“Hasn’t he grown!” a random relative said to me over the Christmas period.
While I knew that remark was coloured by the fact they hadn’t seen him in almost a year, it suddenly dawned on me that he had, in fact, grown, and not just in height.
Last year was busy. Insanely busy in the true sense of the word. Things happened that I never dreamed would happen, good, bad, and indifferent, and somewhere, in the middle of all that, my middle child grew up.
Looking into those endless blue eyes that often twinkle with mischief but sometimes stare back still, clam and deep, I wonder how it happened without me noticing.
How did I not notice that he was charming, sociable and funny?
His confidence has blossomed and his imagination has grown to match. He is quirky and, I suspect, a little different to your average four year old boy. Still obsessed with all things green. Still wanting to be a chef… or a lion tamer. He has no interest in super heroes, but plays both boy roles in the Narnia stories and puts his own, little boy, spin on all the games and fantasies his sisters concoct.
Once I thought he would be ‘the death of me’. That he would wear me down until there was nothing left but a dried out shell of a person, crinkly and crumpled in a dusty corner. Now he is the one who builds me up, whose funny high pitched giggle makes me smile when I need it most.
It’s funny how the things you think you will never cope with, morph into the things you think you could never live without.