Charlotte had her 2nd birthday today and we celebrated with cake and plenty of time for her to play with friends.
Ruby has been preparing for it over the last few days and although I wasn't really in the mood and I could have chosen to do a hundred other things I let go and celebrated Charlotte's birthday too.
There may not be many more.
Ruby tells me she notices that her friends play less than they used to: they seem to play less and want to talk more she says.
She's halfway through nine so I guess it's to be expected.
Nevertheless there is sadness for Ruby in growing up and the prospect of losing this safe, innocent imaginary world which has been her constant companion throughout her childhood.
We reassure her that she will never lose this world, just as we never lose our childhood.
We tell her that her imaginary play will enrich her entire adulthood.
We tell her that her relationship with Charlotte will always comfort her, where ever it is she goes in her life.
We tell her this and yet we also know that as she spirals out and grows, slowly other interests will push her imaginary world to the periphery.
We know all of this and so continue to take seriously the role that Charlotte has in our life.
We know this and happily continue to place play at the centre of our lives.
Happy Birthday sweet Charlotte.