|A mother couldn't ask for more...|
Today, you turned eight. I wish you could feel how much I love you. You've made me so proud, been so kind and so good, in the face of all your father has put us through.
I know I've been harder on you than I'll ever be on your brother, because, I'm afraid, my darling son, that is often the fate of the eldest and, if it were possible, I would take it all back, but it isn't and that breaks my heart. All I hope is that, somehow, you'll forgive me as I endeavour to make it up to you.
In the blink of an eye, you will be sixteen. I thought about this - how long it would seem if we were to double how long you've been here - and it seems so quick, it's almost a crime and, oh, how yearning to turn that clock back isn't helpful.
We can choose to learn from regrets, however, and, after eight years, the learning continues. You certainly keep me on my toes, for you are forever changing!
We still call you 'Puppy' sometimes - a name you chose when you were three, that sticks because you want it to. I am amazed you still want your Winnie the Pooh bedroom, whilst devouring your Harry Potter books and singing and dancing along ('Gangnam Style') to your 'Now That's What I Call Music' cds, but am thrilled too, because the longer you are little, the more you are mine, not yet shunning your mum because that's the cool thing to do be doing.
You're secretly still very small and I remember that crushing moment you no longer needed me to push you on our swing. Suddenly, that time was over and I never would have almost always insisted on hanging out the washing first, if I'd realised that it would come, but it did and it has now passed.
You don't think about these things when you're a parent for the first time and getting through the day is about all you can manage. Again, your brother benefits and I feel bad about that too.
But it's your Birthday, time to feel good, to celebrate you and all you are - handsome, articulate, healthy, a fast runner, a gifted cricketer and, as from yesterday too - your chosen activity for your special day, you acquired your double blue Karate belt, which leaves you a mere three from a black one! A mother couldn't ask for more from her son.
You're sensitive, considerate and intelligent. You're insightful and generous and have inherited your mums Healing Hands! You will go far, my darling. You're lovely, not really 'the quiet one' as we first thought, but truly quite chatty, plus a great joke teller and every minute with you has been an honour and a pleasure.
I'm sorry for every single second that I've let that escape me during your eight years, because of other pressing matters, when, honestly, nothing is actually more important than you.
I hope you can feel how much I love you.
Happy Birthday, my darling son.