happy 8th birthday, D!

Darling D, here's to growing in many ways while also remaining true to who you are!

happy 8th birthday, D!
Photo by Brooke Lark / Unsplash

D turned 8 today!

This passage of time, this particular date to mark yet another revolution around the sun in his lifetime, never fails to take my breath away. It feels me with awe, and also with a deep sense of nostalgia.

Awe for how we're always growing, even when we don't realize we are. And nostalgia for how quickly time is passing by, even though so often it feels as if we're stuck in the same place doing the same things over and over again.

But no, something is always changing. Always shifting. Perhaps the shift is taking place on the outside. Perhaps on the inside. Everything building up to something far more momentous and life-changing than we can ever imagine.

My dad turned 80 years old just a few days ago. That's yet another milestone I'm still not able to fathom in its entirety.

Sometimes it feels as if these things are happening to someone else. To some other version of me.

Because I — this version of me who's writing this post — sure as hell don't know what the mother of an 8-year-old ought to look like, what the daughter of an 80-year-old man ought to be like.

Yet, if I were to think a little more, I know that I already know the answer deep within.

What should be is what already is.
Who I should be is who I already am.

D has chosen to have a day of relaxation for his birthday. He decided to have his favourite foods: chocolate cereals for breakfast (usually a Wednesday morning affair with Thursday mornings being eggs, and he decided to swap the two this week), rice, daal and veggie for lunch, and a trip to Boston Pizza for dinner.

He knew that first thing in the morning he wanted to make the stuffies that came in a make-your-own teddy bear kit. And that is what we did.

Playing beyblades, then heading out for a game of soccer with KrA, then watching BeyBlades on Netflix after lunchtime — this is how he wishes for his day to unfold, and this is exactly how it has been unfolding.

We have friends coming over this afternoon to indulge in some ice cream cake together.

Such a perfectly lovely plan for such a perfectly lovely day.

Yet, all morning, I've been feeling that we ought to go out somewhere, do something special on this special day. Something Instagram-worthy! Simple and relaxed just doesn't seem to cut it anymore, does it?

D vetoed all plans to go for a walk by the lakeside. He said he was perfectly content to stay at home. Who am I to invalidate that?

D's 4th birthday fell in the middle of the pandemic. One of our family friends came over to wish him — staying outside the house at a distance, as was required back at the time — and the mother asked D, "What is your plan for the day?"

D looked at her solemnly and said, "Today, I'm going to spend the whole day playing cars with my mom and dad."

I cherish that for D, even now a special birthday means spending time with us, doing everyday things like playing with us, having long silly conversations, doing nothing, doing something on occasion if he feels up for it.

Sure enough, we did have a party for his school friends earlier this month. D has also been shopping for toys using money he's been saving since his last shopping trip at Christmastime. It has been a month of celebrations, if you were to look at it that way.

We did have plans to go to the beach this morning, but there was a thunderstorm last night which negated those plans.

It's amazing how the child has the capacity to accept and make the most of whatever comes his way. He takes after KrA in this regard. I'm the one who needs a little time to get used to the fact that things won't always go my way — this is a skill I've been working on ever since D came into my life.

It's also amazing how comfortable he is in his own skin, with his own choices. I suppose we all were like that right at the beginning. And then we lost our way, and it has been an endless homecoming ever since. It does get easier and more automatic with time.

Thank you, D, for coming into my life. Time spent with you has been one of the greatest treasures I've enjoyed in this lifetime. How lucky KrA and I are!

On your birthday, we wish for you to remain true to yourself, the kind, generous spirit that you are, while also exploring and growing in many ways! Much love to you, always.