I even lashed myself into a frenzy and baked and decorated a chocolate cake:
(ds2 made the lego 'drum kit' to go on the top)
And then a not-very-flattering photo of an excited boy who has just been given a mobile phone for his birthday:
I can't believe my little boy is 11!
And what a wonderful 11 year old he is - bright, articulate, polite, funny, cheeky, interesting, inquisitive and everything you could want in your child.
And to think that it was all because of him that we started our home educating journey all those years ago. It was because of him that I was there, in the lunch hour at my full-time job, looking on the internet for education alternatives (he was only 2 at the time!). And because of him that I stood up to all the 'good advice' from those around me and chose to delay his entrance into school. It was the start of a whole new lifestyle.
I wonder how different things might have been if we'd chosen to send him to school. A small boy, bright and inquisitive, always moving, always asking questions, unable to cope with large groups, with all his little quirks and characteristics. I wonder how long he would have survived in a class of 25, having to sit down, having to do what he was told, be quiet, listen, queue, wait. My guess is we would have been looking at a diagnosis, or he would have just vanished into the crowd, unseen, an unhappy little boy. Square peg round hole.
Instead we ended up home educating. Not just him, but two more children. I gave up full-time work (i.e. career, income, status etc) and became the one thing I was determined never ever to be, a stay-at-home mum and housewife.
But on days like this, looking at him, it was worth it. My big boy.