As if turning thirty seven this week didn’t make me feel old, my son being sixteen today makes me feel positively ancient! It is such a cliche to say that it only feels like yesterday that he was born but seriously, it only feels like yesterday that he was born! Gone in a blink of an eye people!
I had my son two days after my twenty-first birthday which looking back, I guess seems terribly young nowadays. At the time though, it really didn’t feel like it. It was the best decision that we ever made. At twenty, I was more sorted than many of my friends who are now pushing forty. Mr Mostly and I had been together for over three very happy years when we decided to have a baby. We had bought our own house. I had a job that I loved and was really very good at. A baby was the icing on the cake. I know there is probably no right or wrong time for anyone to have a baby it’s such a huge and personal decision but actually, I can look back now and know that it was the perfect time for us.
I had a text book pregnancy with him. Morning sickness that passed by ten in the morning and disappeared after the magic twelve week mark. And other than the odd bout of sciatica, I sailed through the nine months with no real health problems. I used to read pregnancy magazines from cover to cover and was always the first one with my hand up at my antenatal classes. I loved every minute of it. I worked full time right up until my due date, finishing work on the Friday before he was due on the Tuesday. I was very much of the mind that pregnancy wasn’t an illness and I had no intention of spending weeks on maternity leave resting. What was the point in that? I was quite right I suppose but looking back, I still don’t know how I did it! As it turns out, he was ten days late. My first and very important lesson that my life could no longer be run with the military precision that it had before. This baby had his own agenda and quite right too.
I had never so much as held a newborn baby before my own son. I remember having a mild panic during my ridiculously quick labour that I was having a baby. Like an actual baby. What was I thinking? But that was soon forgotten the minute he was passed into my arms. Nothing in the world could have prepared me for how I would feel the minute I laid eyes on him. Our baby boy. We made him. Something so completely ordinary is actually the most extraordinary thing you will ever do. I loved him with all my heart. A kind of love that I never knew existed. A few hours after he was born, it was just the two of us and I just sat gazing at him as he snuffled away in his sleep laid in his goldfish bowl crib. The midwife on duty told me off for still being awake and said I should get some sleep while I could. She was right of course but I just couldn’t take my eyes off him. This baby right here, was the meaning of life. He was all that mattered in the world to me. And do you know what? Sixteen years and four children later, I still feel completely in awe. I will never know how I got so lucky.
My son made me the person that I am today. I might have taught him to use a knife and fork, spell his
ridiculously long name and lift the toilet seat up, but he has taught me so much more. Becoming a mother has taught me love, pride, patience, sheer utter joy and so much more. I am far from being a perfect parent. In fact, the longer I do this parenting thing for the more I am certain that there is no such thing. You can only do your best and hope that it’s good enough. I’m the first to admit that I have been making it up as I go along and actually, never more so than during these teenage years. Oh my godfathers give me sleepless nights and temper tantrums any day over teenage woes. But somehow we have made it to sixteen in just about one piece. I’m now seeing a glimpse of the amazing man that he is about to become. And I couldn’t love him more. Happy birthday son.