There are birthdays, and then there are BirthDays. Ones that need more than a cake and a candle, so to speak. Ones that
stop you in your tracks, forcing you to look back, take stock, evaluate how far you have travelled and put everything else
into perspective. Ones that make you realise that was you, then, not you, now, and so it will remain until the next big
For this once though, it wasn't a BirthDay of my own. No sweet 16 (aeons ago) or big 3-0 (which, as it happened, I
preferred to the decade before) or (God help me) 40 heralding the start of middle age.
Last week my biggest boy turned Five.
A gangly, skinny-Bean of a Five, all arms and legs but still that great big mop of hair.
The last smudges of toddler chub have disappeared, sharpening the edges of both his body and his attitude.
There is an endless thirst for knowlege, paired an uncompromising refusal to have all but the last word.
Superhero powers, the fastest shoes and coolest toys, the wildest imagination, the snailiest of paces in the morning.
He stopped giving kisses at some point in the past year, I don't for the life of me remember when. Because you never know, when
that last time is really the last time, do you?
But also a softness still, somewhere under the bravado and selective hearing. Big Questions prey on him for days,
disturbing his dreams. He will. not. sleep. alone and on the morning of his birthday he was bursting with cuddles as well
as excitement. There may no longer be smooshy kisses, but there are at least still clumsy, bony hugs. He loves colour and has an interest for materials that tickles me pink.
He cares more for his little brother than I could have hoped, and graciously accepts all the times I deploy him as Chief
Whinge Difuser. He has something nice, and different, and equally thoughtful, to say about every single one of his friends.
He sort of whithers a bit without company, although his ability to concentrate on Making a Thing is kind of amazing. He's
all about the Lego, and God HELP you if you dare mix up the pieces. The guy who refuses to read the manual or ask for
directions? I don't think that will be him.
He didn't stop and think about any of this, of course; the only evaluating he did was of the number of presents piled next
to his plate at breakfeast.
As for me, though?
Well, five years ago I became a mother thanks to this one.