It may be that I'm out of practice. I haven't blogged since Sam's birthday nearly three months ago. Whatever it is, as I sat down to write this year's birthday blog, I couldn't think of a single clever or creative way to do it. I first tried brainstorming, then rereading the last three years' posts looking for some inspiration, and then proceeded to write and delete about six different posts!
So without any frills and fancies (which, ironically, is probably how you'd prefer it), as inadequate as it feels, here goes...
My dear Zac. Somehow you have managed to fill four short years with a lifetime of memories and special moments, and I'm so incredibly grateful for them.
You continue to teach me so much and challenge me in so many ways. You keep me on my toes with your questions and observations, and inspire me to, like you, critically question things before simply accepting them, and courageously and confidently find and take up my place in the world.
You fill me with such pride. Not only are you a smart and independent boy who loves to learn and regularly surprises us with all that you know; you're also well mannered and polite (most of the time, anyway), and friendly, and good fun! You have a way of crawling into the hearts of everyone who spends time with you.
Don't get me wrong: you can be hard work! But then I suppose all the things in life that are worth it, are. I know the qualities that may seem difficult now are the very ones that, with some guidance and nurturing, will be your greatest assets as you grow up.
You are reaching one of my favourite ages: young enough to still be free of responsibilities, disappointment and worry; old enough to have an opinion; brave enough to dream limitlessly; innocent enough to believe the best in everyone and everything; protected enough to experience genuine happiness.
I promise to stay near enough to hold your hand when you need assistance; to be your safe place when you feel afraid; to be ready to wipe tears, give hugs and smother you with kisses. And at the same time: allow you enough room to run freely, push boundaries, and test out those wings.
May this year be your best yet!
'Love you forever ~ Mommy x