Dear Mr C,
Today you turn four but it's a mere formality - it feels like you've been four for a few weeks. You are so ready for the next stage, to leave the peuterspeelzaal behind and start at primary school. You are trying to write your name, chalking numbers on the blackboard in your playhouse in the garden and you are drawing beautiful little creations for us all. You're ready for school. You're ready to move on, far more ready than I am to see you leave every day for school.
We're going to start with just mornings but I have the feeling it won't be long before you are begging to do full days. So far you've been three afternoons and a morning to your new school and you've loved it. You've enjoyed a Koningspelen breakfast and sang and danced "Doe de Kanga" on the school playground with the rest of the school, including your big brother.
Your name is already being called across the school playground when we go to pick up big brother, Mr S. You'll be running off to playmate's houses for lunch before I can catch my breath I'm sure - in fact you and your friend from peuterspeelzaal, who is going to the same primary school, have already set up a lunch date for after the May break. Nothing like being organised!
You're quiet and serious in school. You once played the little clown at home, entertaining us all with madness and fun but you have passed that particular baton to your little brother Mr O and now you are tackling the serious business of becoming a 'grote jongen'.
In your new school the teachers have already indicated that you are quiet, don't say much yet but that you are an easy child - you are joining in, know what you are doing and you just get on with it. But you need time to warm up. And warm up I know you will - you'll be in your element with new activities to try and so much to learn. Get used to your new environment in your own time, and in your own way. When your older brother started school we were newbies and we let the teachers corner us as he got used to going to school - we won't fall into the same trap - we'll do things your way, at your pace.
You have now had your last day in the peuterspeelzaal, the last day in the same class as your little brother, who you've cherished and looked after in school. You've put your arms round him on more than one occasion to protect him when he's unsure in school. You've also both made the teacher mad hitting each other, striking out for attention.
As the middle child your role has always been a little confusing - should you aspire to do the things your big brother does or follow your little brother's lead? Your older brother has had so much attention recently, and you've just gone with the flow. For a few months you and Mr O have been in each other's shadow in the classroom, your little brother being the one needing the help and guidance and you being the class pro. Now you'll be back on your own in a classroom. No brother in tow. Now it's your time to shine, to step into the sunlight and let people see just what you can do - independently. And we know that that is a lot.
You're quick to pick things up. You love to be challenged, to do what seems unlikely. Your imagination is a beautiful, precious thing. Your conversation is entertaining and enchanting and sometimes just downright baffling. You make us laugh with your observations. You're as happy clambering around a playground as you are watching Misty Island for the 457th time. You're loving your swimming classes and enjoying gym on a Saturday. And I know primary school will join that list.
I will miss having you home every day. So during this May break I will cherish every day off we have, knowing that when school begins again you'll be joining the ranks of school goers. Yesterday we had your party. Grandad and Nana have come over from England to spend the weekend with you, to mark your birthday with you. Today all seven of us will celebrate your actual birth day by taking you out for the day, putting you in the spotlight, where you belong. Making it your day.
Mr C, I hope you have a wonderful 4th birthday and a great break before you start school in a couple of weeks.
We love you kanjer,
lots of hugs,
Mama & Papa