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  • This is a picture of my son. It was taken on 5th August 2009, he had turned 15 two days earlier. We had a great time on his birthday, friends and extended family having the best of times at a lake side pizzeria in Umbria. The usual script, good food, good wine, good chat, good times. I seem to remember karaoke too, but I suspect that's a different story.

    The day this picture was taken was also my wedding day. During the ceremony Jack read 'The Lovely Dinosaur' by Edward Monkton. He didn't just read it, he really delivered it, I could say I've never been so proud, but that would probably be a lie. I'm proud of him all the time. I'm proud of him for the smallest of things, but that day our closest friends and family got to see why I am so proud.

    In 2010 Jack was 16. There was no big party, in fact his birthday nearly slipped off the radar but I did bring him a very special present, his first (and final!) sibling, a little sister named Lotte.

    In 2011 Lotte had her first birthday. The trouble is Lotte has her birthday the day before Jack has his. Once again, Lotte stole Jack's spotlight.

    This year Jack is going to be 18. A major milestone, and one I'm not going to share. Not because we are distracted with a celebration for a two year old, but because Jack is flitting the nest. He leaves in July to live in Australia for his GAP Year before Uni. I'll not be there to give him a birthday kiss and it makes my heart ache, but then I realise how proud of him I am. Imagine, able to fly away at 17.

    He tells me I gave him his wings. I'm glad I never clipped them, because I know he will fly back.

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