A few days ago I was saying goodnight to the 12 y o and something he said flummoxed me. ‘I don’t feel like I’ve got any of my dad in me, I’m worried that I’m not really like him that much…’ Oh child, I said. ‘Every teeny drop of blood in your body is so much the same as him. All your best bits – your beautiful personality, your kind heart, your generous nature and loving spirit, your cheeky chops and quick wit are all because of your dad. Every bit of you is good, but there are especially good bits inside you and those, they come from the man who made half of you.’
It’s true there is so much of his daddy’s blood running through his veins that keeps me both on my toes (due to his mean negotiating skills that never EVER give up), his ability to open a fresh bottle of milk when there’s a perfectly good half-full one beside it and his addiction to shoes (loads and loads of bloody shoes and they all look the same), but it makes me warm in my heart too when his beautiful loving soul comes out.
This wee soul-searching revelation is due, in large part, to incessant bullying that’s been plaguing his school year so far in his debut into high school. It’s all about fitting in and finding out who you are but what if you’re not entirely sure who that is? The little shit who is making his life at times unbearable clearly is also struggling to find his place in life and therefore finds the 12 y o the perfect target because he’s a good kid. He’s kind, generous, clever but he’s not cocky, conceited or conniving. There’s no meanness inside his soul which is why I tell him not to let the hurt in. Those other shits will get their own. Just stand back and give it time.
When I first became a solo mum I read a book written by Steve Bidulph, called Raising Boys. I’m not much into guide books for parenting, I believe you have to trust your instincts but when you’re flying solo, sometimes a bit of help doesn’t hurt. He says boys will need their mums until the age of about 4-6. After that they’ll begin seeking out a male role model for which to base their own life on. That male would usually be their dad. Except his was present only in spirit form.
Blood is a strong bond. The strongest. It’s what makes us who we are. But it can come in another form that doesn’t involve blood or biology…one that’s compiled entirely of love.
On Sunday night, The Vet came home from being away for five days. He’d been on a course about poking needles into animals and the 12 y o leapt up off the sofa where he’d been watching a movie, flinging himself into his chest full force. They hugged hard and he was so excited to see the man who has been the most exceptional role model in his life he could hardly get the words out fast enough, launching into a five-minute tirade of basketball facts, fishing tales and his shiny new kicks we bought.
I’m not sure if I tell him often enough but there is something entirely incredible about The Vet’s role in our son’s life that makes my heart do little flick flacks inside.
It might not be the blood pumping through their veins that binds the two of them but in every other way they are father and son. He loves him, provides for him, protects him and cherishes him. Even after the longest shittiest day at work, he still finds time to shoot hoops, help with his homework, give him advice and laugh over their stupid boy jokes that involve bulldozers falling out of trees. No I don’t think it’s funny either. Totally a boy thing. And generally be the most important person in his life. I love the shit out of watching the two of them do stuff together. Even if it means they both take each other’s side pretty much most of the time.
It’s entirely possible to love someone you didn’t genetically help create but that you came into their life when they needed you most.
You are more than an every day ordinary hero in his eyes, and in mine.
I love that you want to take him on a special lads trip on some African safari when he turns 18. That all you do and have in your heart always includes not just me, but him too. Equally. I love that you love him because he’s mine and a part of me but has now become a part of you too.
There’s not a human on this earth as wonderful and kind and beautiful and loving as you…well except for the one you’ve got a hand in raising.
Sometimes blood isn’t thicker than water…and I love you all the more for it my Superbloke. Lov’n’hugs, Lady MamaG xox