The little man was 5 on Sunday. Mental! He’s gone from this:
in the blink of an eye.
His birthday was a whirlwind day with family visits, a chaotic and extremely loud soft play party for 19 kids and then a jaunt to the pub and a huge table of 20 at one point! I think we were all exhausted by the end of it!
It was certainly a more enjoyable time than 5 years ago, with the uncertainty of motherhood, immense responsibility and zero sleep happening almost overnight. I found those first few months pretty weird – even when Jake started sleeping through I fell victim to my first (and thankfully only) major bout of insomnia. If it wasn’t for the kind words of a great health visitor I might not have emerged unscathed from the other side. Your first child brings with it great self doubt and worry. I didn’t bath Jake for the 1st three months of his life, too unsure of myself to do it. It was left to my hubby to show me the ropes. Anyone who knows me well will acknowledge this is not like me at all! Even small things like talking to him while changing his nappy, understanding why he was crying and learning how to soothe him did not come naturally to me at all. I think this is normal for most new parents but it was a steep learning curve to me in life. I almost wished away those early days, hoping for a time when he could tell me what he wanted, what was wrong and how he felt. And here we are!
And with 5 comes another set of challenges (for me more than anyone). We have new opportunities to “play out” with the boys over the road, who are a little bit older and more streetwise. I know I have to let him, but the thought of him crossing roads without his little hand in mine is very stressful! I know – I need to get a grip. But he’s my little boy, and I will always want to protect him whether he’s 5 or 55!
And what a character he’s turning into – a sparky little chap who insists on shouting “morning” at the top of his voice to the lollipop man every day. A keen footy player with a definite aptitude for it (those Little Kicker sessions have certainly paid off!) – he’s off to Cramlington Juniors this weekend to try it out. His confidence is soaring but not to the point of arrogance. I love that he’s a sociable little man, no doubt a result of his Mammy chatting incessantly to him (or around him) since birth!
So I wonder what the next five years will bring. Hopefully there are still many more cuddles and moments to come with my son that just melt away my worries and make them pale into insignificance. And lots of great memories to be made for him, fun to be had and knowledge to be learned! Time will tell.