Candles have been blown out. Songs have been sung. Cake has been eaten. One evening a couple of weeks ago my daughter said goodbye to nine, and drifted off to sleep excited at the prospect of welcoming ten.

Ten years ago, on a crisp winter’s day in Oslo with the first sprinkling of snow on the ground, I met my brand new baby girl, and she met me. She got to meet a new version of me. One with no barriers to keep insecurities at bay, one with a fierce strength, one who’d just discovered pure love, one who was at peace for the very first time.

The Norwegian and me had left home that day as two people, but we returned home as a family. I lay her on the bed and in the evening light she opened her eyes and took in her new surroundings, calm, reassured by my presence. She needed me and I needed her.

Many memories have been made since then, of a first smile, the first mamma, meeting a baby brother, meeting a baby sister, sickness, tears, so many fleeting moments that make up a lifetime.

I am so thankful for this kind and gentle soul who made me a mother ten years ago.

Happy birthday to you x