This isn't funny now. Where has my baby gone? Quite literally! He is taller than me! Ben is growing up too fast. He is now 16!
I know this is where most parents harp on about how kind and amazing their kids are. And of course they are. We're all biased. But I like to keep it real. My son drives me completely potty at times with his inability to keep his room tidy or put things back, or close doors, or turn lights off. He's so laid back it frustrates me! Realistically, Ben and I do have our off days. I don't always like the woman I become when I have to nag him to put his washing in the wash basket.
However, Ben can be my little (but taller) buddy. He's happy to go for a walk, join me on National Trust adventures, sometimes help out with dinner... He is also quite funny, having a similar sense of humour to me. (I've found someone I can watch Red Dwarf with). He is also hard working (when not distracted). And his laidback, calm attitude will just stand him in such good stead for life. He is quietly confident, which does not make him arrogant.
This week, he has returned to school after having to self-isolate for 10 days, thanks to the NHS Track and Trace app pinging. (Lord knows how this happened, we were in Lockdown, and Ben isn't the sort of son who walks the streets and hangs out with his mates outside corner shops!) However, all of Year 11 got sent home on Friday to self-isolate for another 14 days. So Monday, Ben decided to still go into school and work there - even though he's the only Year 11 in! There are 6-7 other children in his year that could do this but they've chosen to stay home. I do think this shows his sensible nature; not to follow the herd, to be independent. But it also shows his dedication to learn.
This year has been so hard, with cancellations on things you so wanted to do, from your D of E Silver expeditions to your work experience with Highways England, yet you've taken it all in your stride.
So even though we do have our off moments, I do love you immensely, and I'm incredibly proud of all you've achieved so far. And I will always be here for you. After an ectopic pregnancy at 29, I wasn't confident that I'd have children. But just over a year later, you did come along and light up my world.
Happy 16th Birthday, Ben xxx