I can hardly believe I am waking up today, mother to a 12 year old!
Ever since I was a little girl, all I ever wanted to be was a mother. I used to carry my dolls everywhere pretending they were real and when some of my friends got pregnant in their teens, I was overcome with jealousy!
But as they say, good things come to those who wait and on the 29th July 2006 at 5:54am, you made me the happiest woman alive when you came screaming into the world.
And I’m not going to lie, you didn’t stop screaming for the next 12 weeks of your life.
Nothing made you happy, you never ever went to sleep without being held and even when you slept in someone’s arms, the littlest sound would wake you up and start you screaming again!
Then at 12 weeks old you just stopped and from that point on you were the most placid and pleasant baby I had ever met!
We went on to have the best six months together before I went back to work.
We then went on your first holiday abroad to Stalis in Crete.
And before we knew it you were turning 1!
Your second year was filled with lots of fun including days out to West Midlands Safari Park, Porthcawl, Dare Valley Country Park and a holiday to Turkey!
And then you were 2 and we celebrated with a party and a trip to Folly Farm!
From that point on you seemed to turn into a little boy overnight. You absolutely loved your older sisters and they used to play with you for hours. You were obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and started “Link Up” in preparation for school.
2009 saw us expecting a baby sibling in the April and so we decided to take you to Butlins in the February for one last holiday where you had us all to yourself!
Two months later, your wish came true when you had a baby brother who you called Fin-a-lay and you took on the role of big brother like a duck to water!
We then spent 5 months making memories…
…..before you started school!
You thrived at school, made lots of new friends and loved me coming to meet you with Fin every day and riding home on the buggy board!
Just after starting school, you went into hospital to have your tonsils out and surprised us all with how brave you were. Despite being a happy little boy, your first three years were plagued with frequent bouts of tonsillitis and other random illnesses which saw you hospitalised four times. Once your tonsils were removed, you were a different child and your health went from strength to strength!
2010 brought your first taste of snow and you had loads of fun building snowmen in the garden with Daddy!
You also had your first St. David’s Concert and Easter Bonnet Parade!
We went on our first family of 4 holiday to Newquay, West Wales …..
…. and had day trips to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and Thomas land.
July brought your first visit to the cinema to see Toy Story followed by your 4th birthday!
Then in August 2010, we went on a huge family holiday to Turkey!
In November we went to visit Hannah as she had gone off to University and was feeling really homesick!
And then before we knew it, it was Christmas again…..
…followed by our “Cross Dressing” New Years Eve party.
2011 brought more days out and the purchase of our beloved caravan in May…
….followed by a holiday in Turkey, this time just the four of us!
And then you were 5!
Our new found love of West Wales saw us visiting the Dinosaur Park, Manor House Wildlife Park and Folly Farm on numerous occasions.
We even spent Halloween at the caravan!
Followed by a lovely family Christmas!
And then 2012 came along which was not a good year for us!
It started with Fin being diagnosed with Type 1 and you found it really difficult to see him going through his injections.
Just after this, Fin broke his wrist, I fell, and was in plaster up to my knee, and then you both contracted chicken pox.
Lastly, in August, I had a bad car crash.
Luckily we finished the year on a high by visiting all the Disney Parks in Orlando for a fortnight thanks to Nanna who paid for it all for her 60th birthday!
We had such an amazing holiday and it was just what we all needed to cheer us up!
Within a month of being back, it was Christmas again.
2013 was another year where we had the chance to build snowmen and go sledging!
And it also brought along our first rugby tour to Butlins with the Treorchy Under 7’s!
Then July came around and all of a sudden you were leaving the Infants school and going up to the Juniors!
When September arrived, I was really nervous for you as being July born, you had been in the lower year 2 class in the infants meaning all of your friends were left behind.
For the first week or so, you found it really tough and I used to stand in my bedroom window overlooking the yard, see you standing there on your own and cry my eyes out.
Luckily within a week of starting school, a new boy named Oliver transferred from another school. You clicked straight away and from that point on, you never looked back.
The year 2013 also brought two family weddings in September and November.
In September, we attended our cousin Jodi’s wedding to Craig….
…. and then in November you were an usher for Uncle Liam and Auntie Jemma.
In December, you and your Treorchy team-mates were flag bearers for Cardiff Blues and played a game of TAG rugby at half time. You also got to meet Sam Warburton!
You also won an art competition in school and had your drawing printed on an RCT calendar.
2014 saw you attend your first ever Welsh Rugby International and we even ended up on TV!
In April, we went on a second rugby tour to Bournemouth….
…and played in the Caerphilly Tournament in May as well as attending the club presentation!
You had a trip to the Millenium Stadium for your birthday in July….
…before going on holidays to Cyprus!
In September, we celebrated Uncle Liam’s 30th and you dressed up as a Frenchman and an Oompa Loompa for various fun days in school.
December was a busy month as we went to Legoland, Santa’s Christmas Cottage and Winter Wonderland in Swansea!
2015 started with a forecast of snow, but when that didn’t materialise, we went to the top of the mountain to find some.
In March we travelled to Oxford to visit Annabella for her 2nd birthday.
And in April, we travelled to Brean Sands for our 3rd rugby tour. Despite this being the worst accommodation we have ever stayed in, we actually had a really good time!
During the summer, we spent lots of time in West Wales…
…. before heading to Paulton’s Park for the weekend…..
… followed by a weekend in North Wales supporting Fin’s best friend in his quest to climb Snowdon for JDRF.
December saw you with a starring role as Len Goodman in the school Christmas production of Strictly Come Dancing followed by more Christmas festivities.
Into 2016, and February saw us travel to Gloucester for your “Go Ape” adventure bought for you by Hannah and Toby as a Christmas present!
Then in March, we travelled back to Bournemouth for rugby tour!
In May we spent Whitsun at the caravan.
In June, you headed off to your first ever residential in Llangranog and whilst I felt like an emotional wreck, you didn’t bat any eyelid!
Then, in July 2016, you reached double figures and celebrated with a Combat Zone party in Dare Valley Country Park.
We also supported Isaac and Caleb in their 55 mile bike ride for JDRF!
In August we travelled to Majorca for another holiday (courtesy of the bank of Nanna) to the Pirates Village Hotel in Santa Ponsa!
September saw you and Fin back in the same school for a year which he was overjoyed about!
In October, you played your first game for Rhondda Schools.
In November, you celebrated “Type Onesie Day” and “Red, White and Blue Day” in school. We went to watch Wales v Argentina and to Ponty Park for the fireworks display.
Then in December, celebrated another Christmas!
In January 2017, you found out you had achieved a Distinction in your Grade 1 Guitar Exam.
As part of your Christmas present in 2016, we bought you and Fin tickets to go to London and see all the sights. In February 2017, we set off on the National Express for our 4 days in London.
In April, we attended another rugby tour in Looe, Cornwall.
Then in July you celebrated your 11th birthday and in the blink of an eye it was time to leave Ton Junior School for the Comprehensive. I remember you singing Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill” with all the lyrics changed and I sat there wondering how on earth those 11 years had gone so quickly.
August was a super busy month with caravan holidays, Daddy’s 50th birthday and Rachel’s wedding where you had the role of Usher!
And then it was September, the month I had been dreading for so long. The month you started in Treorchy Comprehensive School. I was so nervous and worried about you and hoping that you had a few people that you knew in your class. You didn’t seem at all phased when I dropped you off that first morning.
I worried about you all day wondering what lessons you were in and if you knew anyone. I was counting down the hours until I picked you up and when I did you simply said “It was fine, I had a nice subway for dinner!” and that was it!
You settled in far quicker than I expected and made lots of new friends. You took an active role in the school rugby team as well as doing well academically and I couldn’t have wished for a better start for you.
In October, after only 6 weeks in school, we set off for Orlando for what would turn out to be the holiday of our lives!
We had such an amazing time and as soon as we got home we were talking about going back.
Christmas caught up on us really quickly, but as always, we had a lovely time!
And then we were into 2018!
The year that we climbed Pen Y Fan and visited Harry Potter Studios!
And the year that we went to see The Script and Ed Sheeran!
The year we had the best rugby tour to date!
And the year that you had “Pupil of the Year” and “Most Likely to be Head Boy!”
And whilst those kind of accolades make me extremely proud, nothing at all makes me happier than seeing you smile!
Yesterday we took a gang of your friends out for the day, some from Primary school, but mostly new friends you have met in the Comp. It was so lovely to see how happy you were and how many new friends you have made and it made me realise that this year has been the making of you.
Looking back at 12 years of memories makes me realise how much you have changed physically over the years but one thing remains the same and that’s your personality.
Every year, I wait for the time when you turn into a hormonal teenager with a huge attitude but at the moment you are the same lovely, caring, boy that you always have been.
I hope that never changes.
I am so incredibly proud to be your mother.
Happy 12th Birthday Ci, I love you to the shed and back,