It’s No 1 Son’s birthday today, and it’s a big one; he’s a young man now, with strong ideas about what he wants to do with his life and career and a whole world waiting for him. And it’s a bittersweet moment, knowing your child doesn’t *really* need you any more, and being SO proud of him, while at the same time desperately wanting to cling on to those precious moments from his childhood; and knowing that you’ve done everything you possibly can to try and keep your child safe, but now they need to experience life without you waiting in the wings, well that’s the kicker, frankly.
Anyway, as I was putting things away in our new house I came across these: my baby’s first pair of shoes. So small, slightly worn, his first pair of proper shoes, that he could actually walk in, as opposed to bootees, which were just to keep his feet warm, really. And it honestly feels like yesterday that we bought them. I remember taking him to the local shoe shop, where they were properly fitted, and I can still remember how he would toddle along in them, sometimes on reins (he was so fast, it was the only way to keep him close), and then as soon as he realised he could pull them off himself he would throw them anywhere (we actually lost one shoe – not from this pair – in the water while we were waiting to get on It’s a Small World at Disneyland Paris).
Now his feet are like Hobbit feet, and his shoes are like boats.
Happy Birthday bub. I love you.