You are ten today. This is such a big milestone for you. I know how excited you are to reach double digits. I hope it’s as good as you want it to be. I have no idea what being ten will bring, I’m not sure you do either, but I think you’re more than ready for the challenge and I have no doubt that you will rock this year. You’ve certainly rocked the last nine. Every year up to now you’ve been worried about getting older. Last year and the year before you decided not to bother going up a year. You were just going to stick at seven. Seven was a great year for you. This year though, you’ve been full steam ahead for ten. It’s quite a leap, and I’m so proud of you.
Ten years ago this morning, you arrived in the world, a contented, moon faced baby in a terrible yellow hat. I’m sorry about the hat. I totally forgot to bring one, and yellow was all they had in the hospital. I tried to tell them it wasn’t your colour, but they didn’t listen. I promise never to make you wear a knitted, yellow bonnet ever again. I hope that makes up for the indignity a little bit. I hope you note the lack of yellow hats in your present pile this year.
Oscar, you are my absolute joy for so many reasons. You are funny, and sweet, and kind. You are brilliant to talk to and spend time with. You are gentle and lovely and still full of hugs. You are thoughtful and you try so hard in everything that you do, except maybe in tidying your room, because you know, you can’t be absolutely perfect right? And anyway, maybe ten will be the age you suddenly get the cleaning bug. You never know.
When you were small, and the girls were at school, you and I would have Oscar and mummy days. They were fantastic. You were a wonderful companion. We don’t get many Oscar and mummy days anymore, but every morning, for half an hour, before you go to school, and after the girls have gone, we read together. You’ve been reading me the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, and I have to say that it’s one of the best moments of my day, every day. We’re almost half way through the series now, and I really, really hope we carry on sharing them to the end. I love rediscovering them with you and I love that you love them as much as I do. Your knowledge and ability has grown with every book we read, as has your love of terrible puns and your ability to spot a euphemism from half a mile away. You also know an extraordinary number of synonyms for prostitute, so thanks for that, Terry.
I know that sometimes you worry about not fitting in the world. I know sometimes you worry about how you’re going to manage everything. I know sometimes you get a bit overwhelmed by everything.
I just want to say that you have always fitted in my world, Oscar. There is always a place for you in my heart and as my little boy, and right in the middle of our family life. You complete our family and make it perfect and we wouldn’t have it any other way. And I want to let you know that there is enough time to manage everything, and there is no rush, apart from in the morning when you need to get ready for school. The world will wait for you, and just like you fit into us, and you fitted into me until you were ready to be born, there will be a place out there that is just the right shape for you when you’re ready to find it. Until then, maybe you’ll do me the honour of letting me look after you for just a little while longer.
And yes, life can be overwhelming, but if you take it one bit at a time, just like you did with Discworld, eventually you’ll have everything you need to tackle it beautifully. And if you need to take the next three years to perfect being ten, then we’ll wait, and so will the world.
I love you, my loveliest of boys. Happy Birthday. I hope ten is everything you dream of and more.