You know, it is getting harder and harder to put into words how proud I am of you. Not because I struggle to find anything to say – quite the opposite. Sitting here at my computer thinking of you my mind is bombarded by all the ways you are wonderful, all the ways you inspire me, all the ways you have grown.
This has not been an easy year in lots of ways. I still don’t know if it has been down to the choices we have made or just the challenging business of being five, but there have been times when life has threatened to overwhelm you.
Of course you didn’t let it. You are brave and strong and resourceful, and you have thrived. We have walked together along the road less travelled, across a continent and into the world of alternative education, and you have flourished.
You are so confident nowadays, striding into new situations and letting your light shine, and making a whole host of new friends in the process.
Your creativity and imagination blows my mind – the way you engineer universes, using the stories and characters you love as building blocks for your play; the way you refuse to be bound by convention, asking questions that turn things I thought I knew on their head and inside out.
You are so full of love, too. That hasn’t always felt the case this year, on days when fear or anger or confusion have consumed you. But we have kept talking, and kept cuddling, and you have found a well of resilience and resourcefulness that has brought a new sparkle to your eyes.
Your generosity of spirit overflows several times a day, with spontaneous snuggles and ‘I love you’s. When you see that Daddy or I are sad or stressed you know exactly what to say to make it better. I never want you to feel that it’s your responsibility to heal us, but your emotional sensitivity is definitely something to cherish.
You are beginning to find this as a brother too. I think it’s harder, when Orson has burst with such energy into our world of three. Sometimes I can see that you are jealous of him, and I’m sorry for that. Mostly though you have taken to brotherhood with gusto – I will never tire of seeing your face (however tired I might be) when you burst into our bedroom in the mornings the moment you hear him cry out, joyfully calling his name as he giggles back at you and reaches out his arms. You say to him that you are his second Dada. You say to me, when I ask what you want to be when you grow up, that you want to be a daddy to two little boys. You will be a wonderful father one day.
For now though you are doing a spectacular job of being six: of playing, and learning, and growing.
(And you are doing so much growing. On the rare occasions that you crawl into bed next to me in the middle of the night it seems as if you are all elbows and knees with your long, lithe limbs. Not too big for cuddles though. Never too big for that.)
Whatever we do this year – wherever we go, whatever adventures we find – you just keep on being you, Arthur Jay.
All my love for always,