The nearly five year old is five. Older, wiser and a fraction taller than all that went before. A chocolate cake with smarties for my fancy dress clown, the star of his tiny party, and the centre of attention on his day.
Grandparents to entertain - an audience so captive that their laughter is no measure, in truth, of the quality of the jokes. And my own Papa, hard of hearing and close to ninety years, smiles at my boy and winks at the baby girl, who from the distance of the floor, charms her elderly companion - oblivious to the multiple decades which hold them apart.
A sense of humour is not lost, it seems, as the years go by. But the company rather, of those with whom we have laughed a lifetime long. My Gran - and this man's wife - is gone. In the spring of this year she slipped from our birthdays, our Christmas and from our day.
I miss her this afternoon. I talk of her to my boy in the hope that he may remember her more. For they were friends. And she barely knew the baby girl. On a chance afternoon meeting in a tearoom shortly before she died, Gran played with my tiny daughter only 5 months old. 'A lovely Baba Ellie, she is indeed.'
Gran would read, I imagine, these stories which I write to you. She would smile and shed a tear, and know that we are well and safe and sound. That this writing is, in part, for her. Who can no longer lift a telephone to pass the time of day. How better to keep hold of those we have lost, than in our hearts and in our minds - our safest place.
May I be a little like her. May my stars be lucky and my health stay strong. May I keep a sense of humour until the very final day. An ordinary life, lived full and well and long. God bless - as she would say - and blessed, I feel, she was... x