Peter and the Boy

“Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were-Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.”

Dear V,

The above is where my story began.  Miss Potter created me, taking great care to give me a lovely blue coat, the longest,

proudest ears, and the fluffiest white tail. The rest of my story belongs to you.  I have been with you since that very first day when you came screaming into the world.  Cosied in beside you I instantly soothed you as your eyes adjusted to the reality of this big bad world.  I have been by your side ever since.  Offering cuddles without question. My soft ears to your trembling lip in moments of uncertainty.  A coat lapel that smells like home when we are away on one of our adventures I have happily been your anchor.  One of your first words was “Abbit, abbit”, and I have shared all of your firsts with you since. The first but not the last time you had tonsillitis. The first time we had a bowl of Mamma’s lentil soup.  The first time we slept in our big boy bed.  I even came with you to the hospital to meet your little sister when you were just a baby yourself.

Tomorrow you will be six.  A big schoolboy, the last few months have seen big changes for you and I.  Starting school, I am now left at home.  No more travelling in the nursery bag and waiting patiently in the cloakroom for the occasional hug.  I understand that school is something that you have to do on your own.  I am so proud of you for taking those first steps, independently, without me.  Yet I fret and worry all day about you.  I lie on the sofa and wait just where you left me, but my mind is with you.  Are you eating your lunch, are you cold?  Are you being a good boy?  I am your first point of call when you burst through the door and I bristle with pride when you reach for me.  I know that this is just the beginning of your solo outings.  You will need and look for me less.

As we write, Mamma too has grown a long pair of proud ears, pulled on a lovely blue coat, and grew a fluffy white tail.  For she too knows the changes that are afoot.  As she runs alongside the school bus each morning in her pyjamas, she is so happy of the black eyes she receives.  Affirmation for the rest of the day that you still need her. Your little hand pressed against the glass until she is out of sight.  She is trying all the time to let you stand on your own two feet.  Although through habit, she can sometimes forget the big boy you are becoming.  When she tries to zip your jacket up each morning, you are quick to remind her “I can do it myself”.  Our eyes meet as she swallows her heart back down and out of sight from you.  She lives for those moments when you look for her and she recognises the growing length of time in between them.

After all, her story truly belongs to you too.  Bringing you into this world and raising you has been her beginning. You are her author.  Your baby sister penning her sequel.  Even when you grow to six foot tall, you will always be our baby boy.  By that time mamma and I will be growing old together. Tattered but happy, we will not notice that our blue coat has gotten shabbier or that our tails are hanging on by a thread, for we will have known love.  And that in the end, is all we really wish for you.

So Happy Birthday our darling boy.  We do not want you to go out into Mr MacGregor’s garden, but we know that you must.

Be safe.  Always.

Love Peter (And your mama) xxxxx

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