Dear Small Z,
You woke up, still five. Not until 10.09 in the morning were you truly six – not until then had you emerged, under the water, where you were caught by your dadda – who was somehow under the impression you were a boy. You were not.
Up until you turn six you are still a little person. But six? Six feels different. Bigger. You are becoming more and more your own person. More strident in your opinions, confident with your beliefs and even more keen to seek out new things to learn, decipher and discover. Bigger…but still Small.
You got out of bed, but you didn’t run toward the loungeroom. No. The first thing you did was go into your own room, find your sewing box, and get out the ‘ladybug’ you had made for Small DB as a consolation for it not being her birthday. I helped you to finish it for her. It was a lovely thing to do and I wanted to write it here so I would always remember.
Small DB gave you the little heart she had stitched with silver thread and a button – you opened it first of everything…
Z’s birthday present from the parent brigade – a Kindle – tricked up with gelaskins.
The day shone like it was polished and we began it with presents and porridge. The second last swimming lesson of the week. Nothing was going to interrupt the excitement of your birthday. Annoyances were ignored. At the cafe after your lesson, your very best friend gave you the first of what became (over the following days) a RIVER of Sylvanian toys, and you were SO HAPPY
You had originally requested to go to the ctiy for the day, but swimming lessons and beautiful weather made you decide on the beach. Not any beach. Birdrock Beach in Mount Martha. So off we trundled. Your dad tried to make you change your mind, go to a more accessible beach – one without miles of stairs down a steep cliff, but you wouldn’t be swayed, and I was glad.
The sun was hot, our rolls were sandy and someone had taken the only shady spot, but we had fun in the water. You found the tree that you had kept in your thoughts, and climbed it – “It’s my tree house!!”
You saw a group of boys, about six of them. They looked about seven up to nine years old. “I want to play with them,” They were jumping off the stairs into the hot hot sand – about five feet below. “OK,” I said, “Go on!” You grabbed my hand. “You come with me!”
I did. You walked up to them, at some disadvantage from being at the bottom of the steps. “Can I play too?” I was SO awed by you – because I could NEVER have done that – not at any stage of my career as a kid. They all shuffled their feet. “Yeah. OK.” And you were in. They all showed you their different jumps, and one of them did flips across the sand. I was impressed.
You hung out for a while, did a few jumps of your own and then went for a walk with M and Small DB. Apparently you found a starfish and put it on your head. The rest of the day involved an ice-cream, dinner, playing outside with the hose, and waving at the ice-cream van as it trolled hopefully along our street.
In the evening you sat with your sister on the boat trailer that we’ve left parked out on the street, and you both looked like a TEAM! One not to mess with. A team wrapped up in its own dreams and discoveries.
You are six, Zoe Evangeline, and I can hardly believe it…and yet…the older you get, the more exciting the journey becomes. Like we say – I love you to the Big Bang and back. Happy Birthday to you.