Archive for January, 2013


Don’t laugh at a youth for his affectations; he is only trying on one face after another to find a face of his own.  ~Logan Pearsall Smith, “Age and Death,” Afterthoughts, 1931



Happy Birthday dear Jamie, 

You are Thirteen today. Imagine!  We can, as we have always pictured your every turn of year; changing face, different hairstyles, interactions with your siblings and friends. How your being here may have affected family decisions and random events, as so often it only takes one person’s words and feelings to effect a wholly different outcome to an occurrence. How your own needs and wants would have shaped our everyday lives, with all the joys and sorrows that life brings. Your life, sweet boy, is a mystery always imagined.

The last time I wrote for you was on your tenth birthday. It was, I think, a much sadder time, brought about by the passage of a generation and a need to reminisce about life as it was then or could have been. I still dreaded Christmas and New Year. Trying to create an atmosphere of jollity with a heavy heart is a task in itself, but something shifted after that year. Whether it was just time easing loss or watching Eli and Hannah completely grow out of all infancy, I don’t know. You became no longer the baby I mourned, but rather the young boy I imagined you to be. Today is another milestone, your imagined passage towards becoming a young man and a new leap for your family into a renewed start. 

What would we be doing today, young man? Laser game, cinema, your pals over for some gaming, pizza and music? I imagine you tall with dark, unruly hair – we still have a curled baby lock in your old case – sporty maybe, as your brother most definitely is not! Hanging out with Edward, our fourteen year old neighbour and a great kid. Scouts possibly, girls probably. Would you have had ‘the chat’ with Dad already and beg me to park 50 yards down when collecting you?

Spats and Tiger, your two girl dogs, who lay gently on our bed with you when we brought you home as a baby have both moved on to chasing cats in another place. Iggy, our first boy dog, ensures we don’t forget our place in the scheme of things with strategic wee puddles and reminding us that our house isn’t a home without tumbleweeds of dust and dog hair in all corners. 

Your brother and sister continue to amaze me every day, when they’re not driving me crazy. Eli lives in a world of his wonderful imagination; storifying, characterising, inventing. How much of his world would be changed by having an older brother as mentor and menace? Hannah, the practical. She sees all and understands all in a flash. Musical and artistic, with the ability to twist your Mama’s arm with humour and hugs. I can live with that.

So, for your special day today, Jamie, we’ve cooked up a couple of guinea fowl (I imagine that, like your Dad, you’d appreciate some wild bird). For pudding there is a mousse framboise chosen by your sister.

“I think Jamie would love that, Mama.”

“I imagine he would, bunny.”

Happy Birthday. xx