There was much merriment first thing in the morning (come to think of it, there was much merriment until late last night - too late for Mrs Raheny's taste).
There was much excitement.
It's not every day that one turns twelve.
I am delighted to see that you are anything but blasé about your birthday. About life in general.
There is a lot of positive energy in you. Long may it last!
But why wear your hood up first thing in the morning (granted, it was baltic in the house at 6.55am) when you spend so much time checking that your hair is exactly the way you want it?
I've learned a lot about fades in recent months.
And memes (I find most of them barely amusing, when you think that they are absolutely hilarious - it must be a generation thing - and the fact that I value subtlety in humour - subtlety in all things actually).
You are still not bored with Fortnite. I mean, come on?! More updates, more releases, more skins, more maps, more weapons, more time spent with your mates screaming excitedly in your gaming headsets.
It must be brilliant to be a 12 year old.
It's not all a bed of roses, I know. It's been a tough year, with six months without school in the middle of a pandemic. I must say that you have done really well, all things considered. It is a very good thing that the three of you get on well. You do enjoy a laugh together. It's the best antidote.
It is getting harder to drag you outdoors for a family walk. That's why I enjoy these even more when we do manage to round up enough participants at the weekend. That said, we've had a few very enjoyable walk and chat sessions on the pier, with Luca, after dinner. Because you're no longer a baby. You go to bed later during the week now.
Enjoy the last few months of primary school. They are still very much treating you like babies and they are not really doing you a favour because the transition to secondary school will be all the more dramatic. You'll find it hard too. But you are a resourceful, likable, fun-loving young lad. You'll be grand.
I think I need to go and collapse into bed and work full time on the digestion of the kebab meal you requested for your birthday. I can't believe that you wolfed down that kebab bigger than your head in under three minutes.
And there was still some space left for the Toblerone cheesecake.
Jayzus, just the thought of it makes me queasy now.
So there was no way we'd watch another episode of Somebody Feed Phil tonight. No, you had a brand new Liverpool F.C. DVD to watch. En famille. Under a cosy blanket.
- Canon EOS 50D