It feels so surreal calling you that, now – as you most certainly are not a baby anymore! You are a fully fledged little boy – with your own mind and your own heart – growing more and more every day. But you will forever be my little one.
Today is Christmas Eve and I wanted to start a new tradition for you – I hope to write to you every year, on the night before Christmas. I want it to become something which I can someday gift to you – memories from your childhood.
I have my own childhood memories of Christmas-time. And they are magical. I can still remember the smell of the tinsel coming down from the attic. I can hear the score of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman. And I can taste my Nana’s homemade lemon curd tarts.
And now we’re creating memories for you. Details in your own story, for you to carry with you throughout the years.
This morning we went downtown to the Auckland Fish Market, and you helped us select the best crayfish and prawns for our Christmas Eve dinner – which your daddy then cooked on the barbecue and we ate with our bare hands whilst drinking ginger beer. We watched The Snowman, from my own childhood, snuggled together on the sofa eating mini mince pies and soothing one another when he melts at the end. And before you had your evening bath, we hung an old copper key outside the back door – so Santa can get in, once we are sleeping.
Maybe it’s a key you will someday give to your own children.
Maybe someday you’ll be reasuring them, that the snowman will be built again next year.
I am so excited for tomorrow, my Beau – for you to wake up and call out to us, and for you to run into the living room and see the pile of presents there – just for you.
Tomorrow you will be two years and three months old, and it will be your 3rd Christmas. But it’s the very first Christmas that you will really understand. And I want the whole day to be as magical for you, as all the other days of the year are for me. I want you to know how loved and cherished you are. How much you deserve to be given special things. Because you are a very special thing. You bring a joy to our lives that I simply cannot express.
A few weeks ago – rather fortuitously – you lost your football. So I leaped on the opportunity and told you that ‘perhaps we will ask Santa if you may have a new one?’ I told you what a good boy you had been all year long, and how I am sure Santa would want to gift one for you.
Daddy took you to the Orewa Beach Santa Parade, one Saturday when I was working – and he told me that you stared at Santa in awe, whispering as his float moved away, ‘please can I have a new football, Santa?’
And then we took you to Snow Planet in Silverdale, where your daddy had built Santa’s Grotto at the top of the ski slope. And Santa was there. You went straight up to him, and said hello. Smiling from cheek to cheek. ‘Beau!’ you told him, when he asked your name. And ‘a new football, please,’ is what you replied when he asked. You walked over to the fireplace with him, and he was saying things to you – but I don’t know what they were. They were just for you, from Santa.
At every opportunity since, you’ve reminded me that Santa will bring you a new football. And my baby, he will. You will have a sackful of wonderful gifts, and a brand new football will be sitting right at the top. Nothing will make me happier tomorrow, than seeing your recognition and delight.
So sleep tight, my little one. By the time you are reading this letter you will be much grown – but right now you are my little angel, my darling boy who is still so little and precious, if no longer a baby. And all the magic in the world is about to unfold before you.
I lay with you as you fell asleep – and all the magic in the world was there before me.
Your loving and forever grateful,