Friday, 12 November 2010

Coming of Age.

And so it came to pass that the baby in a shawl, the first born, the one with golden ringlets that weren’t cut until he was three, the infant who didn’t sleep a full night until he was two and a half, the boy who thought for all the world that he really was Harry Potter, and spent literally hours trying to get his broomstick to fly; the young lad who, for reasons still inexplicable didn’t go to school one day but absconded with a pal who was running away from home and got on a National Express bus to London, is now the handsome young man hell bent on realising his dream of rock stardom now that those of being Harry Potter have been dashed. This same man, this same boy, this same mother’s son has just turned eighteen.
It hardly seems possible, given that I have chronicled this family’s ups and downs, week in week out, that over nine years seems to have slipped through my fingers since I started my dairy. Were this a television series, this week’s episode would be a retrospective, a highlight of all the ‘good bits’ with a focus on my son’s occasional errant ways. The most errant being having a revolting bedroom, insouciance towards his A levels that make me and his father want to pull out our hair in tufts of frustration and a refusal to consider a back-up plan should the drum roll at the Mercury Music Awards for Best Rock Band, elude them. Along with the misdemeanours, this particular TV episode would also re-run all the funny bits, the bloopers that would make him squirm in embarrassment as the viewers howled in their armchairs. Who wouldn’t find it funny that the rather intimidating, 6’ 5” man, with a Russell Brandesque fashion sense, long black, hair and brooding expression, keeps a pair of underpants by his bed ‘in case of a fire’, now commonly referred to as his ‘firepants’ or that, far from being to cool to care, gets up when everyone one else has gone to bed to recheck the house is secure for the night. This is the same lad who, upon finding a bath full of water yet to be drained, immediately removed the plug lest his littlest sister went for a nocturnal wee and accidentally fall into the bath, “Didn’t you know that drowning is known as the silent death mum?” he warned me, the morning after he’d drained the bath, “There’d be no splashing about. She’s just slip quietly in”. That was me told.
There is no denying that it has been an emotional week. The baby photo albums have been wept over. The curly golden locks have been carefully removed from their plastic bag and fingered lovingly. Hubby and I were a dead loss for most of Monday and at any given moment embraced him tightly.
“Ok Ma, you can let go now. You’re hurting my ribs”, he said on more than one occasion. Hubby kept kissing him and calling him, “my son”. It was like a scene from the Lion King. My brother showed up and hugged him manfully and then Dad turned up too, watery eyed and managed with a wavering voice, “Your grandmother would have been very proud of you”. And then we let him go. With money in his pocket to burn and an ID card informing the world that he was old enough to drink, he and seven friends, left the house. Hubby and I squeezed each other’s hands. He was gone.
Precisely 55 minutes later he called, “Can you pick us up please?” Oh my God, what had happened. Was someone needing their stomach pumped?
“Where are you?”
“We’ve had dinner at the Wilcove Inn. Lovely, but we’ve finished now and ready to come home”. If this is the new rock’n’roll that I very much admire it. When I was 18, well it was a far messier affair. Hubby and I got into our respective cars and retrieved them and they continued to party in our basement, not in some club or some insalubrious dive but just downstairs. Phew.
The worst that happened that night? His fellow band-mates thought it would be a great prank to remove from his drawer, whilst he was asleep, well, his drawers, every single pair of them. They then stuck them in a Tesco’s carrier bag, soaked them and put them in the freezer. They took two days to defrost. Longer than a large turkey.
The fun, games and emotional rollercoaster doesn’t end there though. We’ve a party to get through first and not just for the eighteen year old, for, following fast on his heels in terms of milestones is my beloved, Hubby. He is about to be 50 any second. I have loved him since he was 27 years old, when the next 23 lay before us, unchartered. My final thought then must be for my mother-in-law. If 18 years has left me a reminiscent wreck, 50 years of looking back must wreak havoc. I realise that these last 18 years are only just the beginning.

1 comment:

Juilie Twinkle said...

Nice baby who got a break in life.
Life is full of joy and adventure. Also find some more story. I am interested in using herbal based products. Recently I used based herbal hair shampoo which worked good for me.