I’ve delayed writing this post this year. Usually, my ‘birthday’ posts are written in good time, with opportunity for a few tweaks and a read through the night before it publishes. But this one… I don’t know. I’ve struggled with where to start.
I’m not sure, this time, I can do justice to just what a huge year it’s been for Daniel.
Today, Daniel is six and I can barely believe it. This last year has gone as fast as all the others and despite knowing that time flies, it always seems to take me by surprise again.
Being five has been an interesting year. It’s been a challenging year. It’s been a huge year. It’s been a year that I think has seen Daniel and I battle more than we ought to have. Being five brought so many big developments for him. He can now read and from the endless reading his spelling, in turn, is pretty good – it isn’t often he asks for me to help him with spelling, and whilst he doesn’t always get it right, it’s pretty accurate most of the time.
He found a new hero this year – Harry Kane – of course this was influenced by the World Cup and I am sure Russia 2018 will be one of his earliest memories in years to come. I am glad that we were able to run with this World Cup interest and build projects around it.
But these developments with reading and spelling have brought with them the usual difficulties – the tiredness, the difficult behaviour and the battle of wills. Five has felt like a year that Daniel and I have locked horns and argued. We are through the other side now, I think, and my sweet and calm little boy is back. The little boy he has a fun sense of humour and one who is grateful, kind, and gentle mannered. I hope the angry moments are gone for the next few months.
As I’ve noted, Five was the year that Daniel learnt to read. He hadn’t shown much interest previously in learning to read but that has all changed now. He is always reading – I lose track of the books he has read, is reading or wants to read. His birthday gifts reflect that love of reading this year. His memory continues to amaze me and he will often read something in a book and then recall it a week or two later; telling me it’s true because he read it in his books. Reading has brought with it a new use of language, and as his reading increases so does his vocabulary and the descriptive words he uses – he’ll often tell me that someone has ‘declared’ something rather than simply said something. His spelling, too as I mentioned, is really good and his interest in grammar and punctuation is starting to develop. I take his reading for granted but when others tell me how good it is I do smile. He reminds me of me when I was younger – nothing better than having a book token for birthday gifts and getting to choose a new book.
Whilst Daniel may share my love of reading, he is much more like his dad. He is quiet and reflective like Damian and as the month’s pass, I see more and more similarities between them. He is studious and keen to do things right. He is reflective and the calmer of the three children.
At times I worry that Daniel isn’t happy. He is often engrossed in a book or sits on the periphery of a group until he is sure of his space within in. He can have moments of being quite happy in his own company, and in fact, craves that quiet space – taking himself up to mine and Damian’s room to get some peace so he can read. He is often found, holding his beloved monks curled up reading. Content in losing himself in the story.
Despite that quiet streak in him this last year I have also seen him grow in confidence. There was once a time when he wouldn’t join in in some things but now he happily joins in. His new Spanish class is a case in point – I was worried that he wouldn’t want to join in at first but he happily went in and excitedly joined in with the class. He has confidence in making and creating – he knows what he wants to do and happily experiments away. His creative side isn’t as developed as Emma’s, but he is starting to enjoy that creating much more.
This year he is so very excited to be six, but despite that excitement, he hasn’t asked for any specific gifts. He simply wants to go for breakfast, as has become tradition, and enjoy his day. His gifts from us are modest; some books, a board game and some lego.
I’m not sure what age six will bring for Daniel – I hope his confidence continues to develop as he forges his little path into the world. That tiny little boy who made me a mum is growing, and growing fast. He jokes that six will be the year that he becomes taller than me. I smile along with him but I know that six will be the year that I make the most of those cuddles because I know that six might also be the year my cuddles aren’t wanted quite as much.
Happy Birthday, Daniel. Love you x