I don’t know if I can properly describe how very perfect you are at age four. You are bright, curious and quick to laugh, with that fantastic giggle that’s so pure, I fancy I can see little glass musical notes floating up towards the sky.
Your face is open, enquiring and I can see every emotion you have range across it; you haven’t yet learned the adult trick of hiding how you really feel about things.
You’re getting tall, and strong, and your constant need to run everywhere instead of walk (or fly like Twilight Sparkle, apparently) keeps you lithe – but you still have that very little touch of toddler plumpness that I will miss more than I can tell you, when you’re a bigger girl.
And that’s why, when you told me that your legs looked fat, my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. I don’t want you to be part of the world where girls are made to feel less for being more.
Your legs are not designed to look skinny; legs are meant to be powerful. Your legs will do the donkey work for your body every single day of your life. Your legs let you walk to nursery to play with your friends; they help you attempt the climbing wall that has defeated you thus far. They are there to help you jump, skip, hop, and run. When you run up and down every set of stairs we pass, when you play hide and seek as we waste sunny afternoons in the park, when you decide – again – that you will reach top of the climbing frame this time? All of those things are possible because you’re healthy and strong.
And don’t think that when you’re older you won’t need them as much.
When you’re a student, you’ll use them to walk to university because you’ll be too broke to have a car (trust me on that one). You’ll need them for the bar work you’ll do in Ayia Napa over the summer, giving your Dad and I palpitations but phoning home REGULARLY. You’ll need them to go to the gym and clubbing with your friends and to drag yourself around a 5km fun run on a Sunday morning for a good cause.
You’ll really need them to run away from danger (hungry lions, oncoming cars, questionable men) or towards danger (bungee jumping, skydiving, parkour) if that’s going to be your thing. And you’ll definitely need them to run back home, back to your family, whenever you need us, because that’s what families are for.
So please, never think for a minute that you’re not perfect, or that your body doesn’t look as good as someone else tells you it should. Because I made you, cell by cell, I know that you’re everything you were ever meant to be, and a little bit more.