Flynn is one. Boy, has that gone quick!
It's been such a wonderful year and I think the decision to add number 5 to the family has been our best decision yet. When we decided to have Flynn I wasn't worried about too much really. I knew there would be enough love to go around. I was sure the others would adjust well. I was quietly confident that I'd cope OK because there would be just one baby and I had already 'survived' Twins and the '4 under 4' shebang. We had already been embracing chaos for a while so surely an extra bit of that would be business as usual. The only thing I was worried about was that, with a 4 year gap, the baby would be left out as the others had formed such a tight bond. Turns out I needn't have worried about that either. In fact, I hardly get a look in when his brothers and sister are around and I've come to love the days when the other Kids are off at school as I can finally have him all to my greedy self. He has made it clear that he is very much part of the sibling gang.
I've managed to soak up every minute of his first year. Not just because he will be my last but because I actually had the opportunity to do so. When there was 4 under 4 it was just a completely different experience compared to now where I only have 1 in that same age bracket. I wouldn't do a single thing differently because having the children close together worked well for us at the time and as intense as it was, the hard work is certainly paying off now as they all get on so well together. However, it has been lovely to be able to do many things now that I wasn't able to do with the same amount of ease when there were 4 little ones. For example, I used to enter the grocery store with 4 in tow and it was like the 'parting of the red sea'. I'd whizz around getting things done as quickly as possible. Everyone gave way to the frazzled Mum on a shopping mission and there was the occasional sympathetic smile or standard "you've got your hands full!" statement. There was no time for leisurely chit chats. Conversations may have started with strangers but they were invariably interrupted or cut off completely before one of the children decided to do a 'runner'.
My shopping of going out with Flynn is the complete opposite. Everyone smiles at us and the world just seems like a happier place. It was the first thing I noticed on our first outing a year ago. There's less rushing and plenty of time to talk to people. And I do love chatting to strangers. I feel like I've reconnected with the community in a way that was different a few years ago where much of the time I felt a bit invisible when I was out and about. Of course there is heaps to do at home with 5 Kids but I have purposely let a lot of things slide knowing that I will have more time next year when I will have all 4 kids at school full-time.
One of my favourite things to do with Flynn is to go for walks along the beach together. I take all the kids to the beach regularly but aside from when my first was born 9 years ago and I could carry her in a pouch, I haven't been able to go for long, brisk walks with Kids in over 7 years. When my second was born, I had a toddler in tow and it's near impossible to carry twins along with 2 others. But Flynn sits nicely in the backpack and loves our walks and then we muck around on the sand afterwards.
With his love of the Sea in mind, I knitted him an Octopus for his Birthday. Her name is Octavia and I may need to fix her left eye. I used this pattern and my ravelry notes can be here. I love the way it turned out, especially the textures "suckers", but I think Flynn may have to grow into his new friend - she is a lot bigger than I thought!
We celebrated his Birthday with a simple dinner of Pizza and Pink Lemonade at the beach yesterday. Nice and simple just the way we like it.
Happy First Birthday Flynn!