To always look forward to getting to know you better, one day at a time.
Not to do things for you or put words in your mouth, but to let you struggle and try until you ask for help. Even if I have to sit on my hands or chomp down on my tongue.
To let you make your own mistakes, no matter the broken bones I foresee, the conclusions I think are foregone, the heartbreak I believe is inevitable.
Not to (completely) freak out about every tiny thing. About whether or not I should cover your left shoulder with the blankie too. About whether your nappy is pinching your skin. About whether you’ll be able to face the big bad world, when the time comes.
To treat you like a child when you’re a child, and like an adult when you’re an adult.
To listen to you with patience and empathy regardless of how old you are.
Not to dictate but to lead by example, so that you know what self-respect, kindness and generosity look like.
To accept that all I can do is show you what values I hold dear - the rest is up to you.
To look after your dad and myself, because no-one is of any use within a family unless they are a whole, healthy individual.
To love you as you are, not how I hope you will be.
To reread all of the above at strategic intervals. When you’re chucking blocks at me aged two. When you’re refusing to tidy up your room aged eight. When you’re swigging cider behind the shed aged fourteen. When you don’t know your arse from your elbow aged eighteen. When you bring up your children in a way I can’t fathom aged thirty.
Happy first birthday, Beanyman.