8 years old.
I can't quite believe it has been 8 years. Although, it's closer to 9 if I think about the day that we went to Bondi Junction for the 18-20 week ultrasound and the sonographer asked us if we wanted to know your gender, oh I know I replied, it's a little boy. I was right. I have been wrong about so many things, but not about you!
At 8 years old you are a true delight. You always have been though. Your love of being outdoors continues. You have moved on from birds. Currently you are obsessed with sport. Specifically soccer, cricket, athletics, cross country running, skiing, surfing and cycling. When you grow up you are going to be a "champion ski racer and jumper" (actual quote).
You are quite a character. You have cut your own hair more times than I can count. Most children grow out of this in the toddler years or don't attempt it at all! Not you, I think that the photo above is an attempt to photograph the latest haircut. You were trying to cut a line in, "like all the soccer players have in their hair."
You prefer to be outside at all times. Even if it is pouring with rain and freezing cold I will find you outside, either bowling over and over again at the wickets, kicking a soccer ball into "franklin", playing hand ball against the side of the house or jumping on the trampoline. You are thrilled when someone agrees to play outside with you, sadly this doesn't always work well with your brother. It almost always ends in tears and a howling protest of some sort from you.
You play the viola and are in the string orchestra at school, I hope you continue to play the viola for years to come, and that it gives you as much pleasure as it has given me watching you learn to play. I am so proud of how much you have achieved musically.
Your best friends at school are Elijah, Scott and Hugh. Your favourite foods are pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, sushi, sweet potato and vanilla ice cream. You loathe cauliflower. I can manage to make you eat almost anything, even mushrooms and eggplant, both of which you are lukewarm about, but the performance you put on about cauliflower is worthy of an Oscar. You are a talented athlete and can bowl better than kids much older than you, even better than many adults. Your current favourite reads are the Harry Potter books, Deltora Quest, the How to Train Your Dragon books, anything by Graeme Base and your perennially adored, very well thumbed Berenstain Bears books, almost all of which you know off by heart. You will watch BTN, Top Gear and any sport that takes your fancy on TV but that is quite literally it. Although, you do also love the Harry Potter movies and drive us all mad, with them. For when it is your turn to choose a movie for family movie night you invariably choose a Harry Potter. This is starting to wear a bit thin with the entire family.
You still adore lions and Big and Little will always be your adored side kicks. I can't even imagine the heartbreak if we lost one of them again. They truly are part of our family now.
You are a special boy, little one. Happy Birthday.