I can’t actually believe that a whole year after writing your 11th Birthday lockdown post and commenting on how we would make up for everything once the pandemic was over, your 12th birthday has arrived, we are still in the same position and you still haven’t been to Miller and Carter!
The last 13 months have been tough. We’ve barely seen family and friends, you’ve missed SO much school and more than anything, you’ve missed being out and about with your friends. During the first lockdown, we all stayed home to protect you and then in the second / third lockdown, due to a random turn of events, Cian ended up being the one who needed to shield and we all had to stay at home to protect him. It’s been hard for you both but you have done me so proud.
Despite feeling obvious frustration when all your friends were allowed out and you weren’t, neither of you complained, you both just accepted your fate and found other things to occupy yourself. For Cian, it was tying flies for fishing quietly at the kitchen table; for you it was screaming at your PS5 every time you lost a game on Fifa. I’m so glad that restrictions have finally started to be lifted so that we can allow you out again as I’m not sure how many more shrieks of “I can’t be bothered” or “I give up” I can take.
And as well as ranting on Fifa, you have also found a new love of cooking, rustling up cooked breakfasts and enchiladas as well as baking all sorts of cakes and pancakes from scratch!
Despite it feeling like we’ve been confined to the house for the majority of your 12th year, in amongst all the bad stuff, when restrictions allowed, we did manage to cram quite a lot in.
Sunny Days in the garden in the gorgeous weather we had!
A visit to Bristol where we were finally able to see Hannah and Toby after way too long!
Followed by a family BBQ for Cian and Hannah’s birthdays where we could finally all be together.
The beginning of August brought a 4 night break in Somerset where you discovered a love of fishing (and hot tubs).
Mid August brought a trip to West Midlands Safari Park.
… followed by a lovely bank holiday weekend in Devon where we ate out twice a day to sample all the gluten free food they had on offer!
You joined Ton and Gelli Under 12s Football Team and absolutely loved it, fitting in with all the boys from day one and now spending most of your time with them outside of football too.
September 2020 saw you move to Treorchy Comprehensive School. Every single day when I asked “How was school?”, your answer was always “Rubbish” and you moaned for weeks about having to wear a jumper and being “boiled to death” but I know, during all those months that you were stuck at home undertaking remote learning, you were itching to get back there.
We went on to have a weird and wonderful Christmas where we only saw people outside in freezing conditions or via zoom on the laptop and celebrated my 40th birthday as best we could.
In January and February, when there was not much else to do, we filled our time with mountain walks and days of sledging in the snow!
And then just after Easter this year, we took advantage of an inset day and went off to Llangollen for a few days.
And so looking back, it hasn’t been all bad. There have been highs and lows but we’ve still managed to make plenty of memories and in some ways, I have quite enjoyed the slower pace of life and spending extra time with you and your brother; time we wouldn’t normally have had.
Life as we know it has changed, but one thing that hasn’t is you. Year on year I wait for you to become moody and miserable and to suddenly stop being the happiest kid I’ve ever known, but year on year, you are the gift that keeps on giving.
You can make me laugh harder than anyone else I know and your quick wit and “jack the lad” personality can brighten the darkest of days. You can be insanely inappropriate for your age and yet I can’t help but laugh at you.
Who knows what your 13th year will bring? I hope you continue to be the same fun loving personality that you always have been. I hope there are less PS5 bans and rants at Fifa. I hope you get to play rugby and rediscover your love for the game instead of talking about football ALL the time. I hope we get to go on more little holidays where we spend most of our time laughing, joking and eating and more than anything, after over a year of waiting, I hope I finally get to take you to Miller and Carter!
Here’s wishing you the amazing day that you deserve, one more year until you are a teenager (God help me). Let’s make it a good un!
I love you more than you will ever know.
Mammy ( Big Girl Beth / G Dem / Beth Lad )