Me and Mine - A Family Portrait Project May
Yesterday we celebrated Sammy turning six. 6 years of this incredibly bright, witty and forthright boy in our lives. His sense of logic and thirst for knowledge, astound us on a daily basis and there is nothing I love more than spoiling him on his birthday. I love that our family and friends come together in the most happy of occasions to all sing the same song, cheer and clap, just as you do when they are 1 or 100.
The sense of togetherness, of bringing together the important people in their worlds, to give them a real moment in the spotlight, where all they can do is smile like a Cheshire cat. His birthday has lasted the whole week of the half term holidays, starting with a weekend with his little cousin Yasmin, a mini holiday to my in-laws in Poole, and the most simple of birthday days in the garden.
The sun shone, we played. And that was all. We didn't leave the garden, bar Granny going to pick up the requested birthday lunch of fish and chips, and we watched as the three of them cemented their special bond, playing hide and seek in the long grass and exclaiming "weeeee" as they all took turns on the new slide.
It was an ordinary day. It was the day he wanted. Just us, in the garden, no work, just play.
We ended the week with a little less simplicity and a little more fanfare! He may have loved his simple birthday but when it comes to parties my boys are all about the bigger the better! Phew! Because I just adore throwing these parties for them. It was a camping party extravaganza and when he came with me to pick up some last minute bits on Friday afternoon he said, "Ooh Mama what theme shall we have next year?!" And that is why I love this boy. For his sense of innocent joy, anticipation and excitement. He relishes the simple days and the extraordinary days. He's just like me, the build is all part of the fun. Every detail is noted, he sat with me looking at Pinterest for inspiration for his cake decorations, he helped me set out the buffet table. He memorises the little things, the things that seem over the top. And that's why I do it, because he will pour over the photos, he will randomly on a car journey recall one tiny detail and he will thank me again quietly, weeks after the event, for such a lovely time.
So even at 6am, when I was barefoot in the garden in my PJs on the morning of his birthday, when Granny was trying to keep him in bed a little longer (She had slept on a mattress in their bedroom with them as a special treat - what a Granny!) it was worth it. Worth laying out a trail of presents, pound shop finds, a few bits I had got in a charity shop still in their packaging and a few new things, to the new tree house fort we had all clubbed together to buy.
He hadn't even got round the corner and he was shouting "This is the best birthday ever!"
Sammy - you have a feisty temper, you wear your heart on your sleeve. You have the best and worst our our personality traits and yet I know you will grow up to be the most wonderful young man. You don't know you are cool, that the girls like you, that your floppy hair and enormous brown eyes are going to give us all sorts of trouble in the future! The night before his party he had a bad dream and we played musical beds as usual. And I must have stirred at around 6.30am, when it was light outside and I could see the sun rays coming through the cracks in the blind, and I just looked at him. He sleeps with his mouth closed, his skin is slightly sun kissed from a week in the garden and on the beach with Grandma and Grandad, and he looked so handsome. A spattering of freckles on his soft skin, his fringe just touching his eyelashes on account of a missed half term trim. And I said to Rich as we were manoeuvring the dining room table through the conservatory doors, I just took a minute to look at him, to take him in. To snap a mental picture of this innocent boy who is so healthy, so fit, so desperate to learn, achieve and grow. He is vying to be a big boy and we are longing for him to stay small. To relish this time being so young, to soak up everything life has to offer being 6.
His teacher has a few pet names for the class. There's Popstar (Poppy) and Super Sammy.
And that's what you are our boy. Super Sammy.
In all the birthday excitement the day passed without a photo of the four of us. But yesterday at the party we hopped on the "totem pole" chair (That's been hidden in the garage since we moved) and my sister snapped this photo. She looked up from behind the lens and said. That's your Me and Mine shot!
And suddenly here we are. The end of May, with a 6 year old. A boy who has lived in 3 houses, will have gone to 3 schools come September when they start a new adventure, and who we couldn't be without.
The months ahead are packed with planes, trains and automobiles. No lazy weekends at home at all, but the bags under our eyes will hopefully have time to heal with a precious first family holiday just the four of us to Turkey and we are squeezing in a few other holidays, more happy birthdays including one in Paris and one in America, and making as many memories as possible. Last year taught our family the hardest lesson and I am determined to make the most of what we have. Being able to visit my brother in America because my Mum works for BA, have complete trust in my in laws to leave the boys with them so Rich and I can have some desperately needed time being just as husband and wife for a day or too, and spending as much time with our best friends as possible. June is packed with blog conferences, meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. People I talk to every day online but rarely get the pleasure of a proper hug. On those crazy weekends haring across the South West we still fit in lazy brunches, with a house full today we were still in pjs at 11am. The down time is there, it's just not always at home. It's in our homes from home, in Southbourne, in Poole, in the South East and beyond.
But this week was all about you. Super Sammy.
I owe so much to this Me and Mine project and I know I am way behind visiting all the lovely blogs who join in. I promise to catch up. It's a pleasure to see everyone's families. Pop over to Jenny's blog to see what her beautiful family of four have been up to this month.
May, I rather liked you. Pop back to see the party photos later this week!