I’m writing this as Heidi has just gone to sleep on a baking hot June evening after enjoying her 5th birthday. We have just been to Wagamamas with Heidi’s mum, mainly on the back on Heidi going there for a review, which you can read here (who says kids don’t remember!) and so we had a good hour tonight spending time opening presents and having fun before going to sleep.
Birthdays are a time for reflection sometimes and one of the reasons why I started blogging was so that I could write down in words what I was feeling, which would help me through the darker times which comes from being separated with a child. Today has been a bit rough because it was the first birthday where Heidi was at school and I didn’t see her until the evening. Waking up this morning without seeing her was not good!
However, looking back at the last 12 months, a lot has happened, both good and bad, and it’s safe to say that Heidi’s age 4 year has been remarkable!!
Heidi has settled in really well as school and seems to be doing really well. Her reading is wonderful and it is such a pleasure to hear her read without having to help her much at all. I’m sure that she will develop in other areas going forward, but after doing the school Race for Life, I’m not sure she will be a long distance runner!!
If I asked Heidi what her highlight would be, I am sure that it would be going to Jamaica. It was such a big thing to take her all by myself and at times, I did have self doubt and it was hard work, but hearing how she talks so passionately about the experience makes it all worth it. Having a week together was amazing and help us bond even closer – and she has a new love of reggae and Bob Marley music!! You can read my open letter to Heidi about the holiday here.
Heidi seems to have coped extremely well with me getting a new girlfriend. I am not sure how much Heidi knows and actually how much she cares about boyfriends/girlfriends, but she has taken to my new girlfriend extremely well, and vice versa. It was always going to be tricky and Heidi will always come first in anything, but I think Heidi is glad that she has got a new friend. You can read about me starting dating here.
Going to court to try and sort out arrangements and get permission to travel overseas was not easy, but it still feels like it was something that had to be done. Through it, I lost time with Heidi, but gained certainty, security as well as overseas travel, and whilst I hate being away from Heidi, a little “me” time is much appreciated. If you have to go to Family Court, this little guide might help, which can be found here.
Heidi’s pet dog, Jack, died as well. I had a love/hate relationship with him, but Heidi adored him and having a pet probably helped her develop somewhat. I remember breaking the bad news to Heidi on a snowy January day and at first she thought that I was kidding, but when she realised, the hysterical cries went through me. However, after 45 minutes, she was fine, especially as she had a new toy “Alexa” to play with! This guide to breaking bad news is useful!
To Heidi, an open letter
People say that their children grow up too fast, but whilst you’re a chatterbox on the outside, sometimes, you still need to suck your thumb when going to sleep and have a daddy cuddle when you’re scared of the dark.
You’re getting less interested in talking on the phone and more interested in watching the phone and whilst it hurts a little, it also means that you’re developing your own independence and you are comfortable that I will always be around.
It’s hard having 3 or 4 days without you and that just makes me more determined to make the most of the time we have together – have fun, see new places, do new things, bond even closer.
I know you’ll grow up even more in the next 12 months – you’ll be wanting to spend time with your school friends on an evening and weekend and you will further develop your independence, but I will always be there for you, even when times are tough and emotions run high.
Heidi, you’re my best friend now and forever and no-one will break that bond we have between us. You’re an amazing girl and whilst you’re proud of showing me off to strangers, I am even prouder to call you my daughter.
I love you Heidi
Lots of love
PS Onwards forever, backwards never!!
“Like” me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/leedsdad (it will make me happy!!)
“Follow” me on Twitter @leedsdad
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Go onto my website: http://www.leedsdad.com
and @leedsdad_blog on Instagram!