To my oldest little boy,
You’re growing up.
From your too-short trousers to the five slab-like new teeth in your mouth, from your enthusiastic love of The Kinks to your adult way with words sometimes, I can’t help but notice it. Often lately I look at you and see the teenager you will become. It will be a while yet, but you’re more than half way now.
It is bittersweet sometimes thinking of your future, wondering how far along that path your brother will follow you – mentally or physically. But whatever you do, I’m pretty sure you’ll be a heart-breaker. I can’t quite believe I gave birth to such a handsome boy (yes, I know I’m not allowed to say that, but it’s true).
Your emotions can still be a little…um…shall we say, volatile at times (can’t blame you for that one really; mine are too!) but you are getting so much better at weathering the storm. You stomp upstairs as if the world is ending but a minute later you’re back down like nothing happened.
While we had to move Pudding to his own room to keep him safe, I’m also glad we did it for your sake. I love that you now have your own space to retreat to in times of need. You can shut the door to keep your brother from destroying your precious things and spend hours in there listening to music and acting out elaborate scenes with Lego.
I’m sorry I get frustrated sometimes and snap at you. I do try to stay patient, and I hope that soon you’ll understand that the things I say over and over again (like ‘Don’t bother your brother right now, or he’ll hit you’) are usually for your own benefit.
For now, I guess the most important thing is that however upset you get with me, you always seem to have more empathy with Pudding. Even though you hate getting hit by him, you show your love for him every day in so many ways. You look out for him at school and tell your friends about him proudly. You encourage him to join in games with you and build him towers to knock over. You spring to his defence if I ever joke that I’ll put him in the dustbin. Even a grumpy old Mummy like me can’t stay angry with you for long when I see you run to him for cuddles.
It is not always easy having a sibling who is a bit different and yes, it does mean that sometimes you miss out on things we would be able to do otherwise. But along the way you’ll learn a lot too. You already have – after all, there aren’t many six year olds who can read the word ‘mucopolysaccharidosis’.
When I first started this blog, I wanted to keep a bit of privacy for our family and not use our real names. I decided to refer to you as Twiglet and Pudding – both names that I used when I was pregnant. Pudding is still just one of the many nicknames that I use for my littlest boy, and one which I am pretty sure he won’t grow out of in a hurry. Twiglet though…? Well, now you’re nearly seven it just doesn’t seem to fit our closer-to-growing-up boy. So, it will be T from now on.
Bye bye, Twiglet. It’s been nice knowing you. As you run into your future, I look forward to getting better acquainted with your alter-ego. I think he’s going to be amazing!
Yours for ever and ever,
PS. Getting to your chest of drawers is a bit of a Lego minefield. Do you think the minifigures could retreat to a more strategic location every so often?