Friday, August 26, 2022

Letter to Bobbin - nine years old

Happy Birthday Bobbin!

Another year around the sun, and another year of being a super cool kid.

It's hard not to lead with the coolest brag ever: you managed to become the youngest Black Belt our dojo has ever had at the age of 8. You absolutely nailed the grading; you were SO ready. I was anxious watching your katas because in the mock grading you got a bit nervous and you forgot some of the moves (that you could usually do in your sleep!). The Shihan reminded you that it's not about getting everything perfect, it's about how you recover from a mistake - funny that I can say it and it doesn't count but when the dojo crew say it, it does! Doesn't matter which way the message gets in, it helped take some pressure off, and on the grading day you sailed through the katas.

Your pushups were on point and your sparring was an absolute joy to watch. You dominated against people older than you, but the moment I was most proud of was when you pulled back a bit. A boy your age who was going for his brown belt was a bit intimidated by you; you advanced and connected some great shots, and it was a bit much for him and he cried and wanted to stop. You downshifted your momentum, made sure you didn't connect any more head shots, and moved to be more defensive than offensive, giving him an opportunity to rise. I was lucky enough to be filming you when it happened and I've rewatched it so many times - both to see how focused and determined you were in the first half of your bout with him, and to watch that gentle shift and see your compassion shine through in the second half. 

You even came away with two nominations for gradee of the day, which for a tiny little eight year old is impressive! Well, it's impressive to your mum at least. After over two hours of hardcore grading you went to a trampoline centre for a party and then spent the afternoon playing... your energy level is mindblowing.

You've always had a wicked sense of humour but your wit has developed so much in the past twelve months. I am forever laughing at the funny things you say; always using a biting wit with a touch of sarcasm to get your point across. Some of your one liners are so fast that it won't be long before I won't be able to keep up. The other day I said "Wow, what did I do to get such an awesome kid?" and you raised an eyebrow and said, dryly, "You had sex." I nearly keeled over laughing so hard.

Upside down continues to be your natural go-to position to be in. Handstands and bendbacks galore, and since you perfected your splits you usually do some combination of all of them with a flourish at the end. You're such a performer, singing and making up dances with your friends (or just in front of the mirror- half your time is in front of the mirror). I know you're getting a microphone from a friend this weekend, and I cannot wait to see you light up when you unwrap it. You're having a Dance Party that goes until 10pm and I can't decide whether I'm a cool mum or an idiot for doing it! You've asked for a Party Llama cake and have helped me create the Llamas party hat, and want to have a go at doing some of the icing. I'm so excited for you to give it a whirl.

You've been filming yourself creating all sorts of things, pretending you've got a YouTube channel. Sometimes it's you teaching people how to make different shapes with magic sand, or your own cooking show, or dance academy. The commentary is absolute gold to listen to. Recently you spent a weekend in Albany and used the GoPro to film yourself on the bike track with full commentary including a "oh crap, yeah careful on that corner, nearly fell off there". You have a passion to share knowledge and whilst you still talk about becoming a police officer, teacher is now firmly up there when you're asked what you'd like to be when you grow up.

I received the most amazing feedback from one of your teachers. She approached me to say you were an amazing human, wise beyond your years and a fantastic role model to your peers. She said you are the instigator of brilliant conversations and have educated your classmates about the LGBTQIA+ community. She said you inspired her. I was so blown away. I've always thought you were sensational, but I'll admit I'm biased so it was genuinely lovely to hear such glowing feedback. Your strength as an ally and advocate to your sibling makes me ridiculously proud. So much compassion and kindness in a tiny little package.

You helped create a placard and marched alongside Tricky and I to fight for LGBTQIA+ rights earlier this year. It wasn't your first protest, and I'm sure it won't be your last. You've created signs and posters to hang around the house and an 'all genders welcome' sign that you've proudly hung on the front door. It's fitting that your birthday falls on Wear It Purple Day this year! You make everyone feel welcome and that Social Justice streak in you is mighty strong.

Alfie is never far from your sight and you continue to smother him in cuddles at every possible moment. He still lets you dress him up and play, and even snuggles on your lap for a "bottle" (a spray bottle that he loves to drink from) that makes you melt. A few reminders to leave him be are needed because we all need personal space, even The Floof. You're desperate to grow up so you can walk neighbourhood dogs and even dog sit... maybe start by walking your own dog more often though, babes?

You continue to amaze me at all times. You never, ever stop, and are bouncing off the walls, cracking your knuckles constantly, talking a mile a minute, and can never sit still. That brain of yours works super fast and it's both beautiful and chaotic at the same time. You're an intriguing mix of confidence and reluctance, smart and silly, competitive and compassionate, strong and vulnerable. You're a beautiful imperfect whirlwind and I love you just the way you are.

Have a brilliant year, babycakes, it's double digits next time.

Love Mum x


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