open letter to Hugo on his 5th birthday

August 16th 2020

Boss, somehow you’re now 5!

Even as I write it, I can’t comprehend that tomorrow you will be off to school. It has been such a roller coaster 5 years, and just when I feel I finally “get” you, I’m losing you.

Our start was unorthodox, to say the least. You picked the side of Ohaupo Rd to make your entrance into the world, and from that very second, I knew you’d do life YOUR way.

You and I struggled find our groove for a long time. Breastfeeding wasn’t your thing and you didn’t want to cuddle. You preferred to wrestle. You didn’t follow the rules of any book I’d read – infact you didn’t even care about rules. I was so thrown by you.

But now, I see it.

You’re this incredible paradox – a loud, crazy, cheeky, boisterous boy, yet you have the softest, most gentle heart. You feel others’ pain and sadness intensely; so intensely it becomes overwhelming. I see how hard it is for you to manage frustration, disappointment, sadness, and anger. I see the kicking and screaming. The yelling. And your crumbling little face, at exactly the moment my heart is breaking for you.

But now I also see the space and grace you need to work through these big emotions. I’m learning to sit by you with these feelings, and stop telling you to calm down, settle down, quieten down. You’ve taught me to let feelings be and I will be forever grateful for that lesson.

I worry your big emotions will be your biggest weakness, but yet, I know they are also you’re biggest strength. You’re kind and caring, and always thinking of others before yourself. Your heart is so big. And so is your energy! You love sport and you never tire of playing rugby or soccer. You are so full on. All. The. Time. You live your life at full speed, not wasting a moment of the day. You love people and will always chat away to anyone (particularly tradies!) with such an inquisitive nature. You say such silly things, and play tricks constantly, so I can never take you seriously.

You make every day fun.

You are my wild child. My rule breaker. My handy man. My farmer. My sportsman. My bug collector. When there’s a cricket on the floor, I know you’ll come and get him – not to squash him to a pulp, but to gently and carefully carry him to freedom, where he can roam outside at his own pace, in his own space. And that’s where you’re happiest too.

And so tomorrow, when I’m watching your little face walk away through the school entrance (probably with tears in your eyes), I will be thinking of the enormous amount of empathy, compassion, love and kindness that you have taught me in the last 5 years. I will think of your cheeky grin – the one that brings dimples in the very tops of your cheeks – and I will know that you, my Boss, will be just fine.

You are a pretty incredible, crazy little guy and we love you Xx

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