Last week, when we were discussing your birthday you said:
‘Mama. I really don’t want to be eight.’
I asked you why.
‘Because seven has been such an excellent year that it seems a shame to leave it.’
That seemed fair, so we compromised and agreed that as there would have to be some kind of celebration in order to justify excessive cake consumption and presents, we would say you were seven and three quarters instead.’
So, my lovely, lovely, boy – happy seven and three quarters birthday.
You are growing so fast. This year in particular has seen you face up to a new school, and found you moving away from your best friend, and all kinds of things that have really pushed you to the limits of your ever wobbling bravery. You very much remind me of Piglet sometimes:
“It is hard to be brave,” said Piglet, sniffling slightly, “when you’re only a Very Small Animal.”
And you still are a very small animal lots of the time. But my word, you have proved yourself this year, small or not. And the bravery of the smallest and wobbliest is the bravest of all.
I am so proud of you, and I am so delighted to watch you blossoming in your new school, with new friends, and new challenges that you are delighting in meeting. You are rising to those challenge in every way.
I love sharing the walk to school and back with you every day. I cherish those moments when we walk along, talking and looking and thinking about stuff together. I am thrilled that we can still share secrets, and talk about very important stuff, and the ever present threat of zombie invasion, naturally. You would not be you if we didn’t have to discuss that.
I am utterly amazed and grateful that you still want to hold my hand, even if, instead of a kiss in the playground these days I get a sort of goatish, bashful, head bash in the sternum. It is the best sort of head bash a woman could want.
Sometimes, I know you worry that you might have to leave us, and you don’t want that (not yet). You are adamant that you will live with us until you are a crazy, middle aged man in a snorkel parka with a penchant for making scale models of Sydney Opera House out of matches, and alphabetising your shoe collection.
That’s fine with me.
You must know, boy of my heart, that you will never, ever leave us. Not ever. Not even when I am a handful of dust. You will always, always be with me and I will love you to infinity and beyond.
Happy Birthday bestest of boys.