And the heart full of gold
But boys are kind and loving and empathetic as well. Almost every single night when our family sits down for dinner you ask “how was everyone’s day?” Depending on individual moods you may or may not get an answer. But even when you are met with radio silence, you persevere and repeat the question, asking each of us individually how our day was. Jakey, may you never ever lose this immensely significant part of your personality. Such a simple yet powerful question can really make someone’s day. At just nine years old, you have an innate maturity to realise that just a tiny effort can make a big difference in someone else’s world and change their mood for the better. I will always be grateful for your daily dinner question. You make me laugh like not many others do with your full-bodied smile that exudes a vibrant love of life.
365 days of your Oodie
For your 9th birthday you received an Oodie as one of your gifts, and it seems like you have been wearing it for 365 days since.
The last days of bed making
I remember in last year’s birthday blog I shared how you spend ages making your bed in the morning, with expert measured placement of your cushions, toys and other paraphernalia. And with so much home school this year, even your desk got a perfect design make over. Sadly, I think the time has come where the toys are tossed to the side and the doona is haphazardly thrown onto your bed. It was in January this year, nearly eight months ago, that you last gave your bed-making skills a workout. I want to remember this moment before it is gone forever.
A few months ago, during the five seconds of freedom in between our lockdowns, we visited Typo store and you begged me to let you buy this hamburger cushion with your own money. I was reluctant, as I thought it would be yet another soft toy that would sit in the corner of your room looking a bit forlorn and lost like your other soft toys. But how wrong was I. Every night, when I tuck you into bed you ask me to give you hamburger and you spoon this cushion and fall asleep together. I know hamburger won’t always be around in your life. In fact, I expect in years to come you won’t every remember these peaceful sleeping moments together. But I sometimes watch you at night when you are sleeping like this, and to me this is the best hamburger in the world.
For the love of sport
Sport, especially basketball, is a huge part of your world. It has, and will continue to, teach you so much about life. I have watched with pride as you have matured this year and revelled in the highs of team sports, whilst also accepting the disappointment that comes with losing . Observing you on the sports field are some of the best parts of my weekend, whether it’s your committed effort on the basketball court or seeing you covered in mud at the end of a vigorous footy match. You have been glued to the TV for the past few weeks watching the olympics, cheering on the Aussie basketball team and whooping when our swimmers won gold. My favourite moment was when I showed you the replay video of the South Africa swimmer (Tatjana Schoemaaker) winning the 200m breastroke final and how the US team hugged her afterwards to congratulate her. I think you knew that this was the ultimate display of olympic spirit…to love sport for the sake of sport and be able to take part and also celebrate your opponents achievements.
You wear all your emotions so vividly and unabashedly. All these raw, unadulterated facial expressions are absolutely you!
Your love of reading
At the moment your bedside tables looks a lot like mine…about five books in a pile, all begging for your imagination every time you get into bed. Your current favourites are the Tom Weekly books and no matter how busy my day might be, when you ask to read to me at night I hope that I always say yes. But even though the day is coming where I will no longer be requested to be your narrating audience, I hope that your love of reading never wanes. For once you peel away the necessity of reading for education, you discover the ultimate magic of escaping into a vast world of dreams and wonder. May you always fall asleep to one of your favourite books.
Puzzles and LEGO
When I ask you if you wish to do a puzzle or build lego….your answer at first is usually no. However, once you get started there is usually no stopping you, although I think the iso-puzzle stage is starting to wear a bit thin. During our long lockdown last year, one of your favourite home school activities was creating a marshmallow and spaghetti tower. Just a few weeks ago, you spent the entire day building your new technic lego set and would not even emerge from the playroom for food or a toilet break.
As I finish writing this blog I wonder which parts of your nine year old self will stick with you and carry on through the years? Will you always have these long skinny limbs? Will you grow fiercely independent? Will you keep talking in a cute baby voice when you say goodnight to Cino? Will you insist on re-watching your favourite movies on repeat…sometimes three, four or even nine times again!? This is why I write this birthday blog, to document your life in this moment in time. A treasure cove of wonders untold, before they slip away from everyday forever, long before I am ready.
This morning you woke up at the crack of dawn and somehow I convinced you to climb into bed with me (ok, maybe I actually bribed you with extra chocolate promises). I lay there trying to cuddle you over the giant mound of Oodie and I remembered all the mornings when you were little and would climb into bed with me and I could snuggle your warm body still filled with the sweet smell of sleep. It felt bitter-sweet this morning as I know there will likely be very few of these type of cuddles left in my world. Jakey, tonight I will kiss your soft cheeks and you will flap away my kisses but then call me back for back pats. This is the precipitous time in your life where you hover between two worlds…the one of your young cocoon and the new one you have begun to explore, which I may one day only visit in my dreams. How do I describe this decade of being your mum without sacharin-sweet cliches? It has been ecstatic, it has been consuming. It is like a psychedelic rush of tenderness for a person I knitted with my own flesh. It feels exactly right, just how love should. Happy 10th birthday my angel pie.
Jake Birthday Interview – 10 years old
144 cm tall
- Who is your best friend? Angus
- What is your favourite subject at school? Sport
- What is your favourite colour? Green
- What is your favourite food? Croissants
- What’s your worst food? Asparagus
- What is your favourite iPad game? Roblox
- What do you like to do with Evie? Tik toks
- What do you like to do with mummy? Bake
- And daddy? Play games, especially backgammon
- What is your favourite birthday gift? The chocolate box (Evie’s gift to Jake)
- What do you want to be when you are bigger? A vet
- What makes you happy? When somebody plays with me
- What makes you sad? When someone hurts me
- If you could have three wishes in the world what would they be?
- To get 15 billion dollars by creating an idea
- Have more dogs in our house
- Make a difference in the world
- What is something you are really good at? Basketball and footy
- What is something you would like to improve? How will you do it? Table tennis. I will practise
- What is your favourite book? Tom Weekly
- What is the best part of your birthday? Getting presents
- If you could change one thing in the world what would it be? You don’t pay for anything in the world
- What is something good about home school? I get to play iPad at lunch
- What are you grateful for today? That it’s my birthday
- Who is someone you admire? Angus
- What do you think is the most important job in the world? Doctors
- What is something important that your parents have taught you? Not to click on spam emails
- What is something important that a grandparent has taught you? You must check the road before crossing
- Do you have a favourite memory? The buffet breakfast in Thailand
- What is your greatest strength? Basketball
- What is your greatest weakness? Chocolate
- What is your most treasured possession? Cino
- If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life? When someone has hurt me, stop them hurting me
- If you were an animal, what would it be? Dog
- If I gave you $20 now what would you buy? Shares
- What is one goal that you would like to achieve when you are 9 years old? How will you do it? Make more friends. I will be nice to people
- What was the best and worst thing about covid and lockdown? Best – see friends at the park. Worst – having a birthday in lockdown for the second time
- What has been the best Olympic event to watch? Basketball and weight lifting
- What question would you like to ask a sports star? Michael Jordan – how did you become so good at basketball?
- Who will win the AFL grand final? Melbourne
- How would you like to celebrate next year’s birthday? Go to Totally Game