So you are very nearly 16. Firstly, you need to start fibbing about your age. For my benefit really. I’m just not old enough to have a 16 year old son, surely not!
Secondly (spoiler alert : mum slush coming right up) Though you may be growing up way too quickly, I am so very, very proud of the person you are. I know us parents probably overuse the word proud a bit but there’s no other word I can use to describe how I feel when I watch you just being you.
Who would have guessed on that sweltering hot August day when I first saw those little eyes looking up at me what the next 16 years would have had in store for us.
We’ve had quite the adventure you and I.
I always tell everyone J, that you are the boy who taught me to be mum. It’s true as well. I hadn’t a clue. Turns out you are quite a good teacher.
We muddled through the newborn weeks, me with a babybook in hand trying to learn, you insisting I just winged it and learnt on the job. We survived colic! I don’t know who shed more tears through those weeks, you or I but we made it through. We knocked weaning out the park, tamed toddlerhood. We found what worked for us and went with it. You allowed your pushy mummy to boot camp the pre school years with reading and writing. I think you actually enjoyed it though! The thing was I was so panicky that as an August baby you’d struggle to keep up with the older kids.
I was wrong. I’ve been wrong quite often on our parenting journey, but I promise you I’ve only ever been trying my best!
You loved school as it happened and enjoyed learning. I panicked over nothing (another common theme of my parenting I’m afraid – apologies! )
You’re the most adaptable person I know. You went from being an only child to being a big brother to two in less than 3 years and took it all in your stride.
You’re a fabulous big brother, by the way. I love that the middle two can come to you for homework help and you always give them a hand, even if S has been particularly annoying that day.
As for small girl. Well safe to say she idolises you. She’s very lucky to have you. You’ve taught her to play the guitar, you read to her, you’ve gotten her to share your love of obscure sports. You’ve even finally gotten her into Harry Potter an aim of yours for years!
Since we left home and came here, even though you struggled a bit at the beginning, you’ve flourished into this outstanding young man we have now. When we upped and left that day you ‘got’ why. I wish with all my heart that you hadn’t. I wish you could’ve been in the same oblivious bubble as your siblings, but you knew. I’ve never forgiven myself for that, but I count myself incredibly lucky that you did.
So. 16 eh?
To me, you’ll always be the boy who for years got his j’s the wrong way round, who walked into lampposts as he has his mums dreamy tendencies. The one who has a long list of things he’s ever fallen over (your own feet being no. 1 of course) The boy who hates lasagne but loves bolognaise , my tech advisor, my Doctor Who buddy, the one who tells maths jokes no one else gets. The person who has an interest in the world around him and is the one who will (legitimately) pick me up when I’m being a hypocrite.. annoying though that may be. . .
Have a fabulous birthday (even if we barely see you what with you having a social life) I know that you will let small girl do you a teaparty, tell you what I’ll even rig pass the parcel in your favour.
We all love you and we’re lucky to have you.