Sweet sixteen?

Sweet sixteen is a distant memory for me but I do remember my Mum telling me I should go on the pill immediately. Strange birthday present was my thought. I had no intention of having sex quite possibly ever and certainly not any time soon.


My oldest son turns 16 tomorrow. I have felt fed up all day even though things have gone well. He is not a hugely demanding kid so his present wishes are manageable enough and will make him happy. He’s a bright, sensitive and loving boy who still gives him Mum a hug and brings her little gifts. He also eats junk food and has an amazing ability to ignore the mess in his bedroom which I guess is fairly average for a 15 year old lad.

Where has 16 years gone? I certainly did not turn into the sort of mum I had hoped I would be. He has had plastic toys, watched copious amount of television and I lost the battle completely when my Mum bought him a games console when he was about 9 years of age. Guess what he is doing now? Yup!

I feel sad. I saw a pram outside a shop today and my heart ached a little. I have bleated on for years about all the challenges and restrictions of parenting and yet … Can I go around again? Can I meet him for the first time and tell him that I am clueless so will be relying on him to be the parent? Can I hear him say “Rover” as his first word because that is his granddad’s car? Can I watch his obsession with all things Thomas the Tank engine grow? Not to mention Bob the Builder. Can I go to my late parent’s home again and see the special desk they bought him or relive the Christmas where they got him the ride on car which would a few months later lead to him terrifying us by going for a drive in the village without telling us. There is the cute red and yellow uniform that he wore to his Montessori nursery that set him on absolutely the right path considering the horrors of our education system to come. Can I laugh until I cry at the Nativity play where he refuses to get off centre stage and keep flashing his “big boy pants?”

He is lovely. He has my wild untamed curl and my good skin. He has a round face like his Dad. He is tall already towering above my husband. He really is a young man. I can see this and I am proud. He is the boy who when a kid called him gay said “I am not but there is nothing wrong with gays anyway”. He is the one who stood up for a child who was bullied in a racist manner on a playground. He hates injustice. He listens to me when it really matters and bores me crazy about video games at other times. He is wonderful but can I just stop and go around with him again?

As for the sex thing, he reckons he is more interested in learning to drive. Some things don’t change!

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