Well Ci, here we are again on yet another birthday. I swear as you get older, the years go quicker and as I write this, I feel so emotional that in three years time you will officially be an adult.
It only seems like yesterday that I was holding your chubby little hand on your first day at school and yet here we are, with you towering over me with a voice as deep as Daddy’s. I seem to have blinked and you’ve turned from a boy to a man overnight and I would be lying if I said I have not found it hard.
I read an article lately by a lady called Mia Friedman who described being the mother of a son as being “like somebody breaking up with you really really really slowly”. And I know that probably sounds extremely dramatic to you but I can totally relate to everything she says.
She said that there are many crazy things about being a parent and one that definitely isn’t in the brochure was that you don’t parent one child. You have a newborn, a baby, a toddler, a pre-schooler, a primary age kid, a pre teen, a teenager and then finally an adult. They all answer to the same name and they all call you Mam but you simply never notice the inflection point where one grows into the next. You don’t get to say Goodbye to all the little people who grow up, as you never notice they are growing and changing, until Facebook sends you those memory reminders that make you cry because it’s like showing you the face of someone you can never see again.
And looking at all those photographs, I can honestly say that she has hit the nail on the head. I don’t remember a point where the screaming colicky baby became the toddler who talked to anyone and everyone. I don’t remember when he turned into the little boy in the blue school uniform with the Ben 10 bag or when that little boy turned into the rugby player in the Zebra kit with the flowing blonde hair that blew in the wind behind him as he ran. I don’t remember when the little Zebra turned into the star of the show in the Christmas Concerts or became almost fluent in Welsh. I don’t remember when my Primary schooler turned into my Secondary schooler and won Pupil of the Year. Or when that Pupil of the Year started going on rugby trips without me.
Looking back, I don’t remember the last time you held my hand or cwtched up to me on the settee. I don’t remember the day that you stopped coming into my room to give me a kiss when you woke up in the morning or the first day you started making your own breakfast. I don’t remember the last time I tucked you into bed at night or set your school uniform out for you for the following morning.
It’s so strange to think that every time there was a last time, I didn’t realise. Maybe if I had, I would have cherished it a bit more, spent a little more time enjoying every single second before it became a distant memory. Who knows?
So much has changed over the years and I know I say this every year but the only thing that hasn’t is your personality. I cannot put into words how lucky I feel to have you as my son. You make me insanely proud and everyone you meet comments on your personality. Your teachers rave about you and I quite often get messages from people that you have stopped to talk to when you are out with your friends commenting on what a lovely kid you are.
Your manners are impeccable and I swear you thank me at least 100 times a day for the smallest of things that I do for you. You are caring, affectionate, kind, thoughtful and I continue to be amazed daily that you haven’t turned into a monster as you’ve gone through your teenage years. You are literally a dream come true to parent and I still can’t quite believe my luck that you’ve turned out the way that you have. I know all parents are biased but I genuinely believe you are one of a kind!
It’s been a tough year for you this year with all sorts of medical issues and trips back and fo to Bristol Eye Hospital, injections, horrible medications and just general bad luck health wise but you haven’t moaned and have simply got on with everything despite feeling like crap for a lot of the time. And whilst I absolutely hate the reason for our trips to Bristol, I have to say that in a similar way I feel lucky to have them. The 3 hour round trip in the car where we actually have time to talk to one another, argue over the music and laugh at your singing; the restaurants we can never agree on and the shopping that almost always ends up fruitless despite me letting you loose in JD with my card because you “don’t like anything”. I enjoy these days so much that every time we have good news and they tell us we can have a longer break between the next appointment, whilst the biggest part of me is relieved that they are obviously not as concerned as they were, another, smaller part of me is disappointed that our next day out together is further away.
Time with you is precious as you grow up and I can almost feel the anxiety when I think about you moving away and going to University. I can’t imagine a day where you are not wandering around the house in your boxers, phone in hand, laughing at something on Youtube. Or the day there are no wet river footprints or muddy rugby boot prints through the length of the house or soaking wet clothes in a pile in front of the washing machine. I can’t imagine a day where I don’t hear you singing (and I use that in the loosest sense of the word) in the shower for 20 minutes at a time or a day where you don’t bore my pants off telling me about all the fish you’ve caught.
But, unfortunately, time stands still for no-one and in 3 years time, you will be an adult and won’t need me as much any more. It’ll be time to spread your wings in the big wide world. And whilst that makes me extremely sad, when that day comes, I already know that I will also be incredibly proud of the man I have raised.
Thank you for making being a mother so easy. I love you so much more than you will ever know.
Happy 15th Birthday!