Secret Seven

My dear Scott,

I cannot believe that you are turning 7. How are you so grown up? When did that happen? When did you stop being my bouncing no sleep baby? My chatterbox toddler? My inquisitive nursery boy? You are still a chatterbox, but you are also squarely in the school-age category. Apparently age 7 is the stage that little boys move away from the exclusivity of their mothers’ arms so I know I need to accustom myself to this next stage.

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You can be a bit of a closed book at times and don’t always tell me what you are thinking. This means that when you are in the mood for giving a bit of yourself, I love the talks we have. I get to have conversations about wars, themes of books, crime and punishment, and morality in sport. It keeps me honest, which I like a lot. I think it’s ironic that I spent the first 3 years of your life wishing you’d grow up, and I find myself now wishing you’d stay a child for just a little longer.

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You are still a kind boy. You share everything with everyone, and you give away toys to your brother without any sense of propriety. When you gave away so many of your football stickers I confess to being a wee bit sad. “But mum,” you said, “he didn’t have that sticker and he really wanted it”.

Your competitive instinct is extremely strong and I don’t know if that comes more from me or your dad! More than anything though I want you to know that you don’t always need to be first or best at things. I want you to understand that you have nothing to prove to us and that in life being comfortable with yourself and being at peace with being 2nd or 67th at something is the best place to be.

I realise that, as a practical adult living in a practical world, my mission is often to extinguish a lot of your exuberance. I say you are “too much.” I tell you to be quiet, to settle down. Seeing you singing along and jigging away as the Corries pump out our sound system at 7am can be a bit of an overwhelming experience for this grownup. In exhausted moments, I get impatient and shout. I try to shape you into what I feel a mature 7-year-old “should” look like. Although I keep trying to tell you to behave, there is no need.  I am seeing more and more of the young man you will eventually become. But what you know now, with the infinite wisdom of a child, is that we should all be living with your passion and spirit. Leaving nothing behind at the end of the day. No fears or worries for what might happen tomorrow, and no ruminations about what was lost yesterday.

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As aggravated as I may get when I tell you to “behave!” and you don’t listen, one day that defiance will serve you well. One day, I will be proud that you don’t do something just because someone else tells you to.

I’m emotional as I write this because I know that you will now be able to read most of this all by yourself. That you won’t need me to help you with the words.

I am very lucky to be your mum and I hope you have a wonderful 7th birthday.

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Happy birthday Scoots xx

Here are your answers aged (almost) 7:

Favourite colour: red

Favourite food: chips

Favourite toy: Kindle

Favourite story: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Favourite TV programme or film: Football challenges on YouTube. Seeing films in the cinema – Spiderman and Pirates of the Caribbean

Favourite superhero –  Cristiano Ronaldo

Favourite song – Castle on the hill (Ed Sheeran)

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