Making the most of every minute…

Wait….. What?

Tomorrow at 7.04pm my eldest son becomes an adult.  How did this happen?  There are days when I hardly even feel like a grown-up myself and now I am the parent of a genuine bona-fide card-carrying adult!  He will be able to vote, drink in pubs, get married without my consent and will, in the eyes of the law, be responsible for his own actions.  For all of those reasons, this is alarming.  My son has gone from 4lb 2oz to 6ft 3inches in what seems like the blink of an eye.

I really wanted to document this special occasion on the day and not with the benefit of hindsight.  I’m not sure why the timing is so important to me – after all I’ve been a mum for 18 years now, so it’s not like it’s new and fresh anymore.  I read mummy-blogs all the time where the mum is documenting how she felt, what she saw, what made her laugh or cry as something to look back on in the years to come and I didn’t do that, because 18 years ago, blogging didn’t exist!  But it does exist now, and now I am facing a new stage of parent-hood with some trepidation….

I don’t know what to say…..  I only started blogging less than two months ago and I really enjoy it, I see it as a place to express my views on life, the universe and everything – but for three weeks now, I’ve been paralysed by the thought of expressing how I feel about my baby turning 18.  In my head, I’ve composed poems, and written reams of sentimental drivel to try and express what a milestone this is for us as a family.  His brother is only 15 months younger but is determinedly clinging to childhood and my husband seems just as shocked as I am by the speed at which this milestone has arrived, but is (outwardly at least) much more stoic than me.

A small part of me is doing that crying where no tears or sound come out because of all those years that went by in a blur of  PE kit panics, last minute ironing of school uniforms and forgotten ingredients for cookery lessons that I somehow “got through” without appreciating quite how precious those days really were.  We had some wonderful times, especially in school holidays but for the day to day stuff, I could have done a lot better.

Part of me wants to dance, cheer and pat myself on the back at my brilliance (admittedly, my husband had a great deal of involvement in this, but this IS my blog!)  My son is a really nice person!  He’s confident, caring, has a great sense of humour, is reliable, hard working, talented, well liked by his peers, co-workers and his tutors, and is tall, good looking and robustly healthy.  

Another part of me is worried by what is yet to come.  If it is this hard to face the fact that when I wake up in the morning it will be my son’s 18th birthday, what will it be like on the day he is leaving home?  That day will come soon, I am sure of it.  

Mike has always been in a rush….  He arrived two months early and was so small he would  almost have fitted in one of his own (size 13) current shoes!  At birth he had to be fed through a naso-gastric tube because he had no suck reflex, but has been eating for England ever since making it to solid food.  He stayed little for his age until about 18 months, but seems to have been growing constantly ever since.  At 14 he went to China with school for THREE weeks, and had far too much of a good time to bother contacting us (surely a sign of things to come) and he talks endlessly of his ambition to go to London – a decision made easier, I think, by the fact that my mum lives there.

So this is it – my little boy is becoming a man and although I would give anything to be able to scoop him up and carry him round again, or to hear him call me “mummy” without sarcasm, or a need for money – I guess I am going to have to be grown up about this, feel proud at the job I’ve done so far and wait to see what happens next.  I gave him roots and wings and I love him enough to watch him fly.  It doesn’t mean I won’t cry when he does though….


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18 thoughts on “Wait….. What?

  1. Wow, 18 years – gone in a flash. But so much still to look forward to… A lovely post and I hope you all have a lovely celebration x

    • Oh! Thank you for reminding me there’s still stuff to look forward to 🙂 I’ve been so busy worrying about people thinking I’m OLD – I’d almost forgotten. I’m really glad you took the time to comment!

  2. What a wonderful observation of the spectrum of emotions that come with a ‘coming of age’ moment! I love what you write about not quite appreciating those day to day moments at the actual time… but that can be an over-and-above task when there are cookery ingredients to manifest from midweek cupboards! Congratulations on appreciating your accomplishments as a mother, the most important job in life 🙂

  3. I bet the time just flies – I only have the one, one year old but I don’t even know where that year has gone! Have a big glass of wine! sorts everything xxx

    • Oh it DOES fly and so very fast! I’ll relive my baby years through your blog which is fantastic 🙂 And the wine? I had three glasses last night – one of the good things about your kids growing up is that you don’t have to worry about them waking early 😉

  4. What a beautiful, bittersweet moment – thanks for sharing it. It’s renewed my desire to document the little things through my blog. Better than a shoebox of memories….

    • I’m glad you liked it! Do keep up your blogging – I wish I had started years ago. I could have done with being part of this community when mine were little AND it is good to have that record of your thoughts and feelings xx

  5. Pamela Bourke on said:

    Karen I cannot believe Michael is 18 so scary such a lovely Blog x x Pam Bourke

  6. planetheavenpr on said:

    So beautifully written xxx

  7. I went through this last year and oh it’s hard. I feel your pain and wistfulness.
    Mine has already left home for university and that was really difficult but what a man he’s become. He makes me proud every time he phones just for a chat and still ends every call with “I love you” regardless of where he is or who he’s with.
    Enjoy and relish your baby becoming the man who will make you so very proud. You deserve it, the past 18 years were no doubt hard work!

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am now slightly calmer about this as the milestone was much larger in my head than in real life. He’s hardly changed at all! I have hope that I won’t get quite so stressed out by the next family milestone. We’ll see,,,

  8. Oh I’ve got a tingle! I have 10 years to go before this, but I can feel it rushing towards me on the motorway of school-termtime chaos and it terrifies me! (I’m featuring this on the BritMums blog tomorrow)

    • 10 years is not a very long time when you look back on it! I am happy on so many levels that term-time chaos is now behind me, but still feel wistful when I see mums and dads holding their children’s hands.

      I will look out for your feature, and thanks for your blog. It is one of my favourites!

  9. Very beautifully written, so touching, not to mention scary. I’m still a few years away from this moment with my eldest, but it’s so easy to rush full steam along and not enjoy the special moments we have with them.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words on my writing. We do rush around and risk missing special moments. If I’ve reminded you to “stop and smell the flowers” occasionally, then I’m chuffed to bits!

  10. Beautifully written, Karen. Please post more of your blogs so I don’t miss out xxxx

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