I meant to write this yesterday, the day you turned five, but somehow the words got lost in piles of wrapping paper and gloopy tears on the first day at the Big School gate.
How on earth did you get to be five? I think you should know that I am not old enough to have a five year old son and that quite frankly I’m not sure that thirty six years on this planet really qualifies me suitable to show another little person around it. But I’m doing my best Baby, and this is, I think, what I want you know today… your Mummy is doing her best to make your world wonderful, but try as she might she will never be a world authority on Spiderman.
Yesterday we bought you a bike, and Nana, Gangan and I watched in astonishment as you whizzed around the aisles of Toys R Us (otherwise known as hell!), happy as Larry, beeping the loudest horn in the world and making complete strangers smile as a little bit of your sheer joy seeped it’s way into their souls.
Joy. That’s a word I hear a lot. He’s a complete joy… that’s what people say about you. Complete strangers teachers, friends and of course your biggest fan, Nana. And every time I hear it, every time someone else says it I beam with pride, because in the end Finn, no matter who you become, what you have or what you do in life, happiness is all there is. The only thing that matters. And to have raised a child rosy with happiness is an honour Sweetheart, so long may it last…
Turning five and starting school all in one day made the 2nd of September 2008 a monumental day in all our worlds. You moaned about your school tie, said your new grown up shoes hurt your bones and pulled funny faces when Daddy and I tried to take the kind of cheesy "first day at school" photo, every proud Mommy wants to display on her mantle piece. But in the end you strapped on your Doctor Who backpack and walked in front of us, all grown up, as if you were already too cool to be with seen with us. So Daddy and I trailed behind you and let too much go unsaid between us for the sake of the occasion.
School is fun Finn. The bestest fun you will ever, ever have. May you take your joy to school everyday. May education always be the prize it is. May you know what it is to make Daddy and I proud without for a moment feeling pressured to be anything other than what you are are…
Daddy. Though I know that lots of grown ups will shout at me for saying this, there is a teeny bit of me that feels I have let you down where Daddy is concerned. He isn’t here. Not all the time and for that I am so very, very sorry. It isn’t what I wished for. But it is so hard Baby. Nothing is certain. Being grown up is soooo hard and sometimes even when you think you are doing your best you can’t fix things that are broken, but never ever doubt that Daddy love’s us. One day when you are old enough I will tell you how yesterday Daddy and I walked home from school together, both of us doing our best not to acknowledge regret and all the other things we cannot change, and silently committing to the family that we are regardless. One day when you are old enough I will tell you that Daddy had tears in his eyes, but hugging them away would not have been the right thing to do.
And so it’s just me and you kid. And we are five! You’ve been here five years and I’ve been learning to be a Mummy for five years. I have forgiven you for drawing on the wall and I hope you will forgive me for all the great big Mummy mistakes like sprinkling cheese on your cauliflower and just this year falling a bit in love with a lovely but daft man who let us both down. (I won’t do it again Sweetie, from now on I’ll be more careful with both our hearts I promise). Anyways. Sometimes we drive each other around the bend don’t we? You won’t let me go the toilet by myself and I won’t let you play Nintendo DS in bed. But we are bestest friends regardless. All of a sudden you are wonderful company. You get my rubbish jokes and laugh so I don’t feel silly. You whispered "wowwww" when I presented you with the worst homemade birthday cake in the world and for that baby, I cannot thank you enough. You have developed opinions on everything and though I promise not to remind you about it when you are a teenager, watching The X-Factor makes you sob, your sensitive little heart in bits when another (dreadful) singers dreams are shattered.
You are wild and boisterous, noisy and gentle. You are kind, polite, rudey doody, perceptive and silly. You charm old ladies and school Ma’ams. You make Nana well up for no reason at all. You are hilarious. You are exhausting, intelligent and like your Mummy, blessed with a generous dose of eccentricity all of your own making. You are all of these things and lot’s, lot’s more and though I can’t tell the future I believe that who we are as children is who we are as grown ups.
So I can’t wait to meet you, my little boy-man, though the past five years have gone way too quick haven’t they?
And yes my little bundle of joy, if you really, really, really need me in the middle of the night of course you can shout me.
I’m always listening.
Love you to the moon and back.