"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Friday, 24 February 2012

to matthew ... on his 25th birthday

Having my youngest son turn 25 today
makes me feel older than the fact
that my oldest son will be 30 in December
(I will probably feel different in December)

25 years ago today Matthew was born
I have never hid the fact from him that he was a shock
and a surprise
His brother Nicholas was only 16 months old
when he arrived
and suddenly we had 3 little boys under
the age of 4 and half

There was cause for concern when I found out that
I was pregnant
I had been struggling with breastfeeding a disinterested Nic and
took very strong hormone tablets to dry up my milk
only to discover that I was already more than 3 months pregnant
(Nic knew something I did not)
There were serious discussions with different doctors,
letters to drug companies about the side effects of the drug,
we were given percentages and a list of what "defects" could
occur and throughout the pregnancy there were worries
about the decision we had made not to terminate the pregnancy

The cutest, spiky haired, long and skinny (strange
for a Rosslee) but 100% perfect baby arrived
and we never looked back
The balance in the family was suddenly right
- it is difficult to compare 3 -
They were all so different but so alike

He grew up at Nic's pace
They were told the same stories
and once I was reprimanded by his pre-school teacher who
asked why Matthew knew all the tunes to the nursery rhymes
but never knew the words
and I suddenly became aware that I had never
taught him nursery rhymes

He grew up with He-Man and Turtles 
and rugby balls and yard cricket
and always having to be the one to "fetch" the ball
He could tick-tack on a skateboard before he could
walk and he walked when he was
9 months old
(he needed to be able to stand up to his bigger brothers or
he just got trampled on)

Now when I look at my handsome 25 year old son
I am filled with pride
He is strong and determined, has the
most amazing discipline and doing
his best to make his dreams come true
but not without sacrifices

He is surrounded by testosterone, men
and gyms and grass
but has managed to stay softly spoken, gentle and kind
but firm and focused at the same time

He is arriving home today
I cannot wait to hold him and hug him and be thankful for him
and wish him all good things for the years ahead
that his dreams come true,
and that his heart heals
and that Griquas beat WP tomorrow afternoon

It is hard to imagine what our lives would have been like without him
and with hindsight how a decision in your past could have
changed so many peoples lives...
and made it so much poorer

Happy Birthday Matthew
your Mom and brothers and family love you so much
and your Dad is so very proud

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