Littleboy 1 will be five in a few days. So this post for The Gallery is a Portrait of my son; no longer a baby, a toddler or an infant, but on the cusp of boyhood, school and a lifetime to explore....
Littleboy 1: it's hard to believe you are about to turn five. This picture was taken over a year ago, and it's not the greatest, but it's just one of many that sums you up; a Force of Nature.
You were born during the 2005 general election. Our hospital room overlooked the Houses of Parliament - but, as the nation cast its votes, you were oblivious, not caring that your mother might have wanted to watch some of the coverage on the bedside TV. Instead you wailed throughout the night as I tried to breastfeed you; you were the noisiest baby on that ward, and I ended up pacing the dimly lit corridors with you throughout Election Night, to let the other new mothers have some chance to sleep. You made your presence felt from day 1.
Five years later and another election is taking place. It's still impossible to ignore you; you are noisy, you are bouncy; you are gung-ho and are game for anything. You've marched up mountains, skied, played in the surf and thrown yourself down steep hills on a sled without an ounce of fear. Everyone in town remarks on your scooter prowess; you are the fastest five year old on wheels.
You've grown in confidence during our year in America; you'll talk to anyone and everyone and join in any activity with the utmost enthusiasm. You have a great sense of humour, whether it's guffawing at Ice Age or giving me a wickedly ironic look as I try in vain to scold you.
You love marbles, Thomas the Tank Engine, your scooter and anything that involves the outdoors. You adore your little brother. And you also love your Mummy; you tell me so every single morning when you creep into my bed.
What will you grow up to be? I often wonder. But in twenty years, if you've climbed Everest, flown a plane or competed in the Olympics (perhaps in a newly created Scooting category) I won't be altogether surprised.
Happy Birthday, beautiful boy.