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This is the first time we will be apart on your birthday and I feel the mist of separation surrounding me, an omen of how it will be some years down the line, when your Mum and Dad are the last people you want to be with on your birthday. But for now, I like to think you’d rather be with us.
Long before you were born I dreamed of a boy like you. An open, honest and talkative kid who would rock my world - up, down and all around, until I could no longer tell what was the right way anymore. A curly haired, blue-eyed dynamo of a baby who wasn’t too keen on naps despite my sitting in a darkened room for what felt like years trying to convince you that sleep wasn’t for the weak. I longed for you before there was even a hint of you. And the day you were born the sun shone across an autumnal London town.
And my world cracked open.
You took over our lives as a firstborn should and your Dad and I scrambled to make sense of ourselves in the slippery landscape of parenting. We muddled through and watched you grow; marveling at how easy everything was for you. At times, our wrecking ball; you smashed into our lives to soak up the love that was already there waiting for you. An endless source, the well that would never run dry, no matter how many more babies I had or jobs I did or times I screwed up or couldn't cope or was just plain exhausted. Somehow the well fills back up.
You’re turning 11, still a child but so grown up. A boy on the cusp. Truth be told you were born like this. Always looking outward, always on the move. I’d blink and you’d be at the top of a climbing frame or across the park. I could never keep up. You’ve been humming, drumming, whistling and singing since before you could walk. A chorister at five, at eight preparing to sing in the tomb of Poets and Kings. The old adage - sing for your supper – was written for boys like you. Though some frowned when we sent you to Choir School we were led by you because you’ve always had somewhere to go. And now you’re heading off on your first tour. I know there will be more but this is the first, and I have to let you go.
They say we don’t own our kids; we just get to borrow them for a while. Some kids, you just can’t keep a hold of. Well, with you, son, I could never hold on to you. Though you’re my son, you don’t belong to me.
But for a time, 11 years ago, our hearts beat together, and my blood was your blood, and my flesh held yours. And no matter how far away you go, I will be right here remembering.
Happy birthday, sunshine. Enjoy your song.
Written by Georgina Spiller
Georgina has 3 primary school age kids and when she's not burning fish fingers she spends her time writing things like this! Follow Georgina on twitter @PetrovaFossil71