the enigma rises

On Monday I stood at the top of the driveway and watched as my sons trooped down to the car. There they go. My people. From big to little, all in the navy blue uniforms of their schools, backpacks on, they waited for me to open up.

‘What are you smiling at mum?’ Stephen King Junior wanted to know what the deal was. He has a thing about me seeming happy and he’s become my little smile monitor.

‘I’m smiling at you spunks,’ I said. ‘Phwoar.’

Tomorrow my eldest turns sixteen. It’s bizarre when your kids turn an age that you clearly remember turning yourself. I remember the day I turned sixteen. I remember crossing the mainest road on the way to my best friend’s house, thinking, ‘Well, you’re sixteen, you’ll have start being something.’

Now Biggie’s turning sixteen. The older he gets the further away from me he moves but I can accept that, I don’t love it, but like it because it’s meant.

Back in the day, the nappy days, nights of no sleep, the days of just him and me, there was nothing I didn’t know about him. I kind of felt like whatever was in his head was something that me, and his dad, put there. I showed him Star Wars, Thunderbirds, Thomas the Tank, the Wiggles. I took him to the park, the supermarket, mothers group. When he took his first steps, arms up, giggling, toes pointed, they were to me.

The first time he said fuck, it was to me.

‘Look, mummy, a fuck.’

We were in the car, stopped for a red light. I looked around, saw it, beside us, its wheels were at his eye-level.

‘That’s right honey, a truck. Truck.’

‘A big, big, fuck.’

‘Yes, darlin’.’

Days that have gone down in history, episodes that my biggest son would be embarrassed by now, they’re precious to me.

But so is the idea that every morning when he comes out for breakfast, already dressed, hair curly, big, unkempt, cool, something has changed, he’s becoming himself. That’s precious to me, too. Did he grow last night? Something happened. His face has changed, his head is longer, or maybe I’m less high. He likes his own music, stuff I’ve never heard of, but he likes the Beatles and Queen, too. He knows things, science things, history things, computer things, stuff that would take me years to grasp. He has ideas. He puts things in my head now. He hangs out with people I’ve never met, goes places on his own, he could be anywhere. He watches YouTubes of people playing computer games, I mean, really? He’s excellent and he still lets me hug him. He’s stubborn, he doesn’t say much. He has become an enigma.

I never wanted to know every little thing he thought. That’s impossible and a bit off. I’m meant to be growing up an independent, self-sufficient, reasonable person of the world. But did it have happen so quickly?


thank you for being mine, i loved it 

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