There’s some things I wanna tell you both as your Mum and as the one who picks up your dirty washing off the bathroom floor every shitting morning even though I swore I never would (see slave). This day, this one, where you turn from my baby boy to not anymore… is just a little bittersweet for me.
I can still see it, in the dawning hours of a warmish December Monday morning some sixteen years ago, a little niggle in my belly woke me. Your daddy sat up so bloody fast I think he nearly broke his neck. You know that feeling when you shoot those half court threes, the one where you tipped the score on the buzzer and took out the game…yeah well that was him, us, but like times a billion. We were so damn excited.
A few hours later and you were here. I held your teeny milky blonde self so tight in my arms I never wanted to let go. Our smiles so big our faces hurt. I leant down and whispered in your itty bitty ear from that day forward, I’d walk to the ends of the earth for you. I’d wrap you under my wings forevermore and make sure you never met any harm.
From then on it was my job to keep you safe. I’d rather my heart shatter into a thousand tiny pieces than yours be broken. And that was all kinda easy…up until now.
Now you’re the same age I was when I met him, he who created you and there’s never been a day over the past thirteen years I haven’t wanted to take away your pain. I know your heart hurts for the one you never got to know. So does mine. But he couldn’t have asked for a better man, a greater human to raise you. The things you’ve learnt from him, some you won’t even realise till you’re older…are more precious than gold.
You want to grow up so fast. You can’t wait to do all the shit we did, the crazy things your dad did…most of them I’ll never even tell you about. You want to be older already. Skip the in between. Hoon round in souped up cars. The rush of speed all too tempting. My head spins because the days of scooters and bikes with fat wheels are long gone. Now it’s a jet ski in your sights, a boat with a hefty engine behind it and a car that’s too fast for your young brain.
You hear me say no. You think I don’t want you to grow up. And you’re right, really I don’t. Maybe I want you to stay my baby boy forever. To keep you from harm. From having your heart broken. From the temptation to risk your life doing the things you say are just what kids your age do.
But I made a promise to your daddy when he lay there slipping from our lives, I said I’d protect you forever, I’d never let anything happen to you. Because I can’t ever get that call again. When everything stops. When your soul is torn open and left to bleed out. I can’t know such pain again. Never ever. So I’ll do whatever I can to stop you. To keep you safe. I’ll keep that promise until my last breath.
While it’s the best gift I could ever be given, being a mum is the most challenging too. At times I’ve felt all too much, the heavy burden of being two people to you, carrying your grief as my own. Lucky for us both, I’ve had the village to help me all these years. Some days it’s a shitfight I’m not gonna lie. You think you know everything already but boy, there is so much left to learn. So much living to do.
So please just slow down. Take it all in. Be the best you can be, the best we know you’re gonna be. Take life each day as it comes, don’t rush to the next because one day you’ll want to go back to exactly where you are right now. Always take the shots and back yourself. Take the hugs while they’re still there to be given. Listen to the stories of your past that will one day tie in your future. Soak up a life without burdens. Free from adultness. Let your mistakes be exactly that. Respect those who’ve been there before, they fought for the everyday things you might take for granted. Be kind and be thoughtful, it’s what people will remember you for long before how popular you were. Be loving and generous because your heart lets you be. But most of all, Please don’t be in such a hurry…just don’t.
I’ll try and slow you down, I can’t help it and my feeble attempts at keeping you from doing the very things that might take you from me will often fall short. For that there is my blood which runs through your veins, tethering you to me like a life raft forever.
One day you’ll be a dad yourself and know both the heartache and the absolute unconditional love that comes with it. The feeling of overwhelming responsibility to protect that tiny person with everything you have.
We’re so proud of you it actually makes my heart hurt that I could create such a beautiful, kind and loving, talented and clever, generous and sympathetic soul. But too quickly life slips from our grip and before you know it that teeny eight pound three cherub you let fall asleep on your chest just to watch his tiny face is all grown up…
Some days It might seem like I don’t have the time for you because we both know your stories at times stretch out longer than a Tarantino film. But just When you think I’m not listening, I am. When it feels like I’m not watching, I do. When you think I don’t care, I will. When it seems as though nobody else sees you, I can. You’re in my heart and in my mind every single minute.
While I wish I could keep you under my wings forever I know it’s nearly time to spread your own.
You are my sunshine.
Happy manhood, butterfly kisses beautiful boy…
Love always, your mama xox