My lovely Ben,
Ten years. A decade. In some ways it feels like a lifetime, for you it has been. It feels like you’ve been in our lives forever, with your bright blonde hair and your freckles and your constant cheery chatter. In other ways, it’s passed in the blink of an eye. I remember so vividly the events leading up to your dramatic entrance into this world. I’ll never forget the overwhelming fear that gripped me as the midwife dashed from the room, frantically rubbing your lifeless little body. The wait for news felt like hours; it was probably about fifteen minutes.
It was a cold, crisp morning when you arrived. The midwife opened the blinds on the window when you arrived back from resuscitation. You were pink and healthy, and Daddy and I were instantly consumed with love. I was really poorly, and you were given to your daddy for your first cuddle. I’ll never forget that moment, Ben. The two people I loved most in the world, bonding so beautifully, bathed in autumn sunlight.
Here we are, ten years later. I look at you now, and I couldn’t be more proud. Your boundless energy and enthusiasm are infectious. You’re the only boy I know who can hold an entire conversation without drawing breath! Ben’s Pocket Full of Questions is a standing joke in our family, but it’s a quality to be admired. When there’s something you want to know or understand, you question it until you’ve got it all figured out… Even if the thing you want to know is the average transfer price of footballers in the Spanish third division!
Speaking of football, that’s your big passion just now. Your little life is a whirl of school football team matches, and team training and weekend games. I know your dad loves coming along to support you when you play, and his heart swells with pride when you give him one of your massive grins when you hit the back of the net.
You changed schools this year. This is your third primary school. Dad and I had so many sleepless nights worrying about how this change would affect you. In typical Ben style, you’ve thrown yourself into it and are doing brilliantly. Your teacher has nothing but praise not only for your academic ability, but for your behaviour and enthusiasm. I’ll never forget the way your friends greeted you after the summer holidays. It was like you were a long lost friend, and not the boy who joined the class a few weeks before the end of term. Of course, we know why. You’re a fun, friendly boy who always sees the good in people. Never lose that, Ben.
You’re a brilliant boy, Beanie. You’re kind and thoughtful. You’re gentle with your baby sister and a keen mentor to your little brother. I love how open minded you are, and how caring you are. You make me laugh and, occasionally, you make me tear my hair out. You’re perfectly comfortable in your own skin, as a child should be. You’re just you, and we love you for it.
Never forget that we love you no matter what, and you can talk to us about anything. Be who you want to be, and do what makes you happy. Carry on treating others as you like to be treated and to have a gentle, caring heart. Always, always be kind to yourself. You’re an absolute star.
I love you to the moon and back, Ben.