My dearest Grace,
Now you are ten. To me, ten is a pretty big deal. Never again will you been an age where you are a single digit
This has been a year where, not only have you grown in so many ways – both physically and emotionally – but Ross and I have asked so much of you and each and every time you have risen to the occasion.
At the beginning of the year, just after you turned 9, I spoke to you about puberty. But, you not only felt comfortable talking to me about this subject, you also spoke to Ross about it. It really showed me what a good relationship you have with the both of us.
The first real test of the year was when Ross and I went to Cyprus for our first round of fertility treatment. We told you we were going away to get help to have a baby. You stayed with both sets of parents and were wonderful about it. We both found it so hard that I was away for Mother’s Day but you spent the day with the person who gave us a home when you were 3 months old. My mum, your Granny, and that meant a lot to me.
When we came back from Cyprus, we explained everything properly to you. On the day of our result, you came out from school and asked us expectantly. When Ross told you no, the 3 of us stood in the middle of the street and hugged each other. You were so understanding. We also discussed miscarriage with you. We asked if you knew what it meant and you told us you did and explained. We couldn’t work out how you knew and you said that you had seen them speak about it on the film ‘Marley and Me’.
We had a wonderful and magical holiday to Ireland in May. There were plenty of beautiful places to see but I think the best one was the Giants Causeway. This place where you made your usual wish, the one you made each time you had an opportunity to over the previous 4 years. More of that later in this post.
Then, July was your final month at St Bartholomews. We all knew that this would be your biggest personal change for some time. You were very ready for your new school but it was going to be hard to leave behind a place of familiarity. It was the first place we really got to know when we had moved to Somerset 3 years previously. The walks to and from school that either Ross or I shared with you and a great teacher which you had had for 2 years. I was a blubbering mess for the last two weeks of term as I attended different celebrations but it was your last day when me and Granny and Grandad came to meet you, that you came out of your classroom for the last time and you dissolved into tears. Suddenly it dawned on you that it was the end of an era.
Summer wasn’t easy for you. You spent 3 separate weeks away from home and you didn’t like it. The last week of the holidays which we spent together was a very special time.
The new school started and we didn’t need to worry – you loved it. You came home telling us that you wished that school was also at the weekend! Whilst we knew it wouldn’t last, we were very happy that you had settled in so quickly – and I have already written a post about how well you doing after the first month or so. You have continued to do well but you were disappointed not to receive an award at the end of term. You have discussed this with us and we know you are going to try even harder next term.
Your next big test came when Ross and I went for our second round of fertility treatment to Spain. We all went to Surrey for my mums 70th birthday meal and then the three of us spent the night in a hotel together before we dropped you at your fathers. It was half term so you were there and then came home to spend lots of time with Ross’ mum and dad. We spoke to you regularly and this time you got really upset about not being with us. You told us that the first night we were away you cried yourself to sleep. I felt so helpless not being there to cuddle you but, once again, you were completely understanding as to why. And this time you understood it better because of what we went through in March.
We expected a lot of you as we asked you to keep our family business to yourself for now. You did and you were wonderful. I’ll never forget the day you came home from school. Test result day. You came up to the bedroom when you got home to see both Ross and I and we were able to give you the good news. We explained it wasn’t time to celebrate just yet and helped you understand why. For 10 long weeks you kept it to yourself. You were adamant that it was just something for the 3 of us.
Those 10 weeks in my early pregnancy really showed me the measure of you. You cared for me, held my hand during injections, you wouldn’t – and still won’t – let me pick up anything heavy. You were helpful above and beyond what we asked. You keep talking about things you want to do with the baby, things you want to buy for the baby and the fact that you want to read some of your favourite books from when you were small. But it was your face when you came with us to the 10 week scan that really showed us how much you already loved your brother or sister. You told us that it was so cute and you looked so happy.
So you see, this last year has shown you grow in so many ways. You have also achieved both your yellow and orange belts in karate and continued with learning the piano on top of everything else.
Today, as you celebrate your tenth birthday, I know that this will be another day where you will make a wish but, unlike the previous 4, you no longer have to ask for a brother or sister. That wish came true for you in November. Instead, I know that you will change this to hoping that the baby is healthy – something you have said to us on a number of occasions over the past weeks – and something you told me when we pulled that chicken wishbone a few weeks back. So, on your next birthday, I’m looking forward to writing about what a wonderful big sister you are – and for you to wish for something for yourself but then, knowing you, you will continue with your unselfish and supportive ways. Don’t ever change darling.
All my love,