Beren Argyle, our little bear,
now you are one –

I was so glad to write your big brother a birthday letter, and even though I struggle to find time to document in words and images life with a little you (as I did with your brother) – I am thankful to have this moment to do so. Life with a little you is so very good, so very full – every day we see more of your personality emerge. Your likes for exploring the kitchen cupboards, eating eggs, yoghurt, sweet potato, strawberries (and any fruit really) and your dislikes for having your nose wiped, your nappy changed or a curiosity (clump of dirt / grasshopper / miscellaneous plastic thing) taken away from reach. You love your brother and follow him wherever he goes, he is beginning to play with you more – albeit sometimes too roughly, wanting to rumble on the floor!

You wave goodbye to dadda once he’s left for chores, and you wave hello to your reflection in the mirror and windows. You point and although no words spoken yet, you can tell us a need or want or grievance or exclamation with your voice. You stand up at every opportunity and scale furniture with speed – you have taken one wobbly step and will no doubt be walking around in no time. You try to stack blocks on top of each other and love to put things in shoes and boxes and cups. I once stepped into my gumboot only to find a hard boiled egg at the bottom!

You adore the outdoors and take every opportunity to catch the back door as it closes so you can escape outside. You inspect ants and blades of grass and scrunch clumps of sand in your chubby hands. You chatter with delight at the sight of the cats prowling around, and so very timidly stoke their back if they come close enough.

Your first birthday was a very simple affair, you accompanied mama on egg deliveries, you napped, you played in the sunshine. Your gifts from us were simple – a hand knit vest, a spotty birthday crown and bib, and a handful of big crayons. You also received some beautiful books and clothes and cards from family. We made a carrot and walnut cake with cream cheese and honey icing. You licked the spoons and seemed very approving. You went to bed early, and you woke through the night with teething pain – we pat your back and kissed your forehead.

Beren, you are a calm and wise soul – I felt that the moment you were born with that dark crop of hair (now significantly lighter) and big eyes that could fix on my face. I feel an enormous blessing and privilege to be your mama and to watch you grow. May you know many happy tree climbs, barefoot adventures and red dusk skies, always feel loved, know the goodness of meaningful work and nourishing rest, always care about the world around you, and above all carry hope in you heart.

Happy birthday little one,
With love and hugs, always