First-time mum Katy Pearson shares a letter she wrote to her son just before his first birthday...

My sweet boy,

I’m writing this a couple of weeks before your first birthday. You’re having a little nap in your cot. Your daddy is on your Uncle Sam’s stag weekend. There are a million things I should be doing, but I’m writing you this letter to open on your 18th birthday.

We’ve asked all your family and our friends to write you a note for your first birthday - your daddy and I figured it would be a fun window in 2034 into a world long past.

I can’t imagine you at 18, my little Sonny Jim. Right now, you’ve just mastered crawling. You have one tooth (that you won’t show anyone) and the best giggle. You’ve just started saying mama - and you say it a lot. And every time it makes my heart do a little squeeze (even if it’s at 3am. We need to work on your sleeping. I bet you sleep past 5.30am now!)

This might seem like an odd thing to say, darling, but you saved my life. I spent so much time longing for you. And it was SUCH a mission getting pregnant. My heart was starting to wither a bit at the edges. But from the second you were born – our little miracle – you have literally been my sunshine.

Your first year has been the best year of my life. So what do I want to say to you, on your 18th birthday? Be happy, I suppose darling. The practicalities of helping you grow up may have muted that message over the years. But all I have ever wanted for you, is for you to be happy.

One last thing. Be kind, baby. Always be as kind as you can. Even if sometimes it feels easier or funnier or cooler (is that still a word?!) to be a bit mean, It will make you feel rubbish afterwards (as well as them). Oh, and give your mum a hug now and again. It will always make my day - even as I write this I miss the constant pudgy-armed cuddles of your babyhood.

I love you baby.

Your mama x

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