I took the summer off. It was not a planned blogging holiday, more that one week turned into two that turned into six and before I knew it, here we are in September and I have not written a word since July.
The only excuse I have is that I was having too much fun – the fact a lot of this fun happened in areas without adequate wi-fi reception is sheer coincidence.
It was a big few weeks for us as my BABY finally turned 6! The youngest in his year, he has been eagerly awaiting this day since last September when all his school friends started celebrating their 6th birthdays for what seemed like an eternity.
Although he will always be the baby of his class, and my heart, he is really no longer a baby at all anymore. He is a boy who has long not needed help to eat, wipe his own bum or pull up his socks. He loves dinosaurs – knows them all by name and can tell you which ones are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. He also loves space and will often wait for darkness to fall so we can look up at the stars.
He has mastered a 2-wheel bike, swam a width of our local pool and received a couple of badges for gymnastics. Reading is finally coming together for him too; and recently items such as chocolate, Lego and oranges have started appearing in big scrawly letters on my shopping list.
It has been a big year for him, but his last few weeks of being five are the ones to really stand out in my mind.
He has blossomed so much in every way. I thought watching him grow-up so quickly might make me long for time to slow down, but instead I have felt such a rush of pride being around him this summer.
He effortlessly climbed trees that would have intimidated him just a few months ago and learnt how to swing really high without needing a big push.
It was our week in Devon that I noticed the biggest difference. The way he ran into the cold sea without looking back for a hand to hold or a leg to cling to. He splashed in the surf with his cousin, went for a ride on his bodyboard and laughed out loud when a wave pulled them under.
When he was not in the sea, he was catching crabs in the rock pools with my Dad. He held a jellyfish in his bare hands, and he climbed to the top of Valley of the Rocks in the rain. He did not complain once about feeling cold, wet, bored or tired.
He threw himself at every opportunity to try something new.
Climb to the top of the sand dunes and slide back down on a board? He was up there like a shot! The Greek God(zilla) could just about keep up with him.
Camp in a tent for a night with my sister and her family? His bag was packed in 3-minutes.
His energy, determination and enthusiasm for absolutely everything made our hearts swell.
This theme continued when we flew to Crete to visit Yiayia and Papou at the end of August.
We could not keep him out of the water – he ran into the sea, jumped into the pool and threw himself off the back of a pedalo into Lake Kournas.
However, I think this summer was the first time I realised that spending time with me alone is not enough for him anymore.
He used to be content just snuggling up with me and a few (dozen) books on the sofa. He loved the games we played, the silly dances we made up in the kitchen and all the fun places we visited together.
But now, he needs more than just me. He wants to be around other children who have the same abundance of energy and imagination. He requests the company of his young cousins at weekends, wants to see Nana & Grandad and learn to fish, or visit Yiayia & Papou to eat chocolate spread on toast for breakfast again and splash in the waves.
For a moment, it reminds me he is missing a sibling to share these adventures with, but the stabs of guilt I used to feel have more or less disappeared now.
He may need more than me sometimes, but I don’t think I need more than him.