Friday, 22 May 2015

A little king turns six

You creep down the stairs at a quarter to six in the morning, and for once I don't mind the early start. The house is dark and quiet, so we use the chance for a cosy snuggle. I whisper 'Happy Birthday' to you and hold you close, feeling your skinny arms around mine - they're strong and sweet, just like the rest of you.
I cuddle you, my birthday boy, and think of all the birthdays that have led to this one. I picture you at different ages, can almost remember what you're wearing at each birthday party we've had. You are my first born, and that will always mean you're special. We call you the king of the castle. It's true, you pretty much are. I don't mind - if anyone deserves to be a king, it's you.
And here we are at birthday number six. No longer my little boy, you're now my little man: tall and lean, growing before my eyes. You speak about things you are learning at school - new words and sounds, animals, politics in the playground. You have your own opinions and values and such a desire to learn more. I thought I would miss you as my little boy, but being part of your world now is so much better than I ever thought possible. Now I can converse with you. We share stories and talk about our feelings. We can have a laugh and play Rock Paper Scissors.
Too excited to wait for others to wake up, I let you open your presents. You're so sweet - you gasp in surprise and pleasure at every one, even at the new toy that you already have one of. You love your new pencils, and want to use them immediately, to finish your school scrap book.
The scrap book is full of sight words and certificates from school. It went to bed with you the night before, like all your favourite things do. You desperately want to bring it to 'News' today, so we spend the morning working on it, gluing in more sight words and notes from school. You add your drawings, using the new pencils - a picture of you and your friends, you holding up your hand in class. I help you spell out some words so you can add captions: 'We have fun in my class', and 'Here are my words.'
For once, I don't watch the clock. Instead, I enjoy the moment, revelling in your enthusiasm and watching you create.
It's a grey, rainy day.
Before school, we get you a milkshake. I promised you a trip to the cafe for breakfast before school, but it's too hard in the rain. You don't mind having a milkshake on the way to school instead. That's the type of boy you are - agreeable and kind. They give you a marshmallow and a tiny teddy to go with it. It's perfection.
I kiss you goodbye at school, and tell you I love you. I watch you walk up the stairs to your classroom and my heart just explodes with love. And I think, 'I am so honoured to know you. It is my pleasure to love you. I am honoured.'
My boy, you are six today. Bigger, braver, better. The world doesn't know how lucky it is.  

 Do you have a 6 year old? Surprised at how much better it gets as kids get older? Got any other birthdays on the horizon?

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