This time of year always brings a nostalgia trip for me. I think back to the surprise of my waters breaking at 36 weeks and then spending another four days waiting to meet large boy. Remembering that induced first labour, my body completely ignoring my plan. The jaundice, the reflux, the exhaustion, the sore boobs, and the joy. 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 now, somehow, he’s 10!
Our large boy
He’s bloody brilliant.
We’ve long since forgiven (if not forgotten) the vomit filled moses basket, the mustardy poo explosions, the refusal to sleep, and the picky eater toddler.
In their place, the pride we feel for the young man that he’s growing into is immeasurable.
He’s generous and kind to his brother and his friends alike, as well as to his parents. He shared his Kitkat with me yesterday. He chooses the sensible path (mostly) and teams up with his friends to defend one another, while also getting adults involved if needed. He shares willingly and cares that others are happy. He offers and makes cups of tea or coffee unbidden (though often as an excuse for a biscuit). His knowledge of animals and nature (and Fortnite) is almost encyclopedic and he shares his facts incessantly.
Lately, he’s been growing at some considerable speed. He’s suffering with growing pains, his legs and arms tight and achey. He moans briefly and then gets on with his day, surprising me with his maturity.
His sportiness remains entirely and singularly devoted to rugby. Despite brief forays on the treadmill and the local pavements to run a few kilometres, he remains a steadfastly “inside boy”. Except for rugby, where a team of kids he knows only through rugby (bar two classmates) excites him and drives him to get stuck in. He was always averse to injury and never one for rough housing. But he’s adapted to contact rugby, tackling and being tackled without fear and finding his niche.
A couple of months ago, the inevitable consequence of himself’s genes and large boy’s book addiction came to pass – large boy needed glasses. After the initial disappointment, he’s accepted them, wears them for TV and has only left them at school once. The benefit of clear vision and speedier maths apparently outweighing the inconvenience of wearing them.
However, the grumpy teenagerness we glimpse from time to time is really giving us cause to be a little afraid of what the future holds. He’s developed “the Thursdays”. Thursday is always a long day with a late night the day before after Cubs, they never get picked up from school before 5pm but more often it’s 5.30pm. By which time, he’s tired and hungry and grumpy. But lately, that grumpiness is translating into a refusal to communicate, slumping on the sofa, head covered in a blanket. Worse, it’s no longer limited to Thursdays. Hence the term “the Thursdays” and small boy calling him “his grumpiness”. I think the next few years might be fun.
He loves books and fluffy jumpers and Oor Wullie and Chinese takeaways and Top Gear and cuddles and playing Fortnite and tiramisu and strong French cheese and Viking gods and loom bands and fizzy drinks and Scratch and Lego and rugby and The Impossible Baking show and maths and coffee and every teacher he’s ever had and his friends and more books and his teddies and his little brother.
Each year I feel like he’s blossoming. This year he’s started doing so many things. He only makes his packed lunch sometimes, he puts his laundry away (grumpily), wears a proper tie (but can’t tie it) and he can twist his whole body in knots. He can repeat tongue twisters and he’s learning Spanish. He’s been known to write the odd poem, just because. He’s listened to how girls bodies change and cares that periods will be real for some of his friends in the next year or so. He’s been allowed out on his own, near to home and is impatient to go further afield. He’s discovered a love of baking, so long as mum helps, and begs to make cakes for fun. He’s generous and thoughtful and his imagination is mind boggling – together with small boy, the world of fabulous sneaky beasts now has too many creatures to even count.
He’s proud to be unusual (even if he’s really very normal), corrects me if I slip up and say anything assigning characteristics to a gender, won’t stand for people being limited and celebrates his friends’ successes – even when the same achievements come easily to him.
By no means is he a saint, but he is totally awesome.
Being 10 isn’t so different from 9, but thinking back to last year’s reflections and the year before it’s very different from the 7 year old we once had. He still believes in Santa as far as I know, but will he this time next year? He’s won’t be told what to do by his brother but also now realises that he can’t boss small boy about completely. He’s becoming ever more independent and comfortable with his own company, reading and listening to the radio to relax. He’s not a little boy anymore. He’s growing up so fast.
I asked him if he wanted to write a description of himself this year and he said no. So, sorry you can’t get his perspective.
What will his 10th year bring? Explosions of knowledge for sure. Probably a lot of preparation for secondary school – he can’t wait for that already. Some more solidification of his friendship groups, maybe. Or maybe expansion to include a wider group.
Large boy, if you ever read this, you are brilliant, amazing, frustrating, hilarious, and very very loved.
With oodles like noodles of love. From Mum xx