Tuesday 16 February 2021

Before You Turn Eight

It is a birthday unlike any other this year, something I have been trying to prepare you for, but when I confirmed that your birthday would definitely be spent in lockdown, I saw your face drop.  You have been so brave this past year, you have put up with so much, lost out on so many things and you were clinging on to this looming birthday.  I hope more than anything that I can bring some magic to you tomorrow despite everything.

As a seven year old you entered life in a pandemic and lost out on the ability to see your friends, go to school and live the life you had been, but still I have watched you grow and mature and change.  You lost a front tooth and it immediately changed how you look.  The new one is growing in so much bigger, giving me a tiny glimpse of the man you will one day be, with a smile so big that the tooth fits in perfectly.  Your hair is getting longer and out of control but you are still holding out for the day the barbers open again and not risking a Daddy haircut! You are growing taller so quickly and whilst next to your biggest brother you look quite small, you are actually not small at all.  

You still love computer games, the colour black, wearing blankets instead of clothes and cuddles, and after hating books and reading for so long, you now love being read to.  I had stopped at one point as you protested constantly but now you ask for extra chapters every night and I hope some time soon you will start wanting to read more of these stories yourself.  

I see how this pandemic has affected relationships and I see how much you miss your friendships but I want you to know that even if you don't get to see all the people you want to, you are loved by so many.  I have planned some 'online play dates' for you tomorrow so you can game with your friends and I am hoping that schools can reopen in three weeks and you can see them in person too.  Birthday parties are such an integral part of childhood and it breaks my heart to know how much you wanted one this year.  I offered you a summer birthday party if we are allowed and you have already made the guestlist. In the meantime we will throw a party just us, with the siblings who have had to become your best friends over the past year and I have a few sweet surprises too. You have asked for cinnamon bagels instead of a birthday cake and you don't really like chocolate but you can't get enough of sweeties!

There are so many things I want to remember about you at seven.  How kind you are, how you care so deeply about those you love.  The way you can't sit still, the way you cuddle in close, arms around me.  The way you don't want a bath until you get in, and then you would spend all day in there if I didn't make you get out.  The way you can always tell me what you don't like easier than what you do like, the silent way you appreciate things and the joy when you really process them later on.  You are funny and sweet and I couldn't love you more.

Before you turn eight, as I kiss you for the last time as a seven year old, I want you to know how truly loved you are.

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