The last three days have been an annual nostalgia trip for me. Remembering that first labour, the total lack of respect for my plan shown by our bodies. The complete naivety about birth, sleep, new borns and parenting in general. How easy that pregnancy was compared to the four that have followed it.
But here we are. The outcome of those three and a half days – from water breaking to emergency section, via induction and failed forceps due to a partial face presentation – is eight years old.
He’s bloody brilliant. The sleepless nights and refluxy vomiting are long since forgiven and forgotten. In their place, we are so proud of his kindness to his brother and his friends, aghast at his knowledge and approach to sharing it with everyone at school (I fear he’s a know it all), touched by his sensitivity, impressed by his thirst for learning, amazed at his sportsmanship, and horrified at the grumpy teenagerness we glimpse occasionally.
So today he’s 8 and we’ve, possibly foolishly, hosted a party for eight friends at home. The table was laid (by large boy) yesterday and we arranged his cake together.
This morning he played rugby, scored three tries and got averagely filthy. Then played his new Switch game while waiting for his friends.
Come 3 o’clock, his friends arrived and were dispatched to the TechTruck to play Xbox for an hour and a half. Small boy and I played Lego Indiana Jones on Wii and drank a cuppa in peace. Then the big kids came into the house for pizza and cake. Holy cow there was a lot of noise and shouting and not sitting down and competing for the last slide of pizza. Their poor teacher!
Gone the days of pass the parcel and party bags full of junk. A cone of sweets, a pencil and notepad, and a slice of cake are all that’s required these days. The parents arrived and scooped up their sugared children, then we began the clean up effort.
After 2 hours of chaos (well an hour and a half of peace then 30 minutes chaos), calmness returned to the house – once the presents were opened of course.
Being 8 isn’t so different from 7, but I think this year will see some changes for him. Will he believe in Santa this time next year? Will he still want to play with his brother so much? The requests for alone time to read and write are beginning already. By the time he’s 9, he won’t be a “little boy” any more. So the start of being 8 is perhaps also the end of a phase in his life. He’s growing up. Fast. Its wonderful to watch, but I do wish we could savour this time a little longer.
Large boy, if you ever read this, you are brilliant, amazing, frustrating, hilarious, and very very loved.