Family

To Cian, on your 13th birthday.

Ci,

I can hardly believe I am waking up today as the mother of a teenager. How can it be thirteen years since the moment you were born and I had the son I secretly wanted all throughout my pregnancy?

It only seems like yesterday that you were fixated with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and shouting “Beep Beep help!” in the middle of the night when you wanted my attention. Or the first day of school when I held your little hand and you trotted by the side of me with your rucksack almost as big as you, eager to meet your teacher.

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I still vividly remember you going to your first rugby session at the age of 5 and playing your first game at the age of six.

I’ll never forget how I cried when you moved to the Juniors, and had to leave most of your friends behind, as you were the youngest in the year group.

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And four years on, I sobbed my heart out again when you had to leave the Juniors and embark on your next adventure in Treorchy Comp. In your leaver’s concert where you all sang Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill” but changed “castle” to “school”, I couldn’t stop the tears as I was so nervous for you to take that next step and be a little fish in a big pond again.

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As it happened, I had no need to worry as the Comp has been the making of you. It’s brought you out of your shell, you have gained confidence, are flying academically and  you have made some lovely new friends who have you in stitches most of the time.

But it’s this last year that I have seen the biggest change in you. I seem to have blinked and you have grown up overnight (well not up as such, we all know you don’t grow) but you seem older in your ways and far more independent than you have ever been.

I was so proud of you when you completed the Welsh 3 Peaks with ease last month and raised over £2,500 for JDRF,  in the hope that they will one day find a cure for Fin. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for your encouragement and support every time I faltered, I would never have made it.

I’ve loved our Friday afternoon lunches, just the two of us, catching up on the week and sharing everything that’s been going on that we haven’t had time to talk about.

And as the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months, I wait with baited breath for you to turn into a raging, hormonal mess and yet, to date, it hasn’t happened.

Don’t get me wrong, you address me as “bruv” or “boss” more often than “Mam” these days, your phone is glued to your hand and you seem to be out with the boys at every given opportunity, but one thing that hasn’t changed is your personality.

Always trying to be helpful, you make me tea when I am stressed and are always the first to ask how I am if I am ill. You still end a phone call with “love you” even when you are with your friends and when I recently dropped you off for a school trip and stopped around the corner so I could say Goodbye without embarrassing you, you told me to “Get a Grip” and that you didn’t care.

You are kind, caring and one of the loveliest kids I know and I am incredibly proud to be your mother. There’s a long way to go until we get through the teenage years and I’m sure there will be plenty of bumps along the way but as you said to me the other day when we talked about people changing; “Look Mam, if I turn into a knob in the next few years, I promise I’ll be back to normal by the time I’m 18.”

And after 13 pretty perfect years, I can’t really ask for more than that.

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Happy 13th birthday, my boy, my number 1, my G! (haha)

Love you always,

Mammy

xx