Didn’t I just write about Ayd turning 16 years old?
And now, I am writing about him turning 17 TODAY???
Gosh, time truly flies… especially this year as he has been spending the weekdays during school terms at his school’s boarding house. Which means we only get to see him during the weekends and school holidays. And even then, time spent together is pretty rare as he is either holed up in his room rushing school work or waking up close to lunch time.
But we try to squeeze some time out, whether it’s heading out for a meal or going out for cycling together as a family. Because even though I have already gone through the emotions of having a child turn 18 years old earlier this year, I still marvel at how much life changed for me when Ayd first came into my life.
And while being a parent has been the best ride of my life and I have never ever regretted a single moment of it, I find this parenting rollercoaster is now taking a different turn as Ayd would be off to National Service in little over a year from now. This chapter of having a school-aged son (or sons) at home could be quickly coming to its final season.
And as I think ahead to what awaits him and the choices he will knowingly (and unknowingly) be making over the next few years, I find myself wanting to tell him everything I know and what he should and should not do… but I know I shouldn’t.
It’s tough but it is important to just allow him to experience his journey as HIS own journey. What I can do is to be at the sidelines and let him know we are all here supporting him come what may.
I just want you to know again what I have been saying for the past 17 years, that you are a wonderful son, brother and grandson, with a heart bigger than most.
But as I watch you grow up and take on the world with confidence and curiosity, I have to admit I (and your Mummy) was pleasantly surprised when I found out from your school form teacher that you had actually volunteered to be the class’ rep this year. Even more pleasing was when we found out that the candidate was selected based on the class’ votes and you secured the highest number of votes! Not only that, you are also on the leaders’ Exco for your school’s CCA.
This, to me, demonstrated how far you have come and grown as a person.
From the kid in Primary 1 who had to while away your time by walking along the corridors alone during recess time because you had no friends to the teen you are now, I am so so so incredibly proud of you.
What else is there for me to say or to do? So much and yet so little. I would love to show you the way and clear all obstacles standing in your way but if you will find your own way, the journey will be that much sweeter because it will be your own.
So embrace life and explore all the world has to offer you. Mummy and I will always be right behind you, supporting and encouraging you as you navigate forward.
And above all, no matter what, I will always love you MORE than you love noodles. I could not be prouder to call you my son. Thank you for coming into my life. My life, Mummy’s and both your siblings’ are all better because you are in it.
Happy 17th Birthday, son.