I’ve been a bit quiet on here over the weekend. You could be forgiven for thinking that the celebration of the non-retirement of a certain elderly lady had something to do with it, and that is partly true, but it was overshadowed for me by the birthday of my firstborn.
So little Owl, it’s been eight years, hard to believe…here are some random things I remember… the smile on your daddy’s face when we found out we were expecting you; feeling you kicking along to the music when we were singing in a concert a month or so before you were born; your daddy singing to you in my tummy; the first time I kissed your little head, the first time I held you, you holding my finger – they could be anyone’s memories, but they are mine and I will never forget them.
The first outing with you in your pram; drinking champagne to celebrate when you were two weeks old; a sunny outing to Canterbury when you were two months old, and your first holiday – a week at Granny and Grandpa’s house – around the same time. I remember your baby smile, your laugh, you thought that “Row row row the boat” was the funniest thing ever. I remember how happy you were nearly all the time, lying in your carrycot, sitting in your blue and green chair, having cuddles, being carried in the lovely Wilkinet sling, splashing in the bath… I always said that you were an easy baby, though now I’ve had four and found you all to be easy I’ve come to the conclusion that I just really like babies.
I could go on all day and all night writing about you over the last eight years, but I have to admit that would be interesting only to me, and your daddy perhaps. So I’ll skip forward to the here and now… my biggest boy, you are clever and thoughtful, you ask amazing questions, you read so much that I learn many things I never knew just from listening to you talk, especially about Science and History. You sing beautifully, play the piano and violin very well and even compose your own pieces of music. You get this from your daddy, along with your practical skills (you get your screwdriver and fix things without having to ask for help; you are even beginning to provide valuable IT support when daddy is out) and also your tendency not to listen to a word I say, but at least I know because you have the same expression on your face as he does when you are daydreaming.
From me you get your desire to learn everything all at once, especially languages. It’s great fun starting to learn new things, but perhaps together we need to try and finish a few of them! You also have my love of reading, especially late at night, everything from Secret Seven books to Science encyclopedias, and of course Lego books. You can concentrate for a very long time on things you really want to achieve – building complex Lego models, drawing complicated and detailed pictures, designing and building models out of anything you can find. When you have something important you want to say, you talk and talk without stopping, but you are also a good listener. You are very sensitive and caring, and you love your brothers and your sister. You love meeting new people and playing with old friends; you are confident and friendly and good at joining in everything with enthusiasm. You enjoy tennis and football, church and music lessons, choir and Beavers.
You chose to have a bowling party, after trying it for the first time a few weeks ago. That seems like a very big boy thing to choose; we are entering a new era of parenting and it’s fun. You had a good time with the friends you took bowling, and with lots more friends and family members who came back afterwards for a barbecue. And then your birthday celebrations continued over the weekend at Granny and Grandpa’s house. You went to a street party and made a new friend; got your first Hornby set, a draughts and chess set and even more Lego; went out for lunch with your family and then spent the afternoon playing with the friend you had met a day earlier; even found time for a Latin lesson with Grandpa.
And now we are home and you are sad that your birthday is over. Except it isn’t, quite. There will be another bowling party later this month, because we couldn’t manage to take all your friends at once on the bus! And then it really will be over, until next year. And then you will be nine… I can’t comprehend that right now. I hope you know how much your mummy and daddy love you. I think you do. We have different ways of showing it. I tell you I love you a lot. Your daddy mainly expresses his love through cake. We both think we are the luckiest parents in the world because we have you and your brothers and your sister. Thank you for being such a lovely son.