A letter to my 10 year old on his birthday

Darling boy, today is your 10th birthday and although I’ve known for some time that today you’d be waking up a whole year older, it’s a bit of a blow to realise that I’m now the parent of a human being in double figures. A ten year old no less!

2020 has been quite the year, mostly for reasons we would probably rather forget. You’ve endured this year with your characteristic cheerfulness and always been the one to crack a joke at the gloomiest moment and have us all laughing again.

This year has been a challenge for us all, you’ve tried your hardest during those long months of home schooling, which I’m sorry to say, we all grew to hate. You’ve been brilliantly brave about not seeing your friends, and not spending time with anyone but your fairly boring 40 something year old parents for months on end.

A letter to my 10 year old on his birthday

It shouldn’t be this way. You should be out in the park with all your friends after school, you should be huddled in the playground swapping Pokémon cards and going on Cub camps and all of those kind of things. Instead you are making the best of things and I’m incredibly proud of you.

It’s not been easy, being back at school has made a huge difference to you and your happiness and we’ve talked endlessly about your birthday plans. I’m sorry my love, there will be no traditional birthday party, but instead it’s a zoom party with some of your friends, and that’s fine.

We can’t even gather the whole family around the table for cake and celebrations. Instead there will be a socially distanced walk around the park with your Cousin and your favourite takeaway curry for tea. Of course your Dad and I will make a fuss of you and you can expect the biggest, most colourful cake you can imagine. But it won’t be the same.

I will make this up to you. I promise.

A letter to my 10 year old on his birthday

It’s hard to find some highlights to remember for this year. For me it’s been the small things, or what may seem small to anyone else. Being able to spend so much extra time with you has been brilliant. During lockdown we read more, did crafts together, went on walks, we baked and snuggled down to watch films together. Most importantly we laughed together and that saved me and I hope it helped you too.

Every day I’ve spent as your mum has been an absolute privilege. You are the brightest bean, you’re full of love and care and kindness for everyone you meet. I couldn’t imagine a day without a cuddle from my squidgy little baby. Although these days my squidgy little baby is almost as tall as me and has legs that go on forever.

Of course, with your new great age comes new responsibilities. Now you are ten we will expect you to tidy up after yourself, brush your teeth without complaint, help cook our evening meals and be able to find your own shoes in the morning (they’re normally where you threw them the night before).

When you were born, I wanted to raise a kind boy, full of care for others, and I think we’ve managed that. You are not perfect (a quick glance at your bedroom can confirm that); but you have all of the qualities which I hope will help you become a lovely and loving adult. I wish you believed in yourself and your abilities as much as we do, and as much as your teachers do too. You are brilliant.

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that my little baby is 10. Where did the time go? Thank you for filling the last ten years with love and laughter. I hope you have the best birthday we can manage during lockdown. If 2020 has taught me anything; it’s that stripping everything back to basics can make us appreciate everything all the more. And that life is sweet, especially with you in it.

Happy birthday to my best boy xxx

A letter to my 10 year old on his birthday