Birthdays have always been a significant day on the calendar for us, because it’s become a way for us all to pause and reflect on life’s precious moments and highlight one another’s growth. As a family, we get to celebrate our love and connections, and place value and importance on our unique bonds. For a long time Zayds, it meant me truly basking in and relishing my time with you as my baby boy. I truly got to revel in and appreciate your endless curiosity, your cuddles, your playfulness, our shared sense of humour and your desire to actually want to be in my company. I think it’s what makes the shift in dynamics all the more bittersweet.


This birthday is different for me because there’s a little sadness for the boy that’s lost; and also a celebration for the young man you are evolving into. Gone is the squeaky voice, eager conversations, and climbing into my bed at the end of the day. In its place is a deep tone I hardly get to hear, conversation on a need to know basis, and an independence that means I’ve been demoted to watching you from the sidelines instead of being centre of your world. But still I watch you evolve with adoration and pride. Still I soak in all the details of your little quirks and look forward to all the little moments we are together.


Mostly that includes bursting out in song every now and again to break the silence in our car rides, rambling like a runaway train in said car rides cos it’s the only opportunity I get to say what I need to because there’s nowhere for you to run, sitting in silence in the car rides because it’s precious time with you, an occasionally answering all the flash words answers correctly cos it’s the only fraction of a time I even remotely impress you.


I love that the way to your heart is through your favourite meal and that sometimes you let me tag alone for lunch dates with Dad. I love the way you get Appa to cook for you and the way you and Rocky roll around wrestling on the floor. I love that, even though you’re the youngest, you’re often the one we depend and rely on the most (to lock up at night, and close the windows, and give advice). You’re responsible, and trustworthy and level headed. You have the ability to process conflict and derive solutions to life’s pressures instead of buckling under them. You see the world through a different lens and very often that is the perspective we all need. You love the fast, and Jummah lunch, and EID. You’re grounded and traditional and keep us all aligned.


Zaydaan, the last two years I’ve watched you outgrow my lap and grow into your own. There is a tinge of sadness for the boy I no longer get to hold, but so much joy watching who you are becoming. You are smart, loving, caring, dependable and very important component to our family. You are hard-working, self-motivated, determined and so very capable of achieving anything and everything you put your mind to. You have blossomed in confidence and independence and you operate on your own terms and timeline – creating the perfect work/life balance (and still delivering the desired results within those constraints). You manage to do your schoolwork, socialize, focus on your fitness, and play games well into the night (sometimes morning?) with so much ease and on the horizon I forsee many great things to come.


I know I don’t always get everything right as a mom…and sometimes I feel like I’ve been put on mute and become the family reject because nobody needs me in the same way anymore. But I want you to remember that no matter how much time passes or how much life changes, I will always be here for you, always find ways to be part of your world and I will always look for ways to spend time with you <3. I hope you always know how very much you are loved.


Love Always,


MOM <3


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