To my boy,
Last week we went to a Bonfire party and I went to take a selfie of us and realised you’d grown so much, your face wasn’t next to mine in the photo anymore. I’ve been doing a lot of that over the last year. I see you every day, but sometimes I look at you and you’ve suddenly got taller, or your shoes are too small, or your tops are now crop tops!
I look at photos of you as a baby and think that they must be from just a few years ago, but that time has gone in the blink of an eye. They said it would, when every new baby arrives people say, enjoy it, before you know it they’ll be grown and leaving home, and you’re making a good job of growing, though I hope you won’t leave home for a while yet!
In the last year we have been on some adventures. We’ve spent a lot of time on trams and trains, because you really enjoy getting out and about. We have argued countless times about homework and helping out a bit more around the house, or at the very least, not dumping your things wherever you fancy when you walk through the door.
I’ve watched you grow from a boy, to a handsome young man. You’re tall and muscular like your Dad and you’re learning to enjoy the things your new body will let you do, like pick your Dad up and jiggle him about, which is no small thing! I’ve made you sound a bit like The Hulk, but you’re not. You’re gentle and kind and really care about people and animals. You look after your friends at school and stop them being bullied by the less kind members of your year group. It takes a lot to stand up to people and say no, and I couldn’t be prouder of you for doing that.
You’re a teenager now, caught in that eternal struggle between wanting to avoid soap and hot water at all costs, and wanting your hair nice, your spots gone and for the smell of Lynx to follow you everywhere. You’re developing your own sense of style and have definite opinions about fashion. We are learning to enjoy going shopping together, something I never really imagined for myself, but it’s lovely to see you choosing your own clothes and putting together outfits, though you’ve always been very stylish when left to your own devices.
This letter could all just be about how much you’ve grown, which is indisputable. What I wanted to tell you, because although I say it often, I’m not sure you really hear it, is how proud I am of you. You have your struggles with your dyspraxia, but you’re learning ways to conquer that. It may take you a bit longer to master skills, or to get the confidence up to try new things, but you really are tremendous.
You’re a strong swimmer, a brilliant and naturally talented archer, you love going to the gym and lifting weights and smashing it on the cross trainer. You love all forms of transport and if I’m planning a journey, you’re the first person I talk to, because you’ll always find me the best route. You are kind and funny and clever. Most of your teachers are thrilled to have someone as enthusiastic as you in their class. You love geography, science and history, you’re less keen on French, but you’re still somehow really good at it.
Keep doing what you’re doing, because what you’re doing works. I love you so much and you make me proud to be your mum every day. What a privilege it is to be your parent.
Happy birthday my boy. You’re the very best!