My Ash turns 11 years old today.
Hang on a minute.
WHERE ON EARTH DID THE LAST 11 YEARS GO???
All I know is that the past 11 years have gone by in a flash. Obviously, I am happy to see him growing into this confident and mature young man but it is still very bittersweet to me.
Ash is my first baby, the first one who came into this world smiling, filled with happiness and with a tremendous amount of love to give. And I'm heartened to know that nothing has changed. He is thoughtful and looks out for the people around him. When we are out with the grandparents, he is always the one who holds their hands when walking. Especially since my mum who has weak knees and can't really climb stairs - he is the one who will scout ahead to see if there are any steps and go back to her to hold her hand.
We named him Ashton... well, there isn't any particular reason for the name except for the fact that we loved the sound of it - and the short form sounds pretty cool too! But I later found out that the name was derived from a place name meaning "ash tree town".
Ash tress are exceedingly valuable, thanks to the toughness and elasticity of its wood. The wood is heavy strong, stiff and hard. It is the toughest and most elastic of the timbers and can be used for more purposes than the wood of other trees.
So maybe, just maybe, he will grow up into a fine young man with the exact same ash tree properties.
Because Ash has never been the kind of kid that was his age. He is like having an extra adult at home, especially since he had to grow up quickly when Ayd came along 19 months later. He looks after his younger siblings, helps them out with stuff and even nags (sometimes admonishes even!) them if they forget to complete something. He's the one who completes his homework super fast and wakes up super early on weekends to brush his teeth and have breakfast just so that he can play.
He loves his friends and school... so much that he never wants to miss a day! Especially since he has now been entrusted with new responsibilities of being made a school prefect. I can see how much it means to him, and how proud he is to be selected.
As his Dad, I am so proud of who he is and the man he is quickly turning into.
But today, I am embracing his 11th year.
Ash, you were the first to make me a Dad and for that, I am forever blessed.
I love you more than words can express. Happy Birthday, son!
P.S. In case you are wondering, Ash's amazingly awesome LEGO-inspired cake was done by the incredibly talented Cheryl Shuen. Recognised as one of the Singapore’s foremost designers of couture cakes, Chef Cheryl customised the cake according to Ash's love of LEGO. But not only does the cake look fantastic, it was super yummilicious too - according to all the kids and adults who ate it. The vanilla and chocolate sponge cake was extremely moist and not too sweet, with crunchy choco bits tucked between the layers. Safe to say, a lot of them (okay, me included) had second and third helpings!
And yes, the building blocks are edible. Visit www.cherylshuen.com for more information if you are looking for a kickass cake for weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, birthday parties and other events!