“Blink and you’ll miss it”, they say.

But I didn’t miss it. I was there, placing you down to sleep in your tiny bassinet.  I turned around and you were crawling, then suddenly climbing trees and within an olympic second of time you were leaping up to shoot basketballs.

I was there spooning food into your mouth, as well as standing next to you just the very next moment  when you were using a sharp knife to prepare the salad for dinner. I tied your shoe laces on the first day of school, followed rapidly by a purchase of your first pair of adult-size shoes. I read hard cover baby books to you, and when I turned the page it was you narrating small font chapter books to me.

The truth is I don’t remember when you became too heavy for me to carry, or when your head stopped fitting into the crook of my head during a cuddle. In fact, there was never an exact moment in time when the morning cuddles in bed stopped….. but they did. I blinked and suddenly you went to the park on your own…who knew I would ever miss the monotony of pushing a playground swing back and forth.

I don’t want to blink ever again. For a decade has passed since I first held 3.195kg of Jake in my arms, and if I blink another ten years will have gone. But at least my memory lane will forever be treelined with nostalgia, as another seed of a birthday blog is planted to grow strong roots of your nine year old self. Just in case I blink.

What I remember from when you were nine

Multiplication teeth brushing

This was the last year that I would still occasionally brush your teeth at night. We had our special ritual where I would randomly throw out times table equations for you to answer (not always easy with a mouthful of toothpaste). You would try to pretend that you weren’t peaking at the answers on the multiplication wall chart in your bathroom.

The start of the never-ending growth spurt

I think it’s about time I start investing in Weetbix shares. After more and more dinner meals (where you have eaten a plate of foods plus seconds), you ask for a bowl (or three) of Weetbix, plus an apple or two.  And you have no problem eating a ginormous bowl of salad all on your own. If this is how much you are eating when you are still nine years old, we may need to build a second pantry within a few years.

Yet despite your limbs  looking like they belong in a theatrical production of Jack and his beanstalk, you somehow manage to squeeze your skinny waist into your favourite size 5 shorts! It was only when they started restricting your blood flow that you allowed me to pass them on as a hand me down.

And when your baby cousin Talya was in town and we pulled out your old baby clothes, you insisted on trying on the all-in-one swimsuit from when you were just one years old. Luckily the material was very stretchy!

Still little enough

Those long legs of yours somehow manage to fold neatly over the toddler chairs in the playroom. Who would have thought ten years later they are still a daily part of you life.

Your favourite yoga-like Roblox pose

How many times have I walked into my bedroom this past year to find you sitting on the floor next to my bed in the exact same yoga-style position every single time. Obviously must be super comfortable for the hours of Roblox that you will gladly play until I force you to get off the iPad. At least you stretch out your body in the opposite direction when assuming  your second favourite slouch-on- the-couch position.

Angus, Angus, Angus

I have been writing about your best buddy Angus for over five years now and nothing has changed in this strong best friendship. Whether it’s dressing up together for Purim, play dates, school events or anything else, you will always choose him.

My real live kitchen aide

Evie suggested that I buy a kitchen aide after seeing it being used all the time on Masterchef. But no need when I have my own kitchen aide called Jake. You are the only family member that will willingly (well, most of the time at least) help me prepare dinner, make salads or peel potatoes. And your love for baking and cooking has not abated…after many more months of lockdowns this year, you have become somewhat of a cake expert!

“Mummy, do you need help making dinner”

Your dinner help offer is just one of many ways you want to help (when in the right mood). You have mowed the grass, you LOVED feeding your baby cousin Talya and whilst you do sometimes complain about your chores, I think you actually enjoy cleaning your bathroom and vacuuming the car. Ok, may you don’t enjoy picking up Cino’s poos as much!

Always a boy at heart

I know that it is no longer considered politically correct to make gender stereotype comments, but you always have been, and still are, a boy through and through. Whether it’s climbing a tree, making paper aeroplanes, coming home with grass stains on your pants or showing me how you make fart sounds with your arms and legs….everything about you says “boy”.

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.

That face

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.

I wonder….

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

  1. Who is your best friend? Angus
  2. What is your favourite subject at school? Sport
  3. What is your favourite colour? Green
  4. What is your favourite food? Croissants
  5. What’s your worst food? Asparagus
  6. What is your favourite iPad game? Roblox
  7. What do you like to do with Evie? Tik toks
  8. What do you like to do with mummy?  Bake
  9. And daddy? Play games, especially backgammon
  10. What is your favourite birthday gift? The chocolate box (Evie’s gift to Jake)
  11. What do you want to be when you are bigger? A vet 
  12. What makes you happy? When somebody plays with me 
  13. What makes you sad? When someone hurts me  
  14. If you could have three wishes in the world what would they be?
    1. To get 15 billion dollars by creating an idea
    2. Have more dogs in our house
    3. Make a difference in the world 
  1. What is something you are really good at? Basketball and footy
  2. What is something you would like to improve? How will you do it? Table tennis. I will practise
  3. What is your favourite book? Tom Weekly
  4. What is the best part of your birthday? Getting presents
  5. If you could change one thing in the world what would it be? You don’t pay for anything in the world
  6. What is something good about home school? I get to play iPad at lunch
  7. What are you grateful for today? That it’s my birthday
  8. Who is someone you admire? Angus
  9. What do you think is the most important job in the world? Doctors
  10. What is something important that your parents have taught you? Not to click on spam emails
  11. What is something important that a grandparent has taught you? You must check the road before crossing 
  12. Do you have a favourite memory? The buffet breakfast in Thailand
  13. What is your greatest strength? Basketball
  14. What is your greatest weakness? Chocolate
  15. What is your most treasured possession? Cino
  16. If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life? When someone has hurt me, stop them hurting me
  17. If you were an animal, what would it be? Dog
  18. If I gave you $20 now what would you buy? Shares
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. What has been the best Olympic event to watch? Basketball and weight lifting
  22. What question would you like to ask a sports star? Michael Jordan – how did you become so good at basketball?
  23. Who will win the AFL grand final? Melbourne
  24. How would you like to celebrate next year’s birthday? Go to Totally Game