In just a couple of weeks my son reaches double figures.
Ten. It feels like such a huge milestone. Like we’ve reached a significant point in his life. He’s changed, we’ve changed, the world has changed and he’s moving on.
Every night he goes to bed and wakes up another step closer to adolescence. Another step further away from being my baby. I relish watching him grow and blossom and develop into this awesome young man. But as he grows I find my mind turn ever more to the early years.
Ten years ago we brought our first born home. Decorated the nursery. Made the house baby safe. Looked at our home through new eyes. Sat on the sofa with him, just staring for the longest time at this ball of wonder between us.
We marvelled at his tiny toes and his capacity to smile at anything and everything and be in a good mood for pretty much everyone who showed up at our home to cuddle and coo at our first baby.
Now he has big toes, hairy toes, toes on the verge of becoming a teenager’s toes.
He has a very sharp, dry sense of humour, a fierce sense of right and wrong and a strong pull of loyalty towards his best friends.
He’s moved up to Middle School; big, scary middle school where we are convinced our smiler will finally learn that Santa isn’t quite what mummy and daddy told him, that a secret note from your mum in your lunchbox just isn’t cool anymore and that he will discover the pre-teen art of Keeping Secrets.
To be honest, I feel that the next four years are going to consist of me holding my breath and crossing my fingers that my little man will be spat out the other end relatively normal.
Now he’s nearly 10 and we’ve decorated his room again. Made it a place where he can stretch his mind with a desk and books and maps of the world.
After 10 years of being a parent do I feel any more confident? Yes, I guess I do, but I also feel like I’m making just as many mistakes.
I hope in these 10 years we’ve learned from our errors. I hope that we’ve held his hand when he needed it; helped foster friendships that enrich him; made him feel safe and loved and happy.
I mean, 10 years is enough time to get it sort of right, isn’t it?
I have a few friends who have recently taken the steps into motherhood or who are pregnant and just starting off on that great adventure.
It all feels so long ago to me. And yet it feels like just yesterday.
Be warned, this photo represents just how those 10 years feel to me.
Enjoy every single minute, because it really does all change so very fast.