Happy Birthday, Henry.

Today would be Henry’s 19th Birthday. 7 years since we saw him.

As has become our custom, his mates (my gorgeous Godsons) and their families congregated – this year at Joe’s house at his Mum’s invitation, before they left for their various universities at the weekend.

We spent a lovely evening sharing Christmas leftovers and catching up on the boys’ recent exploits. As the night wore on the lads began to reminisce about primary school, remembering events we parents had known nothing about. Typical boys, they featured:

  • Someone slipping on ice in the playground and being sick as a result
  • The nature reserve, magnifying glasses and leaves (and a ball!)
  • Exploits in the swimming pool changing room, including a radiator and private parts – ouch!
  • Kids with green candles on their upper lips
  • The naughty wall with George and Joe at opposite ends so that they wouldn’t talk
  • Joe’s frequent visits to A&E and some of the weird reasons he ended up there (including a bath tap!)
  • PGL, when a class member created a concoction of milk, sun cream and… wee, which another drank(!)
  • Boys’ Brigade life for Harry, Henry, Cameron and Joe (including the current need for younger brothers to create 2,000 poppies – good luck lads!)

We then returned to more recent events (including Harry’s aversion to Bacardi!) and the realisation that the safe bubble of Lanchester had been a good thing now that they’re witnessing another side of life away from family and friends. In Joe’s words, “primary school was SO much better than university”.

This reflected my own thoughts. Their primary school memories are things to treasure. Hearing them mention Henry’s name during the laughter we all enjoyed brought him back to me. The fact that the lads have such fond memories of the time helps me to appreciate the joy Henry shared with them and for that I’m truly grateful.

As they said farewell to each other for another term, their affection was very evident and brought a lump to my throat. It still does as I write. I so wish Henry was here too.

Some of the people that have helped keep me going!


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