To Bodhi on his Fourth Birthday

Dearest Bodhi,

Happy birthday!

First of all, I have to apologise that this post is late. We went to Center Parcs the week before your birthday (where you had the best time!) and I have fallen a little bit behind with this as it was actually your birthday on Saturday, but I couldn’t not write you a letter as I do for everyone else.

You have grown so much this year. They always say that the year 3-4 is always a huge year in terms of development and that really is true. Your speech is great now and you have lovely conversations with everyone. You are learning to count and just this past week have started using the toilet properly without a seat. I’m trying to teach you all of the skills you will need for school. You’ve got getting dressed down (when you feel like it) and I am now teaching you to turn clothes the right way when they’re inside out. To carry your own plate and bowl and put your shoes on the right feet (still a challenge)!

I cannot believe how quickly the years before you start school have gone so quickly and in September you will be going to school. I look at you and think about how young you feel in comparison to your siblings but I don’t know if that is me forgetting or just because you are a summer baby. I feel a little bit like you have been short-changed with such a huge chunk of your life having been spent in lockdown. Then with Mummy getting injured and really hurting her back, I had planned to do all sorts of things with you before you started school, like trips to Legoland and playdates and the park and I just have not been able to manage it and I feel sad about that and I am sorry. Daddy has promised to take off a couple of days and do some things with you including Legoland, so I hope you both will have an amazing time together.

You have got so tall, people always think you are much older than you are. Your shoes are size 11 and the sandals I have just bought for you are actually a 12 (for perspective your 8-year-old sister has just gone into a 13!). You love pre-school and now go 4 mornings per week with lunch club. Forest school and playball are your favourite parts. It will be sad to see you leave there as it’s such a lovely pre-school that both you and Aria enjoyed going to.

I think you are a bit apprehensive about school, but I am hoping that the settling in days will help in July. It will be the only school year you will be at school together with both your brother and sister with your age gaps, which is strange to think.

You’re rather into dinosaurs and Paw Patrol at the moment. Both combined is even better. For your birthday you got a brand new bike with stabilisers. It’s red and looks like a motorbike which you thought was brilliant. I am hoping that when I am healed up from my surgery we can all go cycling together for family bike rides once you have built up your confidence.

The garden is your happy place. You love to be outside. To run, to jump, to play on the trampoline and in the mud kitchen. If ever you’re unsettled I know you will be calmer if you can go outside, I think it’s one of the reasons you love pre-school so much.

Over the last few weeks, your Daddy and I have decided to get you an autism referral. We have suspected it for a little while and have just watched and learnt and been there for you. As you know your older brother has been diagnosed and your Daddy has also been referred. As with your brother, we don’t want to change you in the least I am just a little bit concerned as to how you might cope at school and want to get you all the support that we can.

You’re going through a bit of a nightmare stage at the moment and unfortunately, have them regularly. But that does also mean you get to sneak into bed with me. You love cuddles and tickles (on your terms). You’re very affectionate. You love books and songs at bedtime. Playing with your brother and sister and some days cannot wait for them to come home from school.

Happy birthday Bodhi. My force of nature and Captain determined. We all love you and you have completed our family. Next year is a big year for you and I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

Love Mummy xxxx

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