Dear Luca,

Today you turned nine, and what an amazing nine years it’s been. There’s so much everyone, and myself, can learn from you. I’m going to focus on nine things, there are plenty more but I’ll save those for your future birthday posts.

You feel empathy ~ Granny Stella died recently (my mum) and you have tried to understand it all. You didn’t know her well so you were unable to cry when I told you she’d gone. But you knew I was hurting and asked me questions, hugged me and talked to me about her. You still mention her now, even though I’m outwardly not grieving. When you look at me, in the eye, I know that you understand in your own way.

You sing like no-one’s listening ~ I have a terrible singing voice. Yours changes, when you’re listening to music on your headphones, you tend to mumble a little. When you’re in the car you sing at the top of your voice, making up your own lyrics if you’re unsure. It brings joy to my heart.

Your honesty ~ Most kids are honest, there comes a point when that changes though. You are unable to express yourself as clearly as other kids might, but you give it a good shot.

Your morning greetings ~ Every morning, without fail, you will say “Good morning mummy”, wearing a big smile. I would find it very odd if you didn’t do that and I would know that you weren’t feeling well.

Your hugs ~ Hugs are soul food, and my soul is satisfied, it can never be full and not want more. Often you will ask me “mummy, can I give you a hug?” You walk over to me with your arms open, and we hug. You rest your head on my shoulder and my heart melts.

Your confidence ~ You are so sure of yourself, you walk into a room and speak to others with conviction and genuinely want to find common ground. You will approach groups in the park to play, irrelevant of their age.

Your love of food ~ You don’t turn anything away, you will always try something once, then mostly eat it again and again.

Your passion ~ You have three main loves – football, music and food. You are true to yourself and you educate yourself. I don’t make you love things, or force you to love things, you just do. You love them all and can hold your own with any of those, if they were to come up in a conversation.

Your ability to say sorry ~ No one is perfect and we all make mistakes and hurt people from time to time. Not everyone will admit to their mistakes, it takes a big person to do that. If we have an argument or something happens where you have hurt someone’s feelings, after a chat and a calm down, you are able to say sorry.  You feel genuine remorse and I know that your apology is heartfelt.

We are celebrating your birthday tomorrow, I’m sharing this video of you because I love it and it is you in a nutshell. You are dancing and singing on your imaginery stage, not caring who is behind you or if they are watching, only looking forwards and living in the moment.

Happy birthday!

Love mum