Well, now you are nine.
I’ll admit to being slightly surprised by this as the night your Dad and I stood outside our flat waiting for a taxi to the hospital seems like only yesterday. The wind was whipping the trees around and the pub down the road was having one of its loud lock ins but it seemed completely still and deserted inside my bubble, poised as I was on the lip of a new life.
Looking at you I am amazed that you once fitted inside me – more than your lengthening limbs and broadening shoulders – your huge questions, limitless dreaming and the constant laughing and shouting and talking make it hard to imagine you budding and unfurling under my heart.
You are so very present in your moment. Clever, wonderful, fantastic, kind and mysterious boy. I wish a million things for your future darling. I still have to remind myself not to grip you so tightly.
It made me so glad when you picked a day out with us over a birthday party this year. Just as I get a thrill every time you choose to take my hand as we walk along. I appreciate every spontaneous cuddle and hug, I hope you stay as unaffectedly affectionate and loving.
Secretly I’m jealous of every other call on your attention and interest. Your new other lives grow and pull away from us like lengthening afternoon shadows. I remind myself every day to give you the room you need to be your own person, to have faith in your resourcefulness and values and the need for you to learn your own lessons.
It’s not easy and I know I get lots of stuff wrong but every mistake I make is suffused with love and good intentions. I am flawed but who isn’t? You make me very proud Zeph. You, your sister and your father are the very best decisions I ever made. Thank you for changing my life. I remember the first time we looked into each other eyes. You were a crumpled blue tinged goblin clutching my finger and your eyes were huge – limpid navy pools of knowingness. You seemed so sure and otherworldly. I felt the click in my head as something shifted – immense and surely as the restless turning of a teutonic plate. I love my new landscape.
It was a great birthday.