in an hilarious and completely unexpected way! I have to admit to being very proud of you for that!
I’m also pretty chuffed that you found Star Wars at an early age! Though you seemed to love and admire the bad guys… Darth Vader in particular!
Oh madam. You are the brightest star in my life. I love you, and I will always love you.