a third of the way to 18

i thought year 5’s belated birthday letter was bad. that was only a month and a half late. this time, we’re a month and a half away from year 7’s birthday letter, and i’m just now sitting down (with as many cups of black coffee and kings of convenience playlists as one might expect) to start drafting year 6. if ever there are awards handed out for procrastination, which i doubt because, y’know, they’d likely procrastinate getting them done, but if there are, and if they engrave the ruddy things, i’d just like to remind the judges that my name is spelled with a y, not an i, and that if they wouldn’t mind terribly mailing it to me instead of requiring my attendance at a ceremony where socialisation is regrettably inevitable, that would be great, thanks.

i’d like to to say my avoidance of this particular post was due to a busy schedule, or newfound responsibilities, or something even vaguely important. but no. it’s none of that. again, it’s been avoided because focusing on the positive has been a little harder to bring myself to do when the where-the-hell-did-this-come-from attitude and the worse-than-a-toddler ability to listen are in full, round-the-clock force (don’t laugh, but i’m holding onto hope that he’s going through his terrible teenage phase extra early, so we can skip it later down the line). it doesn’t help, i’m sure, to simultaneously be the world’s most easily overwhelmed person (if there was a pill for patience, i might just overdose) and the parent of the world’s most easily overwhelming. but, as i’ve recently realised, this must be precisely the reason we were brought together. to challenge each other. to grow each other.

and i really am grateful for it — grateful for him — no matter how many locked-in-the-bathroom, curled-up-on-the-floor stress sobs i may have had over the years. ok, ok, i exaggerate. that’s only happened once or twice. sure as hell feels like more though.

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to my greatest joy,

and you are, truly. i pray you never come to doubt it.

at age six, i still see bits of us in you. the good bits like my resolve and honesty, and papa’s compassion and self-expression, and the bad bits, like my defiance and papa’s melodrama, too. and you may still like nerd things like papa, or british things like mama, but there’s no denying you’re your own person in spite of it all. and what an honour it’s been watching you grow into yourself.

since we last celebrated the anniversary of your earth entrance, it’s true, a little has changed, but so much about the small things that make you you remain the exactly same.

you have chosen veganism. you have started school. you have stood on mountains. you have walked into the sea. you have flown on a plane. you have ridden a train. you have collected encyclopedias. you have started writing letters. you have illustrated comics. you have started playing chess. you have made new friends. you have conquered your fear of slides.

but you still say the rainbow is your favourite colour. still say talking heads is your favourite band. still want to move in with grandma and grandpa when you turn 18. still dream of being a paleontologist. still never remember to hold your cards upright when we’re playing a game. still love watching the great british bake off. still call daytime “wake time.” still call led zeppelin’s immigrant song “thor song.” still love helping around the house. still dance with me in the afternoon. still ask for hot tea when your nose gets stuffy. still crave trail mix most of all.

you still can’t decide on your favourite animal. still sleep with paddington bear safe in your arms. still prefer harry potter over star wars. still prefer marvel over dc. still draw something new each day. still talk about opening the liam museum. still hide in the same spot every time we play hide and seek. still drop money in the kc pet project donation envelope taped up to the fridge whenever you can. still stop to smell the flowers. still ask to be held. still never stop humming. still absolutely adore maths.

but most unchanged of all, i still love you, and you still love me. and that, my dearest, is just how it shall always be.

happy 6th, littlun.

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