Happy ninth birthday to my beautiful Jakey.

This time nine years ago I knew you would be born on this day. For you had already let me know you were ready to arrive earth side the night before your actual birthday. My uterus contracted in a moment of first labour pain, which happened to be about 2am whilst I was lying on the floor next to your sister’s cot patting her back to sleep.

Today I know that I love you even more than I did yesterday. And tomorrow I will love you even more than I do today. Last night I did not want to send you to bed. Because today you are a whole year older than last year, and too soon for my liking you will be all grown up. But today is a celebration of all that you are and all that you will still become.

What I remember when you were eight…
Bed designs

No matter my mood (which has been a bit low during this second lockdown), I can always be guaranteed of getting a good mood boost when I walk into your room and see the new bed-style for the morning. You take such pride in how you make your bed, fold your pjs, place your toys and have everything in an exact place. I have so many photos of the different styles you choose, way too many to add to this birthday blog.

The artist within

Your artistic talent is developing and growing at an exceptional rate. What you create when you take pencil to paper is exceptional. I sometimes glimpse you in your quiet world with just the sound of a pencil being scratched against paper as you create something intricate and of a much higher skill than is usual of most eight year olds. I think your nanny’s artistic genes have been embedded in your soul.

Birthday cards

I have never encountered an adult, let alone a child of your age, who has the maturity and selfless kindness to put in as much effort into writing birthday cards as you do. When you attend a friends birthday party, it is inevitably followed by a message from the birthday child’s parents astounded at the thoughtful, sensitive and sincere words you wrote in the card. Whilst the physical gift will long be forgotten, the words and honest efforts will be remembered for much longer.

Shabbat candles

You love lighting the Shabbat candles…even though it takes you about ten minutes and an entire box of matches to make it happen! Whilst in  Jewish tradition, it’s usually the girls who light the candles, I am so pleased that we have our own tradition where you take part too. I want to always remember your hopeful face asking “Mummy, can I please light the match tonight?”

Your pops….and all your grandparents

You adore all your grandparents who play such a big role in our life. But there is a special affinity for your pops (or fafa depending on what you feel like calling him) who will play a zillion games of uno with you in return for you giving him “a tight cuddle”. You haven’t seen him much this year because it’s been a complete pandemic write off, and this has been much harder for him than it has been for you. When I was your age I was extremely close to my Omi (pop’s mother and your great grandmother) and I used to phone her every single day, in fact I still remember her phone number. Your grandparents have and will continue to imprint your life in a very significant way, and even when they are no longer around, the impressions will last your lifetime.

Mummy’s Little Helper

Whether it’s in the kitchen or our mini vege garden, you are happy to be my side kick when it comes to meal preparation. Chopping veg, cutting salad leaves, peeling apples…like so many activities that you enjoy, you take great pride in doing it on your own and doing it perfectly.

Best friends…always

By nine years of age, most kids have gone through at least three to four different BFFs in their lives. But not you, Angus is still your first and truest best friend. There is an ease of comraderie between the two of you that is based on mutual respect, the same sense of silly humour and a content happiness of simply being in each other’s company. And just because you cannot see each other during the corona virus pandemic has not stopped the two of you…every spare second you are both playing Roblox together on your iPad.

This year your friendship circle has extended and some other friendships have been further cemented. On the last day of school last year you invited your favourite friends over for an end of year swim party and partied exactly how eight year old boys should…complete with water bomb competitions, boyhood screams and obligatory cheezel fingers.

A book about you

In September, just after you turned eight, you wrote this story about yourself. It will be a great memoir to re-read in many years to come.

Short-lived trumpet days

Oh how my heart sank when you were adamant that you did not want to continue learning trumpet. I know I am a biased mother, but even your somewhat non-biased teacher commented repeatedly what a natural talent you have for this musical instrument. At least, like your sister with her few years of piano, you benefited from a few months of learning how to play a musical instrument, which will be invaluable in your future life. And at least I can always go back and listen to you play a ‘Whole New World’ and it will bring me right back to these days of your being eight years old.


Not infrequently, you will ask me if you can have a bath instead of a shower and specifically ask for a “big bath”. You will happily lie there chatting to me about your day. I know one day you will be mortified at the thought of being naked in the bath with your mum right there, but not when you are eight years old.

Year 2 swimming carnival

Your first official swim carnival and you nailed it! First place in every race and one helluva super proud mum!

School is (mostly) pretty cool

You really do love school. I think it suits your personality…being in awe at discovering new things, hanging out with your friends, getting some wins when you smash goals and positive feedback from your teachers. Stay-at-home school during corona virus this year has certainly had its challenges, both the first and the second time. There were days when I witnessed meltdowns from you that I have not seen since you were a toddler, and moments of utter frustration oozing from your every being that made my mum heart break into a million pieces. BUT….those times passed just like all the others and the good days in between have been sensational. Just like I keep saying to you and your sister…these times are hard for you and I wish more than anything I could get things back to how you want your normal to be. However, at the same time I know that within this madness there are amazing life skills and the best lessons of perseverance that you are learning. There are things that a regular school curriculum can’t always teach you, like how to be disappointed and frustrated and then move on from that…how to adapt to a new way of doing things and most importantly…the knowledge and confidence that it is 100% your choice and within your control  as to what attitude you want to adopt every single day of your life.

Sleeping limbs galore

As your arms and legs show no sign of growth slow down, they inevitably end up twisted and half falling off your bed when you sleep.

A dietitian’s dream…you love salads!

There are a few meals that the rest of our family enjoy that you don’t…including spinach pies, most chicken dishes and tuna lasagne. But the dietitian in me knows you always get your five serves of veggies a day with your love for salads. Anytime I make a meal I know you don’t enjoy, all I need to do is add a can of tuna to a salad and you are happy…as long as you can eat it with a spoon!

A full 365 days without a hospital visit

I am writing most of this birthday blog in the weeks and days before you turn nine and I feel like I don’t want to jinx things…so I hold my breath that we can get to the 10th August and finally experience a full year with no hospital visits. It feels like a huge milestone to have reached this stage and PG it’s a life-lasting stage! However, you still scare the shit out of me when you hang sideways off the playground equipment and your fear seems to get less as you get older! Just to make sure I am keeping my wits about me, you made sure to visit the school nurse on the very first day of school this year…a reminder to me not to let my guard down.

Just one more chapter please mummy

This past year we have read some classic books together, such as ‘The Twits’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. You were so excited to get into bed at night so we could read together and when I said it was time to turn off the lights, there was always the “one more chapter please mummy” request. And I will let you in on a little secret, I think I enjoyed it reading these books together even more than you. These were some of my favourite stories when I was your age and just like I did with Evie, I re-read them again and revelled in the experience of sharing these imaginative worlds with you. You also love reading your own books to me. Sometimes I will correct a word that you mis-pronounced and this is ALWAYS followed by a claim from you that you said exactly that  and now have to re-read the sentence all over again! Each time I have a chuckle at your exasperated self-assured confidence that you know exactly how to pronounce these tricky words.

Carlton…no matter the weather

In the middle of summer you bought a Carlton dressing gown and beanie with birthday vouchers. It could be a 40 degree day and you would still come downstairs every morning donning your footy team attire.

Lint lover

No that is not a typo for lindt chocolate. But rather the best little delight that you discovered when you were eight years old – removing the soft warm lint from the tumble dryer door at the end of a cycle. It’s just the sweetest thing when you remind me to “call you for the lint” when you see the tumble dryer getting a workout. I love hearing you exclaim “it’s so soft!” as you remove it and throw in the bin. You even asked if this could be one of your chores!

Water baby

You have always been and still are a complete water baby. You are drawn to it just like your mumma and whether its ducking waves or simply a river or stream, you will play for hours.

Couch lover

Just like your dad, you love a good couch session, especially when combined with your iPad and your new found obsession with Roblox.

Mummy, I am ready for big cream

Since you were little, you have learned about “big cream” that we put on after a bath or shower to mositurise your body. We have done this since you were a little kid and were prone to getting eczema. The eczema has all disappeared but the ritual of me putting cream on your elongating limbs has stayed.…for now! I know sometimes I roll my eyes and sigh when I hear “mummy, I am ready for cream”, as inevitably I am in the middle of dinner prep or something else which seems so important at the time. But there is a little warning bell in my heart that reminds me every single time to stop doing all these other chores of inferior importance. For there will be many years where I won’t hear your voice call out for me to tell me you are ready for cream. And during those times I will wish with all my heart that I could swap the dinners and the household chores for just one more time to hear you say “mummy, I am ready for big cream.”


This year when corona virus hit in late March and we went into our first lockdown, you became a puzzle fanatic. We started upgrading from 500 pieces to 750 and now onto 1000 pieces. Unfortunately during this second lockdown the novelty seems to have worn off, but hopefully your new birthday puzzle reignites the passion.

Footy cards

This is the second birthday blog post where these have been a big feature of your past year…and I have a feeling this will be the last as the obsession has certainly dulled. And whilst that element of anxious anticipation before you rip open a packet still exists, the follow through excitement of swapping and talking about the cards with your mates, as well as sorting them into your albums has certainly dwindled from when you were seven to this past year of being eight.  I can’t say I am unhappy if this is the end of the footy card era as I will be glad to stop finding random cards all over your bedroom. But like all these moments that will be gone forever, I want to always remember this stage of your life.


The footy cards that would appear in all sorts of random places have mostly been replaced with chatterboxes that range in size from teeny weeny (with only one message inside that always says ”Jake is the best”) to large ones with different colours and more thought out messages.

You’re never too old for a cubby house

All you need is a blanket, a couple of pillows and some body parts to use as fixtures and you will make a cubby. For the last couple of months we have been watching ‘MasterChef Back to Win’ most nights on the couch with Evie. Or at least you watch about 5 minutes with Evie and I, then resort to making a cubby in the lounge and somehow peak through the blanket holes to catch the winners of the episode.

Your favourite big sister

You (mostly) adore your big sister and I think if it was up to you, you would play with her much more often. Whilst there have certainly been some trying times of sibling rivalry during the corona virus epidemic, I have seen the moments where the two of you have just worked perfectly. Whether it’s you giving her a horsey ride to the bathroom to brush her teeth or doing Nintendo Just Dance as your daily isolation exercise, these moments, even if they are some days few and far between, makes me happier than anything else.

That smile

People say you speak with your smile. I think in your case you sing and bare your whole soul with my smile. Your face shares everything about what is going on in your heart and makes you the special kiddo that only you are.

And now you are nine

So after weeks of writing this blog post and collating all the images from the past year of your eight year old self, I am sitting here the night before you turn nine. And already I feel like I am missing your eight year old self so much and that these memories I have written about will become unstuck as your child-self morphs and you become another year older. Which parts will carry on through the years? Will you always pretend to wipe away my kisses even though I know you really love them? Will you wish me a good nights sleep as I walk out your room or will these words slip away into the dark night? So many parts of you being eight will leave you long before I am ready for it. But this treasure trove of photos and anecdotes will hopefully fill the holes in my heart when I miss eight year old Jake.

The last couple of weeks you have been counting down to this very day. Each night as I kiss you to sleep you tell me with utmost excitement how many more sleeps till your birthday. I have needed to hear and feel your excitement so much. For it was the truest reminder how even during this time where the world is more upside down than ever before and life is filled with way too much uncertainty, there are many things to celebrate. And being eight years old, on the brink of turning nine is a true celebration. One that is filled with that thrilling eager anticipation of a childhood birthday that no pandemic in the world could ever dampen, and the perfect antidote for a harsh and sad crazy world.

You have reminded me what it is to live with hope and all the wishes for a new tomorrow. So thank-you my angel. Thank-you for all these wonderful memories you have given me during the past 365 days of your life. And thank-you for reminding me exactly how to life life, with eagerness, astonishment, desire for good things and palpable excitement for a brand new birthday. I love you more than you will ever know.

And here is your annual birthday interview…as always with verbatim unedited responses.

Jake Birthday Interview – 9 years old and 144cm

  1. How old are you ? nine
  2. Who is your best friend? Angus
  3. What is your favourite subject at school? Physical Education
  4. What is your favourite colour? Green
  5. What is your favourite food? Cheese burgers
  6. What’s your worst food?Brocolli burgers
  7. What is your favourite iPad game? Roblox
  8. What do you like to do with Evie? Roblox
  9. What do you like to do with mummy? Make dinner
  10. And daddy? Play foosball
  11. What is your favourite birthday gift? My oodie
  12. What do you want to be when you are bigger? Basketball referee
  13. What makes you happy?When I get to see my friends
  14. What makes you sad? When Evie is mean to me
  15. If you could have three wishes in the world what would they be?
    1. To have more wishes
    2. To have all the money in the world
    3. Have my ipad for 24 hours in one day
  16. What is something you are really good at? Basketball and footy
  17. What is something you would like to improve? How will you do it? I would like to improve my footy kicking and I will practise
  18. What is your favourite book? The very bad book (I haven’t read it yet but I read the bad book – the first one)
  19. What is the best part of your birthday? Talking to Angus, iPad and meals
  20. If you could change one thing in the world what would it be? To have air in space so I could visit space without an air helmet
  21. What is something good about home school? I get iPad at lunch and recess and right after school
  22. What is something you are missing with coronoa virus restrictions? Having more playdates with Angus and other friends
  23. What are you grateful for today? It’s my birthday
  24. Who is someone you admire? Michael Jordan
  25. What do you think is the most important job in the world? Doctors
  26. What is something important that your parents have taught you? Not to risk no eating for one week
  27. What is something important that a grandparent has taught you (which one)? Be nice to strangers (nanny)
  28. Do you have a favourite memory? Going to water parks like GESAC
  29. What is your greatest strength? Basketball
  30. What is your most treasured possession? Footy cards
  31. If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life? Do the right choices because I would know already what would happen
  32. What is your greatest achievement? Playing sports
  33. If you were an animal, what would it be? A doggy so I can get pats and treats and I wont know the difference between normal food and dog food
  34. If I gave you $20 now what would you buy? Robux
  35. What is one goal that you would like to achieve when you are 9 years old? How will you do it? To make more friends and be nice. I will be nice.