Dear boy of my heart,
You are nine today. Nine. No matter how many children I have, and how old they grow I still can’t get used to the reality of the change every time one of you has a birthday, especially you, my last baby, my only boy. You are NINE. This seems unlikely to me, and remember, I was there when you were born, but we’ll go with it for now.
I found some baby pictures of you last week when I was actually looking for something else entirely, and I was mesmerised by two things, looking at those pictures of you as a toddler. I thought about how much you have changed without me even really realising. I thought about how much you have stayed the same, so that it has been so easy for me to not realise the changes.
Yes, you are taller, and your face has lost that absolutely gorgeous chubby, baby roundness, but you are still so smiley, and loving, and funny and sensitive. Everyone told me it wouldn’t last, to cherish it because you would change when you got to school, and then every year after someone tells me how it will change, you will change, and you know what? You absolutely have not in all the ways that matter most.
I still get my hugs in the playground, the tugging on my sleeve where you bring my head down to yours and you say: ‘Do you know what mama? I DO absolutely love you.’ I still get that sweetness when you talk about the things you love, and the kindness in you that abhors cruelty or the thought that anything you do or say might hurt someone. I still get to snuggle with you when we share stories. I still get you bursting to tell me everything that has happened to you on the way home from school. I still get to share everything in your life that is important, and I feel very blessed by it. Your presence in my life gives me so much pleasure. I know that no matter how much you change in the coming years Oscar, that will never change.
You are messy, you are disorganised, you are forgetful and you are far too interested in computer games. You think I am interested in computer games and never take the hint. You eat with your mouth open. You still wipe your nose on your sleeve from time to time, and I don’t think you will ever grow out of the idea that your farts are hilarious and what the world needs more of is the sight of your bare arse. Despite all these things, you are my heart.
I waited a long time for you to come into my life, but when you did arrive you made our family complete. You still complete us, and we would not be without you, exactly the way you are.
When you were little you used to get very cross if we tried to suggest you might like to dress up as something, or pretend to be someone else. You used to shout: ‘I are JUST Oscar.’
You are right and every year that passes sees you becoming a little more yourself. I love the boy you are, and every year brings me closer to meeting the man you will be, and just as I am proud now, I know you will make me prouder year on year.
Enjoy being nine, boy of my heart. I absolutely JUST love you.