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….