I used to worry so much about you getting older, so frightened of anything out of my control having an influence over you.
I'd wonder how could I protect you. From everything.
I'd sit and stroke your little hands in mine, revelling in every perfect little inch of you, every hair, freckle and feature, beyond precious. I'd catch you when your little toddler wobbles made you tumble, I'd lie with you night after night until you'd eventually drift off to sleep - most nights I'd end up asleep myself and wake nose to nose with you at 3am.
We played, we laughed, we cried - especially when the tantrums first came, but we found a way through... eventually. I remember so clearly kissing you goodbye before I left for the hospital to have your little sister - it was the longest we'd ever been apart, you smiled and waved and made my heart soar.
I remember you walking into the room and asking to hold her - a mixture of excitement and pride radiating from your little face, you suddenly seemed so grown up..
Then you were big sister number two, bouncing into to big school, the bag on your back almost the full size of you, making friends and frightening the life out of me with your passion for sports and summersaults.
There's something about all the firsts with your first.. it gets you right in the feels..
I've spent ten whole years learning with you,
Growing with you.
I feel somewhat less afraid lately, it's like the older you get the more I get to see how incredible you really are, I mean I might have had an inkling the day you were born but you just keep surprising me, you just keeping filling me with the feels.
You know your own mind, you're not so easily led, you're not afraid to say how you feel, you care, you question, you laugh, you love, you're sure, and you're secure. You're colourful and you're kind. You're you. Just you.
Thank you for making me fear everything and nothing. Thank you for the feels and water in my eyes - every single day.
Thank you for being you.