To my sweet little Ellenah, Did you know that once upon a time, the thought of having a little girl absolutely terrified me? In a time when so much comes down to who we are on the outside… and comparison (the thief of joy) plagues so many. It’s a scary time to be a girl or a woman, let alone to raise one. It was hard enough when I was younger. People made comments about what I looked like, all of the time. I would return home from school on the daily and try to think of ways that I could make my legs shorter, ways to looks shorter…to blend in with the other girls my age. I would stare at my face in the mirror, for what felt like hours. Sometimes I would stare at it for so long that it would eventually distort my reflection and then I…

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Dear Noah, Tomorrow you are turning seven! Tonight I am sitting here having just written in your birthday card and I am surrounded by banners and balloons that say ‘Happy Seventh Birthday’ and it doesn’t feel like they belong in our home. I can’t look at the number and see you being this age. I feel like some time has been rather wickedly stolen from me and I will never see it again. But it’s all true. You will be seven. In just a few hours…and I am trying to catch up quickly. I need to catch up so that tomorrow morning, when you bundle in to bed with me and whisper that it is your birthday, I don’t fall apart. I feel like falling apart right now. My lips keep quivering quite hard, my eyes are full of tears…my face is a little contorted…because I am trying to push…

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Dear Noah (My Beautiful Boy), The sun has been shining lately and there have been blossoms on the trees. The world has started to look so beautiful after a long winter. This morning after a splash of rain, a cool release from the heat over the weekend, Ellenah and I walked back from the school run without you. We walked quite slowly. Ellenah because she is small and wanted to look at the snails which were on the move. Me because like every week day morning, I miss you. I especially missed you today. I missed you because while Ellenah crouched down low, taking all of the time in the world to look at the snail which I held in the palm of my hand for her, it hurt my heart that you were not there. You would have loved that snail. You would have made up a story about…

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   Dear Noah, A couple of afternoons ago, on a particularly hot day, you sat on the sofa, clammy and done with it all. In a bid to wind the day down, we sat just across from each other and started to talk. The conversation took a turn and you found yourself talking about the girl in your school, the girl that your six and a half year old self is ‘in love with’. I watched as your eyes lit up when you spoke about her, I can tell that you think she is beautiful and so funny. You have told me that to you, she is perfect. And I smiled… at the wrong time. To me, I captured a glimpse of the boyfriend, husband and man that I think that you will some day become. Sensitive, loving and warm. I drifted off, just for a few seconds…almost celebrating how…

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Dear Ellenah, I’m not starting this letter to you at all well. You my darling are turning four tomorrow and before I have even managed the start of this letter, I already have a tear on my cheek. I can’t believe how quickly this day has come around. You have been waiting for this day… one that in your eyes, will make you ‘big, big, big!’ I know it is selfish but, I don’t want you to be ‘big, big, big!’… I have truly cherished you this size, the size you are right now… with your bright, blonde hair and blue eyes. You look like an angel and despite the fact that can have an extremely quick temper, sharp wit and stong mind… You really are truly sweet. So fresh and so pure. I love you when you’re this big and I know that people say, ‘the older your children…

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