A Letter To My Son On His 8th Birthday
So, my mum came to visit for my son’s birthday, and for half term was joined by my grandma, my aunt, and my cousin (who is also 8 years old). And before I knew it it was November and I still haven’t written the letter. So here it is, and we’ll be back to the children and media series in a couple of weeks (I hope)
My, how you’ve grown this year. I can’t believe you have grown so big. But time does seem to go faster each year, and the string of your days in this world would make a pretty impressive necklace. Time flies now, between ninja club, piano lessons, and your challenge class (I was so proud and not at all surprised you were invited to that one!), Roman day and school photo day and all of those things we have to get to and from.
Sometimes you amaze me. I’m left speechless, with my jaw on the floor. Like when you play the piano, especially when you decide to extract the notes to Adele’s songs from hearing. Or when you climb literally up the wall, or up the doorframe to hang from the top and jump back down. I try not to look then.
I love your cuddles, even though you’re almost as tall as me now, and full of elbows. I know, I know, you are not actually full of elbows, although it certainly feels that way when you climb on me. I remember when you were still inside, for a full month I swear I had your feet on my lungs. You were long and windmill-like even then. And I remember how you were a chubby toddler (where have those cheeks gone to?) and you sang all the time. And you told stories to yourself all the time. I think you still do, judging by how often I have to repeat myself.
It’s ok. Keep telling yourself stories. It’s ok to be in your own world. Even your teacher wasn’t concerned, to my relief, that you seem to prefer playing on your own. Some people get concerned about people who don’t necessarily like to spend every waking hour with other people. I know. I’ve been at the end of that concern a lot of my childhood. I’m not going to make you have friends, even though I sorely wish you’d fine even one close friend to talk to and play with. I know you get along with (almost) everyone, but I would have loved for you to have a close friend, a relationship like the one you have with your sister, perhaps, or close to it.
I try, but I don’t know how to teach you. Because I still don’t entirely know how to make friends, and I’m 30 years older than you are. Still, your relationship with your sister fulfils some of the needs, I think, probably because you’re so close in age. I love how you both have forts of your own, but you couldn’t stand being apart so you established “fort play dates” so that you can still see each other.
For next year, I wish for you to find a friend. I won’t make you do it, but I really think you would like that. Someone who would accept you for who you are, who would cherish your qualities even, someone you can talk to and goof around with. Someone who would choose to be your friend. But you can always talk to me in the meantime.