For Lewis on your 14th Birthday

Lewis,

Well here we are, another year gone, celebrating your fourteenth birthday and, although I say it every year, I’ll say it again, where does the time go? It feels like only yesterday you were tearing open your Power Rangers Megazord, zooming about on your new bike, blowing out the candles on your 4th birthday cake, and I genuinely feel as though I blinked and missed it.

Birthdays are always emotional when it comes to you Lewis, not only because you are growing way too fast but, with you being the very first one to make me a Mummy, I can’t help but get a little tearful at all we have shared. From that 24 year old who had never so much as held a baby before you, to a mother of five who could change a nappy with my eyes closed, you have taught me so much.

From the day I took you home, all tiny and new, I built my entire world around you, and I still do. It’s funny because, back then, I had all of these ideas about what our life would be like, about what I would be like as a parent, and the reality is, our lives, and I, have turned out to be incredibly different. For such a long time I beat myself up about that, feeling I had failed you for not giving you the traditional family unit I had dreamt of, for not being the Mother I had hoped to be, for putting you through so much upheaval, and so much heartache, and yet to you, I was nothing short of perfect.

And maybe that isn’t always the case these days when, at fourteen, you roll your eyes at me and ask, “Why can’t you just be normal?”, when you shut your bedroom door and block me out with your headphones, when you would rather hang out with your friends instead of me. I get that things change, I was very much the same at your age, and I guess it just makes the moments we do share even more special. When we ditch the kids and sneak off for an afternoon at the cinema, for a leisurely lunch or a few hours shopping; when you give in to my pleas to join us on a family day out, smiling for photos even when you’d rather be anywhere but there; when you join me on the couch to watch a TV show together, when you snuggle up beside me and lean your head on my shoulder, those are the moments when I know that, although things change, the bond we share never will.

Because for all my faults, and admittedly all of yours, together we have survived fourteen years, and that’s a huge achievement isn’t it? Considering what we went through, and how our whole lives turned upside down, we didn’t do too badly, did we? And today, as much as I celebrate all we have given you, I always take a moment to celebrate all you have given me. For you have taught me about patience and understanding, about learning to choose my battles and when to let go. You have taught me the importance of being silly and of fun and laughter, of enjoying the good days, and letting go of the bad. You have taught me to be kinder to myself, and to others, that it’s okay to make mistakes, even more so if you’re honest about them, and that if all I ever achieve in life is you five, then I have more than most ever will.

And in that way, with every passing year, if I can look back and know that we gave you memories to last a lifetime, that although I wasn’t perfect, I was real, that there wasn’t a single day when I didn’t tell you, and show you, just how special you are, then I know that I gave you my all.

Because thirteen was a great year for you in so many ways, with amazing sporting achievements, a ski trip to Italy, countless trips and family holidays together. Thirteen saw the bond you share with your siblings continue to grow, the news that in the Summer you will have another brother or sister to add to your brood, and the reassurance that your Dad and B, and Gaz and I, will continue working together to ensure we create a loving and secure environment for you to grow.

At the same time, thirteen was tough for you at times, going through the heartache of seeing your Grandad battling cancer. I hated that I couldn’t make that situation any easier for you, nor promise you that everything would be okay, and yet when he got the all clear at Christmas, I was filled with admiration for how well you had handled it.

And for you personally, the last few months have been difficult, dealing with your own health issues, undergoing a barrage of tests, missing a great deal of school, and yet never once complaining or feeling sorry for yourself. And now, as we wait to see another specialist, I look forward to a point where you can start to feel better, when that weight of worry finally lifts, when you get that sparkle back in your eyes and that colour in your cheeks.

Worry has been a common theme this year for me and, as a Mum, and I don’t think that ever truly goes away. One of the hardest parts of parenting is learning to give your child the freedom to grow, to spread their wings, and to eventually leave home and build a life of their own. I used to feel that I had all the time in the world to worry about that part and yet now, with just four years until you become an adult, that ticking of the clock seems to sound louder than ever.

And it’s funny because I think you feel it too, and it must feel overwhelming at times to imagine how, in just a few short years, your life will change in so many ways. Last night when I kissed you goodnight for the last time as a thirteen year old you told me, “I can’t believe that I’m going to be fourteen? It feels too old!”. And when I looked at you, a mixture of excitement and fear in your eyes, I saw that four year old boy with a Power Ranger clutched to his chest, and I had to swallow the lump of rising panic in my throat.

But the truth is Lew, you are going to be absolutely fine, at fourteen, at twenty four, as a grown up leaving home and paving a life of your own. You are without a doubt the most caring and sensitive soul, with a sensible head on your shoulders, and the world at your feet. Everyone who knows you, and every teacher who takes you for class, tells us what an amazing young man you have become, how intelligent you are, how switched on you appear, how you are both sporty yet academic, cheeky but adorable, handsome but modest, how there is nothing you can’t do if you set your mind to it. And honestly, we couldn’t be any more proud of you if we tried.

I am so excited to see what this coming year has in store for you, and for all of us as a family. I’m sure I will be sitting here in no time at all looking back on all you have achieved, and all you have experienced, and asking myself all over again, where does the time go?

Happy 14th birthday Lewis, love you all the stars in the sky.

xxxxxxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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100 Comments

  1. April 16, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    Happy Birthday Lewis, hope you have an amazing day 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 6:02 pm

      Thank you Kara! xx

  2. April 16, 2018 / 4:44 pm

    Sounds like he’s hadn’t a fantastic life so far! I remember doing a ski trip with school when I was 13 and it’s memories like that that you’ve funded that he will never forget!

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 6:02 pm

      He’s been two years running now and will be going again next year, he loves it! xx

  3. April 16, 2018 / 5:02 pm

    I hope Lewis has a fabulous birthday and less worry than last year x

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 6:01 pm

      Thank you Cathy! xx

  4. April 16, 2018 / 6:34 pm

    It is funny we just celebated my son’s 13th and we as parents are so proud of our kids. Your son seems like a great young man with such great characteristics. He will be growing up fast like mine.

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 6:01 pm

      Thank you Melissa! xx

  5. April 16, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    Happy Birthday Lewis! What a lovely post to him, I hope you all had a lovely time celebrating the big 1 – 4!

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 6:00 pm

      Thank you Sarah! xx

  6. hannah wood
    April 16, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    Happy 14th Birthday ! looks like you all had such a good time.

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 6:00 pm

      Thank you Hannah! xx

  7. April 16, 2018 / 6:58 pm

    The time flies by far too quickly – gorgeous pics, he will be a heartbreaker! Hope Lewis enjoyed his 14th birthday 🙂 x Sim

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 6:00 pm

      Ahh thank you Sim! xx

  8. April 16, 2018 / 7:12 pm

    Such a handsome young man! Honestly Arthur is only three and it feels like it’s going faster the older he gets, I can’t imagine 14

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 6:00 pm

      Thank you, it just flies!! xx

  9. April 16, 2018 / 7:28 pm

    Awww what a lovely read. Happy Birthday Lewis, I hope he has a wonderful birthday and a fantastic year to come !

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:59 pm

      Thank you Jenni! xx

  10. April 16, 2018 / 8:14 pm

    Gorgeous. I’m sure he’ll love this. Had no idea Lewis is having health problems. What a worry. Love that pic of him holding his bro! Beautiful x

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:58 pm

      Thanks lovely, I haven’t shared anything with him being old enough to read it, it’s always tough knowing what to share and what should stay private for him. Its been hard for him, I’m hoping when he gets better I will be able to write about it at last! xx

  11. April 16, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    Happy Birthday Lewis! He looks more and more like you Laura. You are lucky to have each other and I think you both know it. It’s a funny age and I remember it well myself. You do loose them a little bit, but because of the way you’ve brought him up and the boy that he is, he will come back to you fully in a few years. xx

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:57 pm

      I’ve been so lucky with him as for the most part he still gives me the time of day, he just has a life of his own now and I guess that’s totally normal. Still sad though….waaaah!! xx

  12. April 17, 2018 / 3:38 am

    Such a beautifully written message for your son, I hope he reads this when he’s older so he can look back on the day he turned 14! Happiest birthday to him. What a sweet and gentle soul.

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:52 pm

      Thank you Alison, he’s a wonderful boy, I’m very proud of him. xx

  13. April 17, 2018 / 5:30 am

    What a lovely post and happy birthday to Lewis, hope he has/ had a lovely day x

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:52 pm

      Thank you Rhian! xx

  14. April 17, 2018 / 6:23 am

    Happy Birthday Lewis!! My oldest niece turned 18 this past year and I honestly have no idea how that happened! Time goes by so dang fast!!

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      Wow it goes way too fast doesn’t it! xx

  15. April 17, 2018 / 7:22 am

    What a gorgeous boy. He looks so much like you too! Happy birthday Lewis! Hope your mum isn’t too embarrassing with her post!

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      Thank you Fran, he really is like me isn’t he? Oh and I am always embarrassing don’t worry! xx

  16. April 17, 2018 / 9:28 am

    Such a lovely letter, I hope he had a great birthday. I have a 15-year-old daughter and can relate to this as it was just me and her for so long before I met my partner and had more children. x

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:48 pm

      Ahh it’s so special to have that bond when its been just the two of you isn’t it? xx

  17. April 17, 2018 / 11:38 am

    This is such a lovely message for your son who is growing up to be an amazing young man because of your guidance and you love as well. Time flies so fast but they will always be our babies! I hope you guys had a wonderful celebration!

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:47 pm

      Thank you, he did! xx

  18. April 17, 2018 / 11:43 am

    Happy Birthday to Lewis, you are obviously very much loved and adored by your mama. You both are so lucky to have eachother and this beautiful life you have been given, Cherish it always.

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:47 pm

      Thank you so much Melissa. xx

  19. Kayleigh Watkins
    April 17, 2018 / 11:54 am

    Happy belated birthday wishes Lewis, what a beautiful post and I can totally relate to it, my son is also 14 in September, I blinked and the time has flown by, he is a typical teen like Lewis who prefers his Xbox to days out but will come with us if I nag, and since my fiance suffered a heart attack last month and isn’t able to do much while he heals my son has been amazing helping with his two younger sisters aged 5 and 1, he even made their lunchbox meals for school and washed a few dishes before the Easter holidays before making me a cup of tea and I realised he really isn’t my baby anymore (although he always will be) xxx

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:46 pm

      Ahh it’s hard isn’t it when they grow up! Im so sorry to hear about your fiance having a heart attack, that sounds terrifying!! xx

  20. April 17, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    Happy birthday Lewis! I can’t believe he is 14!! As always such a beautiful heartfelt post and what a lucky boy to have an amazing mum like you xoxo

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:46 pm

      Thank you Tanya, he is pretty wonderful that’s for sure! xx

  21. April 17, 2018 / 2:27 pm

    Oh this is so beautiful and such a lovely way to reflect on the past fourteen years 🙂 Happy 14th Birthday Lewis!

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:45 pm

      Thank you so much! xx

  22. April 17, 2018 / 3:41 pm

    What a lovely fourteen year old you have, it sounds like you are very proud of him and he is doing well. I am with you that life does move too fast though

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:43 pm

      He is amazing Sonia, I’m very proud! xx

  23. Ruth I.
    April 17, 2018 / 3:47 pm

    Happy birthday Lewis! And to you too, Laura, you are amazing. This is a sweet and heartfelt post. You are both lucky to have each other.

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:43 pm

      Thank you Ruth, he’s pretty special! xxx

  24. April 17, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    Time really does fly by! You have such a beautiful family. I can’t get over his smile, it’s going to break a lot of hearts some day. Happy Birthday!

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 5:42 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Heather! xx

  25. April 17, 2018 / 5:43 pm

    What a handsome young man. Happy Birthday, Lewis. Tim really does fly when you are having fun.

  26. Bonnie G
    April 17, 2018 / 6:00 pm

    Happy Birthday to your son. This is a very sweet letter to him, I bet he loves it. 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 7:16 pm

      Thank you Bonnie! xx

  27. April 17, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    Happy 14th birthday Lewis and thank you Laura for sharing such a heart felt post, beautiful and so true.

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2018 / 6:50 pm

      Thank you my lovely xxx

  28. April 17, 2018 / 7:56 pm

    Happy 14th Birthday to Lewis, he has grown up to be such a wonderful and beautiful boy. I am sure you are so proud of him. Stay blessed.

    • Laura Dove
      April 18, 2018 / 9:05 am

      Thank you! xx

  29. April 17, 2018 / 7:58 pm

    Happy Birthday to Lewis – He sounds like a fantastic character and so gorgeous. You may me well up talking about it only being 4 years until he is an adult. I must admit I love having a teenager around the house much more than I expected to.

    • Laura Dove
      April 18, 2018 / 9:04 am

      Thank you Helen. As far as teenagers go he is so lovely, we have been very lucky. xx

  30. April 17, 2018 / 8:14 pm

    Aww what a lovely post – Happy Birthday Lewis! He looks so handsome 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      April 18, 2018 / 9:04 am

      Thank you Rachel xx

  31. Melanie
    April 17, 2018 / 8:18 pm

    Such a sweet letter to your darling birthday boy. It is true that each year passing makes us marvel how quickly time is passing. Now that you’re looking forward to these adult years, I’m sure you can see the man your boy will become.

    • Laura Dove
      April 18, 2018 / 9:04 am

      Thank you so much. xx

  32. April 17, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    What a handsome young lad you have – I’m sure he’ll be breaking many girls hearts! Happy birthday Lewis!

    • Laura Dove
      April 18, 2018 / 9:03 am

      Ahh thank you Michelle. xxx

  33. April 17, 2018 / 9:22 pm

    A beautiful post for what sounds like a lovely young man. My son turned 14 in January and it is a little bit scary as they do suddenly feel too grown up

    • Laura Dove
      April 18, 2018 / 9:03 am

      Its a scary age I think, way older than 13 seemed! xx

  34. April 18, 2018 / 7:29 am

    Beautiful post with gorgeous photos. Happy 14th birthday x

    • Laura Dove
      April 18, 2018 / 8:58 am

      Thank you Sharon! xx

  35. April 18, 2018 / 8:38 am

    Happy birthday Lewis! I loved being 14, I hope you do too.

    • Laura Dove
      April 18, 2018 / 8:57 am

      Thank you! xxx

  36. April 18, 2018 / 9:15 am

    Oh, I really hope Lewis had a fabulous birthday. Your post brought tears to my eyes… I’ll be writing my Happy 13th birthday to the child who made me a Mummy this year and I’m not quite ready for it.

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:10 pm

      Thank you Beth. I doubt we will ever be ready to let them grow! xx

  37. April 18, 2018 / 9:35 am

    Happy Birthday Lewis, what a handsome young man he is growing up to be 🙂 my eldest is 14, doesn’t time just fly by x

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:10 pm

      Thank you, it goes way too fast! xx

  38. April 18, 2018 / 10:04 am

    Aw bless you, when Lewis reads his letter from mum, I know that he will feel a big sense of pride that despite the ups and downs through the years, the family bond is irreplaceable and will always be there. Through thick and thin you have all stuck together and its amazing to see how much Lewis has grown over the years. May he continue to be a great person with sensitivity and generosity. I know that if he is anything like his mum then he has nothing to worry about xx

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:08 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Ana. He is such a lovely boy, I am so lucky to have him. xxx

  39. April 18, 2018 / 10:25 am

    That’s such a lovely post Laura. He’s such a handsome young man and sounds just wonderful. No wonder you’re so proud of him. I hope he’s had a great birthday!

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:08 pm

      Thank you so much Cath! xx

  40. April 18, 2018 / 10:51 am

    Aw this made me feel quite emotional. I hope he has a lovely birthday, what a wonderful boy he sounds. Gorgeous photos.

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:08 pm

      Thank you so much, he is! xx

  41. April 18, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    What a gorgeous letter Laura and happy birthday Lewis, hope you had an awesome day.

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:07 pm

      Thank you Anosa xxx

  42. April 18, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    How sweet! My son just turned 15 too (time flies!). Happy belated birthday to Lewis. Hope he had a wonderful birthday.

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:06 pm

      Thank you! And happy birthday to your son too! xx

  43. April 18, 2018 / 6:26 pm

    I hope he had a fantastic birthday, he sounds like a wonderful young man.

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:04 pm

      Thank you Mellissa! xx

  44. April 18, 2018 / 7:20 pm

    Ah lovely letter, Happy Birthday to your boy and hope he had a wonderful birthday. Mines 13 and it’s scary how much life is going to change for them now in such a short period of time

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:03 pm

      Thank you Stephanie, 13 feels a long time ago already! xx

  45. April 18, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    Aww what a lovely letter. Happy Birthday Lewis. Hope you had a great time!

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:01 pm

      Thank you! xs

  46. Our Family World
    April 19, 2018 / 9:57 pm

    Happy birthday to your son! I loved this post. The words truly come from a mother’s heart. I wrote something similar a few years back when my son graduated from university. Like you I was asking the same question myself, “Where did the years go?” First, they were babies. Blink your eyes and they are adults.

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 10:52 pm

      Ahh thank you, its hard letting them go isn’t it? Before I know it he will be graduating the same…. xx

  47. April 20, 2018 / 8:55 am

    What a good looking young man and a gorgeous family you have. Such a lovely lovely message. Happy Birthday Lewis! I can’t believe my eldest is just turned 3! Long way to go yet. #ThatFridayLinky

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 10:50 pm

      Thank you Dave! Ahh my youngest is 3 so I always tell myself I have a long way to go till he is 14! xx

  48. April 20, 2018 / 9:00 am

    Lovely post. Yep, the time does fly! #ThatFridayLinky

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 10:50 pm

      Thank you Enda! xx

  49. April 20, 2018 / 9:27 pm

    Happy 14th Birthday Lewis!
    Here’s to your 14th year being full of fun and achievements #ThatFridayLinky

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 10:47 pm

      Thank you Jo! xx

  50. April 22, 2018 / 8:30 am

    Happy birthday Lewis beautiful as always Laura where does the time go Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  51. April 24, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    Aww! Happy birthday Lewis and make the most of being young. Time flies by!!!

    • Laura Dove
      April 27, 2018 / 10:39 pm

      Thank you! xx

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