Happy Birthday to our wonderful 12 year old. Here are 12 things we love about you...
1: Your face. You have your Dad's face and it melts my heart to see you grow more and more like him every year
2: Your smile. Just like your Dad you are almost always smiling. How can I be mad at you with a cheeky grin like yours?!
3: Your honesty. You cannot lie. It shows on your face like writing on a page. It is a good trait. Don't lose it.
4: Your appetite. You love every single meal I place before you. You give your dinners 11 and 12 out of 10 even if it is beans on toast! When the rest of the family push their food around the plate you critique it like a Masterchef finale! Sometimes number 3 (honesty) lets me see through the words but you always try to show gratitude!!!
5: Your whizz bang brain: You didn't get your brain cells from me, I'm grateful for that! If I could count the number of times you start a sentence with "Did you know...."
6: Your ability to share. If you ever have a bag of sweets or a bar of chocolate you are the first to offer to share it out in the family. Maybe you are hoping we will share back our treats with you but you never hesitate to offer even if you only have a small amount to share.
7: You are quick to apologise. Too quick sometimes. I remember one of your sisters being mean to you when you were smaller. Your face crumpled and I snapped "Say sorry" to her at which you immediately apologised to her instead. "Not you Gareth!" I was talking to your sister. We all burst out laughing. The tension diffused because of your willingness to be kind.
8: Your affection. You were always a very cuddly child. As you get older the public hugs and hand holding are getting much less frequent. That's ok. It's how it should be. But in the comfort of our home you still give great hugs and I cherish them!
9: Your wit. Oh boy do you have some quick smart answers for me! If there is a funny answer to a question I've asked it comes out of your mouth quicker than my brain can register! How many times have I stood there with mouth open lost for words? Don't lose it!
10: Your laughter. As I stand there, mouth open trying to think of a witty response and failing miserably you break into the most amazing laughter. It starts deep in your belly and explodes out of you. You have distracted me out of many a lecture because your laughter is so infectious I lose my train of thought.
11: Your memory. You have the memory of an elephant. The small details you can recall from events ridiculously far away astounds me. Again the brain of your father. Be grateful you got his. Be very grateful!
12: You. Plain and simple. You! For the love you bring to our family. You are the third child I wanted so badly. You make our family complete.
Happy Birthday to our favourite son!
(ok, you're our only son but who's counting?!)
I have always been a worrier. When I was younger I worried so much about school. I worried before exams, I worried during exams and I worried waiting for the results to come out.
My Dad used to tell me not to worry so much. I remember once as I stressed waiting for results of a maths exam he asked whether the worry I was feeling at that very moment could in any way change my result in that exam?
No. The answers were written and handed in. The teacher who marked it would simply go through my answers and add them up to give me my result. That result was now fixed and nothing I felt or did would have any impact on it at all.
It was a lightbulb moment. It never occurred to me how futile my worry was.
As I have grown into adulthood I still worry. When the anxieties build and grow and make my stomach sick and my head ache I try to stop and remember that conversation with Dad. I try to let the worry go. Much easier said than done, isn't it?
And now I have teenagers of my own. I see them worry and I know it wont help change their outcomes either. I am trying to pass on my Dad's advice. Recently someone posted a quote on-line from the Dalai Lama. It has stayed in my head, a variation on my Dad's words. I've needed those words a lot recently.
And so this morning I lay down on the grass in my garden and took a photo of the beautiful sky above me. I decided to put those wise words on it so I can print it and keep it where I will see it often. A reminder to take deep breaths and let the worry go.
Life is changing. Situations are unfolding. Some will bring tears, some will bring happiness. My worry is not going to change the outcome of any of them. I have to breath deep and live each day at a time and focus on the good that it holds. Today it is blue skies and unfurling Agapanthus flowers.
One day at a time...
Except maybe sweet smelling kisses before he runs outside to roll in the garden!
Watch this space...!
This is a Mandala that she designed herself and painted. It is a quarter image that is turned and redrawn, turned and redrawn until a full circle is achieved. She got 100% in this project and was so glad to get to bring it home where she plans on hanging it in her room.