This post essentially marks my firstborn turning 7.
All five letters of it. All 7 years of it. All 2, 555 days of it.
This was the baby that started me on my journey to motherhood. He came to rock my world, and boy, did he rock it hard and shake it well. I became acquainted with all things mum, thanks to him, from babywearing and mastitis to classical music and puree-ing food. Because of him, I could apply all the wisdom gleaned from all the mistakes made for #2 and #3. I learned how to trim nails, scrutinise the colour and smell of poo and administer medicine (which required lots of skill through a syringe, by the way). I also mastered the art of tiptoeing all around the house, dancing and clowning around and reading labels on every single thing I wish to buy from the stores. I learned how to handle mum guilt, studied how to apply reality discipline and read copiously on all things parenting. Thanks to this boy, I charged full steam ahead like I’ve been given a new lease of life in my sluggish twenties, and wore the title “MOTHER” like a badge of honour.
Ben, oh, Ben. How much you have taught me. And how much I have learned because of you. All these seven years.
And every day I learn and grow, as your mother, and as a person. They say motherhood brings out the best and worst in you. It is true. I saw what I could do – in every sense of the word – good and bad, and learned above all else to manage myself in order to mother you.
Birthdays are always the toughest for me. While I sing you the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, I am always choking on the inside. Look at you, you’re a big boy now. And whilst the thought of you growing tall and strong and leaving me someday as you become independent flashes through my mind, I reminisce the days when you toddled, grinned and laughed.
How mixed my feelings are, every single year on this day.
Happy birthday, Son. You made me Mum on this day and I am proud of single minute of it.