My sweet boy,
I’m writing this a couple of weeks before your first birthday. You’re having a little nap in your cot. Your daddy is on your Uncle Sam’s stag weekend. I have a horrid cold, which I imagine you will pick up any day now. There are a million things I should be doing, but I’m writing you this letter to open on your 18th birthday.
We’ve asked all your family and our friends to write you a letter for your first birthday – we’re going to keep them in a box. Your daddy and I figured it would be a fun thing to open in 17 years time. Well, I hope it’s fun. And interesting. And a little window in 2034 into a world long past.
I can’t imagine you at 18, my little Sonny Jim. Right now, you’ve just mastered crawling. You have one tooth (that you won’t show anyone) and the *best* giggle. You’ve just started saying mama – and you say it a lot. To everything. And everyone. And every time it makes my heart do a little squeeze (even if it’s at 3am. We need to work on your sleeping. I bet you sleep past 5.30am now though!)
I wonder what you’re like, all grown up. You were quite a shy baby, sweetheart. You liked to suss things out a bit before steaming in to games, or playing, or cuddling. But once you had a handle on the situation, you gave the best smiles. Particularly at pretty girls. You weren’t super boisterous and you LOVED a bedtime story. There were two books you liked read to you almost every single night. Dinos Love Underpants and Aliens Love Underpants.
This might sound like an odd thing to say, darling, but you saved my life. I spent so much time longing for you. SO much time. And it was SUCH a mission getting pregnant. My heart was starting to wither a bit at the edges before you came along. But from the moment you were born Sonny Jim – our little miracle – you have literally been my sunshine. Being your mum has been my biggest joy – and your first year has been the best year of my life. Even though by the time you’re reading this you’ll probably be taller than me and I probably embarrass you in the million ways that mums do to teenagers, I hope you know that you are my heart.
So what do I want to say to you, on your 18th birthday? Be happy, I suppose darling. The practicalities of helping you grow up may have muted that message over the years. I hope I don’t nag – though I’m sure you probably feel like I do. But all I have ever wanted for you, is for you to be happy. In case I don’t say it often enough, I think you are the most wonderful boy in the world and I absolutely adore you. Whatever your dreams, whoever you have grown into, know that in my eyes you are, and always will be, perfectly perfect
One last thing Sonny Jim. Be kind, baby. Always be as kind as you can. Even if sometimes it feels easier or funnier or cooler (is that still a word?) to be a bit mean, it will always make you feel rubbish afterwards (as well as them.) Oh, and give your ma a hug now and again. It will always make my day – even as a write this I miss the constant pudgy armed cuddles of your babyhood.
Anyway, you’ve got a pile of letters to open and I think your mum has babbled on enough. Happy Birthday, darling boy.
I love you baby.
Your mama x
This post first appeared in the Echo newspaper on March 17, 2017, www.echo-news.co.uk