As a kid it was always so great to receive presents twice a year. My birthday falls in July so I get spoilt in the summer and in the Winter too. So when my youngest was born in December (17 years ago today) I felt a little bit sad. How to make that December birthday special? We did our best though and I think he loves his birthday at Christmastime!
Now, looking back over the last 17 years all I can think is ….
How can this have happened?
You were only born yesterday! I worked it out and wrote this in his card today (We have loved you for 6,205 days). But that does feel wrong. It feels like I have loved all my children all my life.
In actual fact all my kids were only just born yesterday. Really the time has literally flown by.
The baby and toddler years were tough as hell! Teenage years almost killed me (I love them all more than anything but motherhood is TIRING). Our kids (after all they aren’t just mine) have grown into lovely human beings and I hope they will forget all the times we messed up as parents.
Leafing through my baby box, which is filled with momentos from little strands of hair, painted footprints, certificates from the hospital after being very brave about something to Mother’s day cards, wristbands and birth charts, newspaper clippings and all sorts of lovely bits and pieces I came across the following noted down on a piece of paper. I am not one to advise really – but this has kind of been our way of parenting.
Don’t spoil me. I know quite well I ought not to have all that I ask for. I’m only testing you. Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it. It makes me feel more secure. Don’t let me form bad habits. I need you to detect them at an early stage. Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it. I’ll take more notice if you talk quietly with me in private.
Don’t make me feel my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values. Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way sometimes. Don’t be too upset when I say I hate you. I say it when I hate myself. Don’t take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes they get the attention I need.
Don’t nag. If you do I’ll have to protect myself by appearing deaf. Don’t forget I can’t explain myself as well as I’d like to. That’s why I am not always very accurate.
Don’t make rash promises. I feel let down when promises are broken. Don’t tax my honesty too much. I am easily frightened into telling lies. Don’t tell me my fears are silly. They’re terribly real – and you can help if you try to understand.
Don’t put me off when I ask questions. If you do you’ll find I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere. Don’t ever think its beneath your dignity to apologise to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards you. Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect of infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover that you are neither.
Don’t forget that I love experimenting. I can’t get on without it. Please put up with it. Don’t forget that I can’t thrive without lots of understanding love.
Here too are some fun photos from when I was teaching Early Years (I’m guessing it was parts of the body)
I end with a note to each of our children:
We have loved you for 8,827 days.
We have loved you for 7, 912 days.
We have loved you for 6,205 days.
But of course, as anyone who has ever been or is a parent will tell you….the love started long before the birth date!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY CHRISTMAS BOY.