The past few months have felt a bit like an episode out of the book "when will it be spring?". Time is relative in the three year old mind. There is no concept of days, weeks, months. Even "tomorrow", though uttered, may mean something entirely different.
She had wished her birthday to come, like a fairy. And wished it again. A groundhog day question of "when is my birthday?" "Is it my birthday yet?". So we measured time in BIG STEPS. When it's spring, it will be your birthday. When will it be spring? When the flowers are blooming and the trees pop their new leaves out of their buds.
Every sign of spring was noted, explored, watched. Snowdrops caused enthusiasm, so did crocuses, though they confused with their many colours, surely they can't all be the same plant? We watched buds turn green and the slow progress of the daffodil stalks.
Because, above all, it will be your birthday when the daffodils are blooming. Because, four years to the day, you were born to a sea of daffodils, with a daffodil song humming in my head, a song half remembered, well loved, a bit like your birth itself.
And here you are, little fairy princess mermaid, 4 years old, an independent little big girl, confident in your world, the most sociable person I've ever seen, ever on the go, with an exhuberance of emotions that is unrivalled. Today, at last, we were able to wake you to the soft words of "it's your birthday". And all day you celebrated that you were four years old, and that you would be four all the time now. So proud to be a big sister, convinced to be taller than daddy even. How you loved every one of your presents, the puppet theatre and hand puppets that I spent every possible 10 minutes of Snowflake's rare evening sleep time trying to sew together in time, the Disney Princess jigsaw and the Hungry Hippos game, the fairy that your granny and granddad sent you, the Prinzessin Lillifee purse from your Munich friend, the many books - all promises of fun times we will spend together.
Maybe this will be the first birthday you will remember many years to come. I hope that we will remember, how proud and happy you were to be four. No longer a baby, not a toddler even, you are indeed your very own self, your own person on her own two feet.
And I love this person to bits.