This has not been a typical year in any way and that goes for birthdays too. We realised early on that we would each celebrate in a different part of the world: Marlow in Uruguay, Quin in Australia, me in Japan, Ivy in Sri Lanka, Michael in the English countryside and lastly, Easton in London. Though hardly exotic, Easton was delighted it worked out this way. He would celebrate in the city he was born, with his family and friends gathered in a familiar park, full of happy memories.
The day kicked off with Nutella crepes and handmade, heartfelt cards from his siblings. He only got a couple gifts: some flippers for exploring the waters off Italy and a skateboard – one specially designed for surfers to practice their turns. He spent the afternoon ‘surfing’ up and down the streets of London. The weather was rainy so we met for pizza indoors before heading to the park in the evening. There we played games, ate cupcakes, skated, scooted, swung, and conversed until the sun dipped low in the sky (after 9pm this time of year).
As he skated home that night, turning easily around corners, bins and other obstacles, I walked behind him. I was impressed how quickly he had taken to skateboarding. Clearly all of the surfing had helped him take easily to this new board sport. I thought back to last year, before our travels began, before he discovered surfing, and I realised how much he’s grown and changed.
It has been a very good year for Easton. Our time together and on the road has really transformed him. He has gained so much confidence and awareness, becoming more in tune to the world around him. He discovered surfing early in our travels and it has been a huge joy to watch his passion develop. He has progressed in his schooling more than any other year and is genuinely excited to learn—hungry for new knowledge. He remains happy, adventurous, and creative, with a huge love of the outdoors and nature in all of its varied forms. Perhaps this is why surfing has been such a natural fit. The time out on the waves, literally immersed in nature, powered by nature — has been transformative for him. Looking back it all seems so obvious. Of course this year of adventure and exploration would appeal to him, but we could never have known how much. It’s like it was written in his stars! It has been the biggest joy being his mama and watching him become the boy he is.