Revelieu Bay, Epi.
Small DB, the sparking fire in the belly of our little family, you are EIGHT. It’s always tricky, the actual birthday DAY. By then you have been counting down for at least three months, ticking off the days. Also conflicted by the fact that you desperately want to be eight, but would be very happy to remain Small and Seven.
The countdown and associated anticipation almost inevitably eclipses the actual day – if I could make unicorns wake you in the morning, by brushing their mane over your eyelashes, I would – THAT would be something to remember. But they don’t like boats. So instead you woke us all up at 5.30am. Joy!
There were paper chains decorating the main cabin, only pulled down by Honey three or four times. You were particularly impressed by the Sylvanian themed gifts from your Nana and T, and the First Aid Kit from your sister to replace the one that has been absorbed into our boat medical supplies.
We made bread in the pressure cooker that M toasted in the pan, serving scrambled eggs alongside. You helped me make honey joys. The day before we’d made two cakes – a raw cheesecake (as inspired by Belinda) and a Magic Bean Cake, which we froze by request (“…because it’s yummier…”).
Before your birthday afternoon tea, you were taken on some kind of epic walk with the other boat kids; it was long, it was hot, but you held it together. Then we had a total of six kids and six adults on the boat, all singing ‘Happy Birthday!’ – it was almost impossible for you to endure so much focused attention, but you blew out your candles, and they magically reignited. I’m happy with that as some kind of divine manifestation…
Over the last three months you have leapt into the world of KID, leaving the world of baby behind you. Complex thoughts, meditative musing and grand future plans are all flowing through you. Right now? You aim to live in your own self-sufficient tiny house and be a wildlife carer. One who does a lot of baking.
With your blossoming has come SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS. There has always been shyness, but now there are firm instructions NOT to kiss or huggle you in public. And prior approval for any appearances on Instagram.
I have finally become that thing I was hoping to avoid; the utterly embarrassing mother.
Unfortunately I also had one when I was eight and found it similarly torturous. You didn’t believe me until I told you the story of my mothership, jumping up and down and screaming in the midst of a crowded airport arrivals lounge when she spied her parents on the other side of the automatic doors. I went and hid in the toilets. So I get it. I don’t like it, but I understand. But oh, it makes things so much harder for you than they need to be…
Other than your inherited over-large embarrassment gland, you are sublime. Half firecracker, half marshmallow. You love it when I get too cold in the water and can’t function; instantly you make a nest for me on the couch, bring me a cup of tea… “Just sit down mama, let me look after you.”
Your heart is so kind and your fury so fierce, and yet you have only been walking the planet for eight short years! We are so lucky to have you, cloudbusting your way through our lives. We love you big and true.