he’s the top of the heap and the beat in my heart

Today on his first day, of his last year of primary school, my youngest son, Stephen King Junior, officially became a Big Kid. The school will make sure the grade six kids know they’re the top. Even when I was in grade six, a hundred years ago, we knew that we carried the torch.This is the first time in his life that he’s the eldest and most experienced. What will he make of it?

SKJ is my pretty packet of small troubles and big delights. He’s the kid that broke me and rebuilt me. I didn’t thank him then, but i can thank him now.

If you want to kick-start a mother-son gulf, the size of all get out, I can recommend postnatal depression. Fear, loneliness, recrimination and guilt. And capital P Paranoia because I reckoned, for sure, that the swaddled little bundle was out to get me and I mothered in fear of a baby who hadn’t rolled over yet. Postnatal depression became garden-variety depression and the fear continued.

Then one bright day I knew what I had to do. I had to act like I loved him because he was my baby and he needed to hear those loving things, and you never know, I said to myself, if you act like you love it might turn into real love.

The plan worked. I am a total genius.

We go on milkshake dates and they may look like just another ‘discussion’ of what’s better, lime or chocolate, but to me those conversations are gold. I sip my milkshake, lime, and marvel at how good we are.

Yep, I’m a total genius who can’t let go of the little baby she never got to have.

And now he’s in grade six. He will become more independent. He’ll start the separating from me like his big brothers have. It will happen, it’s got to happen, I want it to, and I will make myself ready.

But. He’s my buddy, he’s my little, youngest bestie. We understand each other, his sense of humour is quick and crude like mine, he makes sentences, we have circular conversations about character and plot. My study overlooks the trampoline and we have minutes where neither of us gets anything done because we’re busy waving and smiling and blowing kisses.

This morning I slipped a note into Stephen King Junior’s lunchbox. I said to have a great day, and to listen extra hard sometimes, but listen all the time, and that his teacher thinks he’s great and that I love him. I wrote I love him twice.


gimme wet kisses! 

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