Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Sparkly girl
When you are five, life is simple. As long as you have the same as your brother, something pink in your life and a teddy to cuddle in bed, you're happy.

When you are five, life can be complicated. I mean, why isn't July followed straight away by December? They're the two best months of the year!

When you are five, life is interesting. You already have a boyfriend. You tell me in the car one day, then shout "Mummy" sheepishly when I tell Daddy what you said. Then you tell me afterwards it was a secret.

When you are five, life is an opportunity to chat. You can talk the hind legs off a donkey. Every task is punctuated with some long drawn-out and unnecessary explanation, meaning it takes twice as long to complete. And you're forever counting down how many sleeps to something. These must be dissected at length with a rundown of "it's 5 sleeps, then it will be 4 sleeps, then 3, then 2, then 1, then 0". Usually when it's time to brush your teeth before school.

Ready to do the Ugly Bug Ball
When you are five, life is about learning new skills. You're a brilliant hula hooper. You don't quite get it at first and nearly give up but I tell you that if you try and keep trying, you'll get better and within a couple of weeks, you're doing it like a champion, better than anyone. Watching that hoop whirl around your body and keep going is like looking at you stood in the eye of a hurricane.

When you are five, life means discovering new interests. You've just done your first dance show. You've only been going to lessons for two months but you were great at the show. You remember the routine as well as the older children and you aren't afraid to dance in front of an audience, although you scan the audience for our faces for reassurance and you find them, smiling back at you with pride. And now you think you're a dancing queen. Which, of course, you are.

When you are five, life can be emotional. Some things bother you more than they should. Some films make you sad and then every little thing upsets you, including the fact that you think you won't be allowed to have your Hello Kitty with you in your bed when you grow up.

When you are five, life is exciting and full of simple pleasures you find every day. Like discovering that the penguins are the best animals to watch at Chester Zoo and make you giggle, finding mini-beasts in the garden, and picking raspberries off the bush to eat for pudding.You are excited by learning and about going into a new class. You love reading and writing and drawing. You like making things and baking things. And running around with your brother.

In the garden after school
When you are five, life is all about you. You light up the world with your smile. Your giggle is infectious. You love huggles. You yearn to be scooped up like a baby, even though your limbs are dangling off in all directions. You sit on my knee at every opportunity, yet you are independent and confident and not at all scared of unfamiliar situations.

When you are five and your name is Missy Woo, this is your life and this is what you are: a diminutive version of the beautiful, intelligent and enchanting woman that you will one day be.

Happy birthday Missy Woo.
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