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Happy Birthday, Happy Boy

by Twitchy on November 12, 2013

Yesterday, my firstborn boy turned fourteen. Fourteen years ago there was no moment of silence on Remembrance Day; he burst out of me and into the world, cone-headed and yelling. He’s barely piped down since. By the time he started running and climbing I realised this job was not for the faint-hearted. He was a nimble trouble magnet with seemingly no fear or sense of danger and he was loving it!

When it became apparent he was not like most other kids, we saw we’d have to do more for him: redirect, demonstrate or explain repeatedly how to do the smallest things that seemingly would not stick, arrrgh.

As he got older we saw his world shrink around him in certain ways, such as age-appropriate interests and capabilities, with friends and social invitations. Those things are hard, but they seemed to bother him less than they did us. Sleep evades him and his midnight chats drive us to distraction. How does he even function?

Ever the clown. Yes, that is a copy of Quidditch Through the Ages.

Secondary school is a place of many things that are hard to grasp and many kids who are not so nice, yet he brushes it off. He doesn’t hold onto the bad stuff. Every day is a new day.

When nasty incidents do happen at school and on the occasions he bothers to mention them, I wonder why there isn’t more concern. One staff member told me: “Oh you are so lucky he wants to come to school. We have kids that we simply can’t get here, for so many reasons.” I’d never thought of that. Our boy has SO many legitimate reasons to avoid school, but he wants to go. He misses it during the holidays. He feels he should be there; he likes it.

So here’s the thing I knew, but didn’t really: our boy is happy. He’s an upbeat kid and always has been. He sees the good in people and tries to overlook the unpleasant. He gets horribly bullied yet forgives. His sister hits him and he sometimes asks us to intervene but he never, ever retaliates. The boy he considers his best friend did not invite him to his birthday this year. I was gutted for him and didn’t know what to do about it, but I hear: “He must have a reason. One day I’ll ask him.” I do hope he means that.

In a world that can be so threatening, unfair and disappointing, our boy is happy. There are so many people on this planet angry or sad or would rather not even be here; some who have attempted, or taken steps about that. It is utterly, utterly shattering to see what they and their loved ones go through.

So here is what I’ve been shown: Our boy is happy. He is loving and affectionate and barely a day goes by that he doesn’t tell me he loves me. Or tells his sister she looks lovely today. Or wants to hug his Dad. Despite all the chaos and heartbreak and frustration that goes on around him (and sometimes because of him) he is smiling. He is happy. And that is a gift. A priceless, shining gift.

Happy birthday, my sweet, optimistic, happy boy. With these as your superpowers, you’ll go far. It will be these strengths, not your weaknesses that will define you. Love, Your Mama.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

ann May 24, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Awww what a sweet post.


Stuart May 23, 2014 at 12:48 am

Ah, just lovely! Such a joy to read, for many reasons : ) I do kinda believe that our kids are better than us, but we helped them get there! Lotsa love to you all!
Stuart X


Tegan May 22, 2014 at 9:21 pm

This is a beautiful post about your boy.


Deb @ Bright and Precious May 22, 2014 at 8:44 pm

God I love the optimism in your words. Your boy is HAPPY! I can’t believe I didn’t read this one at the time of publish (probably because it’s very near my own boy’s birthday and last year I was deep in renos). I love that you see his strengths and you believe in him. That makes you the best mama ever. xx


Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me May 22, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Bless, he sure does sound like such a gem lovely – and I agree that all the crap he has to put up with will stand him in good stead for life as an adult! x


Kylie Purtell May 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Absolutely beautiful Twitchy. You really are the best Mum. You are both so lucky to have each other.

Thanks for linking up xxx


Twitchy May 22, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Thank you Kylie and congrats again on 5 years blogging!

Michelle November 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm

What a beautiful heart felt reflection for the amazing boy you have …… Its the people who are different that make a difference in this world.


Sarah@SnippetsandSpirits November 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Beautiful. It sounds like there is much we can learn about life from your happy optimistic boy. Thank you for sharing ! Happy Birthday to him!


KJ November 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Beautiful. X


EssentiallyJess November 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Oh Twitchy he sounds just wonderful! You’ve done such a great job with him if that’s what he is characterised by. You should be so proud xx


Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me November 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Such a heartfelt post – almost made me tear up, especially hearing how badly bullied he gets and that his ‘friend’ didn’t invite him to party. What an amazing gift he is to the world, and to your family. Happy Birthday to him, and ‘birth’ day to you x


Josefa @always Josefa November 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Oh Twitchy what a truly beautiful post! I was hanging onto every word. Sounds like you are raising one incredible young man, something to be gleaming proud of. Love the idea that he will be defined by his strengths – shouldn’t we all?


Janet @ Redland City Living November 12, 2013 at 10:13 am

Sending birthday wishes to your son – no wonder he’s a happy chappy – with you for a Mama! xxx


Lydia C. Lee November 12, 2013 at 7:59 am

Indeed, to be happy, he will go far. It’s interesting the high school thing – ours has kids wagging but they stay at school to do it??!! What is that about?


Lydia C. Lee May 22, 2014 at 2:46 pm

I was here before! I’ve been thinking everything seems vaguely familiar….

Robomum November 12, 2013 at 7:25 am

Happy Birthday Big Man!!!
Good work Twitchy!


Twitchy May 22, 2014 at 3:54 pm



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