The gifts are wrapped, the breakfast prepared, the bedroom is filled with balloons.
Try as I might I can't quite remember what 7 felt like. Being a grown up has squeezed it out of me.
Luckily I birthed the most sensitive, articulate, compassionate, tenacious, astute, imaginative boy I've ever met and he shares it with me everyday. We often marvel at how well Brodie verbalises how he is feeling. And how those feelings are experienced to very extremes of human emotion. He feels big and he loves big.
He holds the world around him to very high standards. He holds himself to even higher ones. He commands us to find more, be more, live more. He is mindful, lives in the moment and sees the good in others sometimes before they see it themselves. He is as grateful for tiny moments of joy as he is for the big things.
He is the kind of big brother I wish every child could have. He is gentle and thoughtful and playful and kind. Scratch that - he's the kind of human being I wish we could all be.
If this all sounds too good to be true I would counter the above with the fact that he is a real living, breathing, growing child. He makes bad choices sometimes. He makes it right. He wanders off the path and then gets right back on it. He rarely makes the same mistake twice. I hope he is always willing to make amends, to say sorry and to move on.
In his seven years on the planet Brodie has helped me make more sense of the world than I did in the 28 years I existed without him. He has challenged me to look in dark places, to confront truths and let go of falsehood.
Thank you Brodes. Have a wonderful birthday. We couldn't love you more.