Children, Family

Warning, Eleven Incoming!

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.

Sometimes it feels like yesterday, sometimes like another life. But no, 11 years have passed with large boy in our lives.

Our large boy

He’s bloody brilliant. I say that every year, and it remains true.

We feel such pride for the young man that he’s growing into.

He’s generous and kind to his brother and his friends alike, as well as to his parents. When I had a migraine recently, he put all his wants to one side and just hugged and comforted me. He shares willingly and cares that others are happy. He especially shares his knowledge about anything and everything.

He’s gaining lots of independence, now walking home from school a couple of times a week with a phone. He gets sent to the chippy for tea from time to time, trusted to take more cash than he needs and order sensibly. He crosses big roads, and crosses paths with much older kids. He’s done practice SATS at school and scored really well. When he gets in from school, he brings me cups of tea, often in while I’m in video calls and causes massive jealousy from my colleagues.

His independence and knowledge, confidence in his intelligence and general year-six-ness are leading him to a touch of arrogance or over-confidence. He tries to tell us how things work and what’s going on. That’s a learning curve for us too, not least because sometimes he’s right and we’re wrong!

The hormones are starting to make their presence felt. We’ve had tears, big emotions, a return to toddler-like strops, hiding under blankets. He’s starting a pong a bit, his hair’s a little bit more greasy and there are hairs growing in new places.

His sportiness remains entirely and singularly devoted to rugby. He very occasionally climbs on the treadmill and but generally prefers not to venture outside. 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. He has goggles to play in, as his sight has got worse, so that he can see the ball and recognise his team mates.

He stands up for himself, stands his ground when it really matters to him. He won’t be persuaded up a climbing wall or an abseiling tower or high ropes. We’ve learned that he has a full on phobia and we have to respect his boundaries, he knows his limits and that’s something to behold.

He loves books and fluffy jumpers and Chinese takeaways and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and cuddles and playing Fortnite and tiramisu and strong French cheese and Viking gods and fizzy drinks and Scratch and Lego and rugby and Great British Bake Off and maths and coffee and deep fried haggis 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 learning so many life skills. He makes his packed lunch every day and some time’s his brother’s too, he puts his laundry away (messily), wears a proper tie (but can’t tie it), he makes a good cup of coffee or hot chocolate. He’s learning riddles and navigating social media relationships with his school friends. He’s loves baking, doesn’t really need mum’s help anymore, and begs to make cakes for fun.

He’s proud to be unusual (even if he’s really very normal), won’t stand for people being limited and celebrates his friends’ successes – even when the same achievements come easily to him. He’s responsible and mature and silly and loud and grumpy and hilarious.

By no means is he a saint, but he is totally awesome.

Being 11

Being 11 isn’t so different from 10, or is it? He seems to have come a long way in the last 12 months. Thinking back to last year, the year before and three year’s ago it’s very different from the 7 year old we once had. He has just announced this week that he knows Santa is scientifically impossible and he knows it’s mum and dad really. He’s agreed to keep it fun and not spoil the whole thing for his brother though.

He bickers almost non-stop with his little brother, apart from when he cuddles him close. He corrects his teachers, but nicely and they don’t mind. He teaches his whole class computing and moderated their blog projects. He looooves maths so much, but maybe not as much as Fortnite. He’s the pickiest reader ever, will not be advised or persuaded to try anything he doesn’t want to. This next year is going to hold some massive changes for him, SATS, his first trip to Le Mans, new emotions, a changing body, a transition to secondary school. I know he’ll face every challenge and new experience head on, acknowledging his fears but carrying on anyway (unless it’s up a climbing wall, then no).

Large boy, if you ever read this, you are brilliant, amazing, frustrating, funny, gentle, loving, and very very loved.

With oodles like noodles of love. From Mum xx

Love from Smell xxx

10 thoughts on “Warning, Eleven Incoming!”

  1. I love this reflective read, as I feel it would be amazing to do something like this every year either for one’s self as well as a way to journal and document the changes you see in yourself or others. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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