Happy 5th Birthday, Tally

August 12, 2014

To our dearest Tally,

At 6am this morning you mumbled into my ear; “I’m not sleepy anymore.”  Then you dropped back to sleep for another hour.  At 7am you were looking so happy to have all of us crowding around your bed… “What’s special about today, Tally?”  You had your biggest smile on, the one where your eyes just about disappear.  Pappa handed you a present and you replied “It’s my birthday!”

And so it is.  Five years of fun, fantastic, frustrating, funny, flipped-out, fabulous life for you.  Don’t tell anyone, but I still think of you as my baby boy.  I guess you’re going to get stuck with that for life, being my youngest child and being the cutest buddle of huggles I’ve ever met.  You are certainly growing up though!  There are so many things that you are independent about, things that may sound everyday but are still important- like feeding, bathing and dressing yourself.  You bake a mean choc brownie!  And other things that are really important- like playing so happily with your sister (when you’re not fighting) all those imaginary games and characters and situations, learning to read and approaching every kid in the park with a smile and a “Hi, my name is Tally, what’s yours?”  You don’t always get a response, but that doesn’t daunt you.  You’re a think-outside-the-box kinda guy, if the first attempt doesn’t work, you find a bucket, a stick, a leaf, a toy, a mud puddle, a handful of snow, and ask; “Would you like to play with this, with me?”

Your tenacity is great.  You like to get things finished.  Do you remember starting karate lessons, shortly after your fourth birthday?  Your concentration and focus wasn’t great, but it has improved immeasurably, and now, after sticking at it, you’ve just advanced from white to yellow belt.  Even been asked to help Sensei demonstrate punches and kicks to new students.  Everyone is justifiably proud of you.  Sometimes your determination drives me up the wall!  You’re learning patience and flexibility.  Sometimes the things you want to do, say, be, see, be part of; have to be balanced with the same for others.  It’s not easy, is it little fella?

We’ve had some grand adventures since your last birthday.  You’ve seen and been to some amazing places; the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Lake Ontario foreshores, Niagara Falls, Welland Canal among them, and tried your hand at dog-sled mushing, skiing, skating, bicycling, rock climbing, caving, tobogganing and river rafting.  I love so much that you don’t baulk at any of the crazy things we throw at you.  You sometimes need a moment or two to warm up, but you are fearless and (so far) indestructible.  We all have limits and I’m happy to see you learn yours on your own.  You’ll make mistakes, maybe break a bone or decide on something that later turns out to be wrong, or suffer a broken heart, but remember these things heal and pass, the fear of them is not enough to stop the attempt.

Your next adventure starting in a few short weeks, will be full time school!  I can’t wait to see what exciting things school has in store for you.  I hope you look forward to it too.  One thing I’m really hoping for is that you will find a few good friends.  (They really are like gold.)  Moving about does have the downside of not settling in with people, leaving people behind…  I have felt bad that you of all of us, have had to do without friends.  Just as you were finding them in Oz and then at the big house, we’ve pulled you away.  I’m sure with your attitude and five days a week at school, we’ll be inundated with new adventurers and play mates.

Tally, keep smiling, keep trusting, keep a look out and a weather eye out; there’s adventures to be had in them thar hills!

With all my love, always,

your mum, Petra