Double Digits

10 Birthday Cake

We are at the airport on the way to Auckland. There were air miles that were about to expire, and that’s as far as they’d take us, so we are headed across the Tasman. After recent events in Christchurch we imagine that it might be a strange and subdued time in New Zealand, but perhaps that makes it all the more important to visit and share some love.

DorkySon turns 10 while we’re away. I’m a little worried that an international trip, flying business class, sets the bar too high for future birthdays. But I also know this boy has never asked for a party, and that you only enter double figures once.

He has his headphones on as we wait to board, and sucks a berry smoothie from a glass bottle. Nine-nearly-ten is a funny age. I can see traces of the baby he was, and traces of the man he will be. He is serious, and self-contained, but has a beautiful smile and loves to laugh. Continue reading

Seven

IMG_1540

It was DorkySon’s birthday at the end of March. Seven. Goodness.

As with every year previous, we asked if he wanted a party, and as with every year previous he said no. He is nothing if not predictable – still a boy of simple pleasures. On the day itself he took in some sweets to share with classmates, and asked to have dinner at a local brewpub. (Pulled pork sandwiches for the win!) His present requests also remained modest – books, Lego, and a big shiny balloon. The weekend after his birthday we took a boat trip down the river – an opportunity to see penguins bobbing in the water and sea eagles soar above our heads – then went for fish and chips, and ice cream. He is a boy after my own heart for sure. Continue reading

Now you are six

DorkySon

So now you are six.

You are not a wee soft thing anymore. There is still a slight curve to your belly, and enough for a squeeze under your chin, but otherwise you are all angles and lines, long skinny legs pink with the sun.

What a year we’ve had together. This time twelve months ago you were still settling into kindergarten, sometimes nervous around other children, struggling to hold a pen the right way. But you are in the perfect school. It is a community that has nurtured all your strengths and found the right way to help with your weaknesses.

Like us, they have realised that you like to do things in your own time, unhurried. They know that gentle nudges towards independence work far better for you than rough shoves. So now, one term into prep, it is all falling into place. The building blocks of reading and writing are coming together so fast we can hardly keep up with you. All the life skills – cycling, swimming, socialising – are getting better each week. And at home you are proud to help and get involved – dressing yourself, carrying plates, pouring drinks – you become more confident and less clumsy with every day that passes. Continue reading

Happy 5th Birthday, DorkySon

red birthday balloon

My dear, sweet DorkySon turns five today.

Where do I even begin writing about how he has grown and changed in the last year? It is beyond anything I could ever have imagined. He has always been fun. He has always been smart, and kind, and made me laugh, but in the last twelve months he has become a person I genuinely enjoy spending time with. Not because he’s my son, or because there is any obligation, but because he rocks. Continue reading

Turning 30

You Look Good Just the Way You Are

I have a birthday later this week.

I’ll give you a clue. It’s not 20, and it’s not 40, but it’s the big one in between.

To be honest, I’m not really a fan of birthdays. I already eat cake pretty much every week without needing an excuse… and the things that make me happy in life are usually experiences rather than ‘stuff’ so I don’t get excited at the thought of presents. As for standing there blushing like an eejit while people sing Happy Birthday to me *shudders* well, let’s not dwell on that thought.

This year’s a bit different though. While I’m still not looking forward to the day itself, I am quite looking forward to turning 30. Continue reading