I was having lunch with a girlfriend the other week when this gorgeous little tot stomped past us all dressed up in her pink tutu, black booties that came up to her knees (though not in a knee-high-black-boots-are-too-much-for-toddlers) kind of way and had clearly been raiding her mummy’s lipstick drawer. ‘Oh you so deserve one of them,’ my pal gushed. Yes, I’d love to have a girl and it’s no secret Lady Mama G loves a dress up or two, is insanely mad about all things makeup, hair and fashion and can plait hair like a Dutch barmaid but there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past 10 years (hopefully a thing or two more but this decade has been somewhat of a patchy one) is that you have to be so grateful for what you’ve got.
I’ve just come back from holiday with a very dear friend who has been blessed with three darling little boys. I’m sure when they’re all awake and banging on her head with a TV remote at 5am, they might not seem like such sweet little potatoes but for the most part they are the most gorgeous, loving, fun and completely rambunctious small men I’ve ever met. They were the butter to my bread on our holiday with their cheeky smiles, funny pig noises and unabashed ‘we’ve arrived’ loudness. She’s often told, ‘Oh you poor thing, you’ve got three boys’…but poor, pig’s arse! Would her burden be any less with three girls? Not really. The thing is we’ve got to be grateful for what we’ve got, though I’ll readily admit this little Dalai Lama-like revelation doesn’t always quell the need to pass down your life lessons on everything Madonna-related (that’s the popstar, not the Virgin one).
I love spending time with my gorgeous nieces and I’ve got oodles of them – some are actual family and some I just claim as my own. Dressing them up, painting their nails and sewing teeny tiny little fairy princess outfits for them with matching sparkly headbands, greedily grabbing at my fill of girlieness from the borrowed tiny precious poppets in my life but boys, lads, dudes and mini men that’s what I know. That’s my degree, bringing up a boy.
My 10 y o has taught me more life lessons in his short decade of a life than I’ve learned in the not-quite-three before he was in it. I love his unconditional heart that is considerate beyond belief. That he worries if he’s offended me and comes up with ways to make me feel better. I love that his creative and imaginative side come out (if only behind closed doors) and he still leaps around the house dressed as a masked crusader of good-doing, whipping his wand toward imaginary villains. I love that he believes – despite my attempts to prove otherwise – that Hogwarts does in fact exist and one day he hopes to go there…he even knows what train he needs to catch.
I love the way he mispronounces words and often uses them in the complete and utterly wrong context that might make meeker humans blush. That he reads books about wizards, witches and giants but just as happily learns of boys in striped pyjamas who were less fortunate than himself. The way he fist punches the air when he scores a goal in soccer, then rushes up to hug his teammates acknowledging the effort that got him there. How his face lights up at the mere mention of magic and that he diligently practices new ideas in his room before unveiling them to us in a show of trickery (even though for the most part you can see exactly what he’s doing) and then falling in a heap of laughter when you discover the secrets behind his slight of hand. That he will fish on any possible body of water and a scrap with his mates is forgotten as soon as it has begun.
I love that he is generous and kind, forgetful and completely useless at making his bed. I love the glint he gets in his eye when he’s planning a secret surprise and is so bursting to tell that he looks as though if he has to keep it in any longer he might actually pop. When he makes up his own jokes and then laughs himself senseless.
I love that he forgets and forgives just as easily as the blink of an eye. That he doesn’t let his past define him and always looks forward to the future. That his family mean more to him than anything on the planet…and that he tells us so. That even though The Vet only came into his life when he was five, he is his greatest and most worshiped hero. That his hugs and kisses come just as freely as the stars in the night sky.
I love how he never minds that I tell him what he has to wear every day and how he rolls his eyes but does as he’s told when I style his hair. How he tells me I’m ‘very good at hairdressing’ when I forget to book the hairdresser and am forced to cut it myself. That he trusts every single thing that comes from my lips because I am his mum. I love how he believes in tooth fairies, santa and that the boogey man will get him if he’s not back home by half-past-five. That one day he will make the most incredible husband, that he will never break anyone’s heart but that I worry how much someone might break his.
And one day I won’t be able to make his decisions for him any longer…he’ll do things that will put his life at risk, driving fast, leaping off perfectly good bridges, dicing with danger, or traveling to far away lands where I might not hear from him for weeks on end. But I know when he does come back he’ll throw his arms around me just like he does now and I’ll remember why it is I’m so lucky to have a boy. Love n’hugs, Lady MamaG xox