We can fall into the trap of believing our children predictable, unless we have an especially off-the-wall individual 😉 … I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the fact that so much of motherhood can be routine, repetition, the same old same old. This is what we do on a weekday morning. This is what I ask you at this time of day. This is how you respond, acquiesce, defy… It can reach a point where nothing seems very new.
But what follows is an example that made the humdrum mummy in me sit up and take notice this week.
Yesterday, my Wilfy turned 8 years old. He is the middle of five brothers and as such, and because he is not a remotely squeaky wheel, is very accommodating, gentle and kind, I often worry that he gets steamrollered a little, or at the very least rather overlooked. When he gets anxious he stutters a bit, he’s a little prone to nail-biting under pressure… a sensitive soul. He has an unassuming and slightly bashful manner, though he could certainly talk your ear off if you let him! And he used to aspire to being a wrestler when he grew up, though I think that may have gone the way of the ballerina of my youth. 🙂
If there’s one thing he likes, knows well, and has plenty of opinions about, it’s food. He’s nicknamed our Tummy-On-Legs since if he likes it, there seems to be no bottom to the pit. He quite often comes in half an hour after a meal to ask when the next one is. And for all this, he’s a beanpole.
He can smell, from his bedroom far from the kitchen, all the different components of what’s cooking, including peas! And usually identifies a meal before he’s walked into the room and seen it. Quite an incredible skill (though I’m not sure how it might serve…) 😉
So… back to his birthday. As I always do, I asked him what kind of a cake he’d like this year. I’m not an amazing baker, but I can smother a sponge in chocolate icing and Smarties with the best of them. And this is fully what I expected him to say. It is his usual response, even. Every year, pretty much without fail, it’s a chocolate sponge with chocolate icing and chocolate sweets… (Did I mention he likes chocolate?)
This year, though, he took me completely aback.
“A cheesecake, please” was his reply.
I don’t actually think, looking back on it, that I was even able to respond for a while.
But I was disproportionately pleased by his response. What a fabulously unexpected, totally individual and *sophisticated* request!
I am grateful for the surprises.