Eight is a great number. I know you're going to love it. Why? Because several of your favourite things have eight. Spiders with their eight spindley (creepy) legs, octupi with their eight tenticles... your spooky monster creation things with their eight whatever they are...!
My boy. Suddenly so big, yet your hand is still small and chubby in mine. Your feet still little and oh-so-ticklish. Your grin still innocent and mischievous. You are such a beautiful human. I completely adore you, and all that you do. You are so incredibly funny, so beautiful to listen to, so endearing to watch. I love how you trace shapes in the air, how you nod your head to the beat and start shaking your booty to the music, how you feel and hear and taste everything in this world a million times more than I do.
I have thought hard about what to write for your eighth blog post. It's been another accelerated year of progression, development, and just general growing up! It's been a great year and a hard year, a year of learning more about you but also understanding less. When one thing gets easier, something else seems to get harder. But I suppose that's just life with a child growing up anyway! It just seems more amplified with you. Things that were said maybe last week that we no longer think significant have been logged and stored in your collossal catalogue in your head, something for you to randomly bring up over dinner or while doing something completely unrelated. Your attention to detail to the minutest degree. Your mind working constantly, continuously, at such a pace, but your inability to convey those thoughts and messages to us in that speed gets you so frustrated and stuck. My heart hurts when I see you try over and over to say the one thing that is so important to you, and you get cross and dismayed and tell yourself that your brain doesn't work properly.
You have been described as 'sparky' in your class, adding a touch of energy and dynamic among your peers. Your creativity and imagination completely off the charts, your mind a beautiful creative space constantly building on dreams and things from another world. When I give you a cuddle, and those moments when you wrap your little arms around me and I just want to squeeze you harder and keep you safe.
My love for you is so great that I think I cannot possibly hang on to it all. I want to be able to help you in this life, and help you find happiness and joy. I want to take away those frustrations, the anger, the barrier between your thoughts and your ability to speak them. Take away those scary awful monsters that often keep you up at night, those noises that are just too loud, those lights too bright. I want to make this a safer world for you, one where you fit in easier. I have learned so much from you, I have learned more about this world, seen more of its beauty, understood more about myself and my role, opened my eyes to our world and our family, and how everything we do impacts us all. I still have so much to learn, and so much to teach you, but struggle with the how.
I decided I would like to take some photos of you of every day life. We are so proud of how independant you have become, getting yourself breakfast, chatting away to whoever is in the room (normally Peppa, you tell me that she would perhaps like some milk). It's not a speedy affair, there's a lot to think about over the munching of cereal. I have to gently usher you along as your weetabix starts to resemble something like concrete. Going up the stairs one, two, three, pause. Long pause. Some fluff has caught your eye, it needs to be examined and played with for five minutes. Me further ushering, trying not to let the exasperation be heard in my voice. You starting to raise yours- "In a MIMMIT!". Brushing your teeth, oh sweet lord. I sometimes leave you to it and find you either sat in the bath surrounded by all your toys, or just with a toothbrush dangling half out of your mouth as you are busy making spiderman attack white fury.
There's a bit of a stagnant halt at getting dressed as you enter your bedroom which just holds too many possibilities of play, and if left to your own devices, one hour, two, will go by and you will still be caught in the same story. Getting you dressed to go outside on this day seemed to take forever and my patience was waning. Finally out, you delighted in the frost outside and were determined to make snowballs out of whatever you could scrape off the ground, and stomped on all the frozen puddles to make them crack. With the sun so bright you giggled as you made shadow reflections with your gloved hands, "dragons!". We found some snowdrops and immediately you were on the floor like a starfish, soaking in the warm sun on your little face before taking a closer look at those white little flowers.
After our little walk, we decided to meet some friends at Salcey forest, knowing that your limit was nearly reached but we were so desperate to have a normal day out. With the vastness of the trees, the birds singing, all that space, it was just a sensory overload and it wasn't long before we had a massive meltdown situation. And meltdown isn't really the right word as that sounds so tame, something a toddler would do. This is something so much more. Something more powerful, uncontrollable, like some force has been released and cannot be captured and tamed. It is upsetting, and terrifying sometimes. I feel lost, and unsure, and scared in these moments. You are no longer there, it's someone else. My little sweet boy with his beautiful little face and large innocent eyes is gone, and instead is a much older being, radiating all these emotions from hate, anger, and some sort of knowing that I cant explain. After the screaming, hitting, biting, there's an eerie quiet. There's a quiet voice that doesn't sound quite right, saying things that an 8 year old shouldn't. And these moments are the ones that hurt me the most, because I am no longer with you in those moments, and I don't know how to reach you. But then you come back to us, and your face crumples, and the tears come, and you're my little boy again that just needs a hug from his mummy.
I dont know what the future holds, it's ever-changing. I know you are so incredibly bright, and so creative. You hold worlds in your hands, your mind is a source of so much power and energy. I hope we can find the right tools to help you and us understand and control all this beauty you contain. You are a beautiful mystery.