Maybe it’s my rapidly advancing years or perhaps because my children seem to be growing up so fast but I thought it would be really lovely to write each member of my family a letter and share one with you each week. Being typically British, I couldn’t read it to their faces without feeling like an idiot so will instead allow all of you access to my inner most thoughts. Then we can go on about our lives as if it never happened!
I’m going to start with the person who had the most rubbish weekend. Elsa.
My Elsa Pelsa. You came into my world at 5.01am on Monday 1st December 2008. I couldn’t believe I had a little girl and literally from the second that I held you, I knew you’d always be my best friend. You are named Elsa after a lioness. What an appropriate name for such a strong, determined, smart, witty, beautiful and ambitious young lady. Elsa the lioness didn’t give up and despite a few set backs she achieved what she desired and didn’t let anything get in her way. This is you. My nickname for you as a little girl was always Ma petite lionne
You are strong and you stand up for yourself which is so important. You display qualities I could never have dreamed of exhibiting at your age and your loyalty to Jude is so beautiful to see. Yes, he annoys the hell out of you but you fiercely defend him whenever you feel something is a miss and I just know that you’ll always look out for him. God help anyone who tries to cross Jude with you and Emmeline around to care for him!
I remember when you were really little, literally a baby in the bouncer and he would come and try to hug you. I hoped so much that you could influence him as you grew up together as he so desperately needed, and still needs, good role models in his life. The two years and nine months between you narrowed so rapidly, you pretty much overtook him in terms of development at about the age of four and now you literally have nothing in common. This doesn’t mean you can’t respect each others likes and interests and I’m so proud of the way you accept Jude and encourage him in the somewhat babyish programmes and books he still enjoys. You could laugh at him like I’ve seen and I know you’ve seen some children do to him but you never have. You love him and couldn’t imagine him any other way. I remember once when you were about five saying to me that Jude wouldn’t be Jude without his disabilities and you’re so right. You love him, disabilities and all. I often look to you for inspiration and support which I shouldn’t do, it’s too much for a child of eight but you take it all on so amazingly well. You are mature way beyond your years and I think that’s largely down to the fact I have always treated you like the older child.
And look at you now. Your sport, your flute playing and all your interests at school are just so wonderful to be a part of. I love to see that determination in your eyes when you have a race for your school; you want to win, you’re not afraid to admit that. This is one of the things that will help get you place in life.
Your relationship with Joe makes me so happy as well. I’ll never forget that first day you met Joe at Winter Wonderland when you went on that haunted house ride with him and got too scared. Then you made me buy that hideously large and expensive lolly which you took one lick of and declared you didn’t like. I loved that day. We had so much fun and over the months and then years Joe became Daddy Joe, which became Doey or Doe. Even Emmeline calls him Doe now, it’s hilarious. Jokes aside, I’m so pleased you have a positive father figure in your life.
You have a lot going on in that little brain of yours and it worries me so much when I see you thinking to yourself, analysing and working a million things out at once. You’re more like me than you realise so I know how you function. Please don’t ever feel I’m not here for you. You can talk to me about anything, believe me when I say that nothing will shock me.
Anyway, Elsa Pelsa. We love you very much. You make Joe and I incredibly proud and we can’t wait until you open that vet practice at the end of our garden, travel around the world teaching people how to look after their animals whilst playing your flute in famous orchestras.