17 years ago today, I gave birth to my second child Harry. He burst into the world weighing a whisker under nine pounds and has kept me on my toes ever since. He’s an energetic, sporty, fiercely-competitive boy with a ferocious intelligence, an enquiring mind and a brilliant way with words. His understanding of life is way beyond his years and he astounds me on occasions with his astuteness. He claims he can tell how I’m feeling by the way in which I go down the stairs. He’s always right.
Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t some kind of angel child. He leaves trainers everywhere and eats everything in sight. In fact, Poppy and I have had to create a secret stash of tuna. Given his excellent hand-eye co-ordination, his empty cereal bowls never manage reach the dishwasher. He needs telling fifteen times to bring his dirty laundry down and to put his clean, freshly-ironed clothes away. And, he has an occasional tendency to lose his shiz and fly off the handle. A typical teenage boy.
It’s been a tough year for him so far. He tore his ACL playing rugby for his school back in January and needs reconstructive surgery. It was scheduled for the summer holiday so it wouldn’t interfere with his A-levels. It has, of course, been postponed indefinitely. He won’t be able to play contact sport for 12 months post-op, so he’ll never play for his school or his weekend club again. I think I’m almost as devastated as he is about that. I’ve spent my Sunday mornings pitchside for as long as I can remember. Not only will I miss the other football families, I’ll miss the time alone in the car with him, to and from away matches. I’ll miss him captain his team and play in goal.
It’s a shame that he won’t be able to start driving lessons, my gift to him. He can’t see his girlfriend or celebrate with friends. But, Poppy, Ian and I will do our best to make it special. Fajitas for dinner- his request- and I’ve baked him a cake. We’ll celebrate his eighteenth in style and next year, all being well, he’ll permit me to have more photos taken with him at prom. (The photo of us together was from last year at his post-GCSE prom). It would have been so much worse if the Coronavirus pandemic had happened at this time next year, he’d have missed out on so much more like so many other young people this year.
So happy birthday my gorgeous boy. I adore you and couldn’t be prouder. And thank you for giving me permission to put photos of you on my blog.
Stay safe x