Tuesday, 8 September 2015
My boy is five. And number one on my catch-up list is to celebrate that fact.
Owen remains as irrepressibly himself as ever. His birthday presents included a Rapunzel dress, several My Little Ponies and... drum roll ... after a year of patient and not so patient asking, the Elsa shoes. One happier little boy it would be hard to find.
Owen lives in his imagination. His head is full of stories, quite often he gets lost in there and requires persistent prodding if you need to communicate with him urgently. This also makes him veeerrryyy sloooooow. Whether eating, or getting dressed, or walking down the street, or drawing, he. takes. his. time. Last week as I was dashing around in the usual school morning flap, I popped my head round the bedroom door (where Owen was supposed to be getting dressed, for at least the last ten minutes) and discovered him lying on his bed, naked and singing merrily to himself.
Auntie Katie, perspicacious as ever, gave Owen a clothes designing kit for his birthday. She realised that Owen's love of princesses is mostly sartorial. O loves clothes, and accessories, and hair. He recently told us, after spending ages pouring over The Elves and the Shoemaker, that he too would like to be a shoemaker. Jean-Paul Gaulthier move over. I mean take your time, you've got a couple of years yet, but you know, maybe start just edging away slightly now.
The other thing that sometimes I think people miss about Owen is his tenacity and his strength. He's determined and energetic. During the summer holidays we went to an acrobranch park with all the cousins. It was really tough. And Owen was really a bit too small. Lots of the obstacles were incredibly difficult for him. We were with my beaux parents (we were on the ground) and they kept saying to me, "Shall we get him down? This bit is too difficult for him." Despite sometimes agreeing with them I stuck to my guns and insisted I would only get him down if he asked. And he didn't. Even when he was dangling in mid-air, he just laughed. He's every bit as gutsy as Matilda when it comes down to it.
He's also the sweetest human being. Auntie Katie (her of the perspicacious present offering) sent the kids Ken Branagh's Cinderella to celebrate the rentrée. And to go back to my observation about the boy's love of all things sartorial, you should have heard the awed gasp he made when Cinders finally got her glass slippers. But what really grabbed his imagination in the film was Cinderella's family motto, "Have courage and be kind". He has been repeating it ever since. "That's what we should be like isn't it mummy?" Yes, Owen it is, but don't worry, you always have been.