Tomorrow, I am heading off with my daughter to buy my son a birthday present. Not just any birthday present, but his 5th birthday present. Number 5. It’s hard to believe. Yes, I know he’s been in school for nearly two months now, enough time to warrant having an autumn break (which he is spending with his mum in Pitlochry), but something about 5 seems big.
I think I remember my 5th birthday. I am pretty sure we had a party in my basement and that my cousin threw a plastic fork at me that ended up in my eye. I had to wear a patch for a few days and, every time I go to the optometrist, they tell me that the scar is still there. I hope Dashiell’s party will be quite as scarring. Rather than inviting every kid in school to a soft play circus, he’s decided just to invite his best bud, Aaron. Unfortunately – for me – we will be going to a soft play place, but I will count my blessings! We’ll head back to ours for some lunch and cake with Aaron’s family – much nicer than 30 screaming kids in a smelly function room somewhere.
But I’m veering away from the point. Dashiell is about to be 5. Half way to 10. How is it possible? Five years ago, I had a full life. I did my work, did my playing, did a lot of volunteering, a lot of singing and had a lot of ‘me’ time. There’s not so much of that these days, but it is getting a little better. Dashiell is starting to like some of the stuff I like. We do RSPB volunteering together and he is the star volunteer: ‘He just gets down to work with no complaints’, the coordinator says. He is also starting to like a wide range of music. I played South Pacific for him recently with no complaint, along with Weather Report, Jersusalem Ridge and the Clash. Stan Rogers and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf are his favourites. He is a natural on the bike and already is better than me at lego – that’s not saying much, but like I keep saying – he’s not even 5! While his palette isn’t developing as quickly as we’d like, we have our little victories – yesterday it was sweet potato. And, quite importantly, he appears to be liking school.
So, tomorrow it’s off to the shops to get some presents. Presents for a 5-year-old. Scary and exhilarating, but true.