My biggest boy, the last in my series of ‘right here, right now’ posts. This time nine years ago I was 34 weeks through an easy pregnancy, and blown away by the fact that I was soon to meet my long awaited baby. Nine years!
He is growing into a little man faster than I am ready for! Already nearly as tall as me, he managed to actually lift me off my feet yesterday – no mean feat as I’m not as spritely as I once was, by any means. We occasionally go running together and though he claims to be ‘rubbish’, I’m pretty sure he’ll be outrunning me in the not too distant future. His stamina amazes me – two hours of canoeing on a Sunday doesn’t seem to leave him remotely tired – though he can and does eat like a horse afterwards!
My nearly-nine-year old is brilliant company. He is a serious soul with plenty to say, and while he can hold his own in a group, he’s always much happier with a on-on-one conversation, and I cherish our chats after his sister and brother have fallen asleep. It’s then he takes me on tours of the creative and complex Minecraft worlds he has built, full of roller coasters and tree houses and amazing creations that he is constantly tweaking and perfecting day by day. I’m astounded by the thought and the imagination that he puts into these creations, and though I was sceptical about the game itself at first, I can see that he is gaining a great deal from being able to create and manage his own private places, even just in a virtual sense.
It’s also during these post-bedtime chats that he shares with me his worries about life, which sometimes overwhelm him to the point where he goes into major meltdown mode. We’ve been working together to find ways to head off a meltdown before it takes over completely, and also talking a lot recently about how it’s as important for him to be kind to himself, as it is to be kind to others. This last point seems to have resonated with him more than any other confidence-building strategies I have tried, and I’m so, so happy to see him enter his tenth year in a much calmer and happier frame of mind…long may it continue!
I’ve written before about taking small steps with my lovely, big hearted boy, and now it seems he is taking small steps of his own – recently his browsing history included the phrase ‘how to deal with disappointment’ in amongst the endless Minecraft and Stampy Longnose based queries. I found this heartbreaking at the time – but on reflection I think perhaps it shows a developing maturity and a growing realisation that he is not helpless in the face of whatever life throws at him.
Though part of me wishes it wasn’t happening so soon, I’m proudly watching the way my biggest boy is taking the first steps towards the grownup world – he walked the short distance to his best friend’s house on his own yesterday, and he’s also been on an errand to the local shop for the Husband – something which he was very chuffed about indeed. He’s started wandering off to the kitchen to make his own toast at random times of the day , and asking me to make him the odd cup of tea – all small rites of passage on the growing-up journey…I only hope the next years don’t fly past too quickly!
My biggest boy, there’s so much to love about you, and I hope with all my heart that you are beginning to understand that.