Dear Thing 1,
I cannot not believe you are thirteen. I really cannot believe it. You have been waiting forever to be a teenager. You used to see the boys from the secondary school when we walked home from junior school, and you stopped holding my hand as they passed us. You looked at them in their blazers and said you couldn’t wait to go that school. Now? Not so much.
But, wow, you’re thirteen. Teen, there it is. That word that will be used to describe you for the next seven years, because you know 20 is really pronounced twenteen. Perhaps it’s my fault you’ve aged so quickly. I admit to being guilty for not sitting back and enjoying the moment. You see, I could not wait for all your first milestones. When you started to crawl, I couldn’t wait for you to walk. When you went to nursery, I was excited for you to go to school. And now? Well you are the local hobo. We never see you. You’re at various friends houses, sports clubs and generally just the boy about town.
And this makes me sad because I did enjoy your brother’s time a lot more. Not because I love him more, but I appreciated I would not be having any more babies. I even enjoyed the night feeds second time round. Why didn’t I with you? Why didn’t I let you stay up longer instead of sticking to a tight bedtime routine? Why didn’t I hold you more closely to me when I fed you, instead of wedging a bottle on a pillow? Why didn’t I forgo a tidy house and let you play with the playdough and paint? These are all memories and time I have lost with you. And that is why I am sad.
But I am happy for you. You make me happy. I am happy today. Really. I know we clash. Dad says we’re too similar. Although with your quick wit and sarcasm, I would say you’re very much like him! Please do not think I am struggling to love you. I do, and always will. I am struggling with your independence and that you’re growing up. You see, you’re changing and our roles as parents are changing. You are no longer dependent on us, unless you run out of money, and we are more like ‘advisors’ nowadays. Not that you listen to what we say.
You are our eldest son and although your shoe size is double mine, and you tower over me and I often have to ask you to grab items for me that are out of my reach, in my eyes you will always be that 6 pound 7 ounce baby. You make us proud. Our friends and complete strangers often comment on your manners; a simple thank you, how are you? or holding a door open goes noticed, so here I am, thanking you.
Happy Birthday, Dude.
I love you.