Every day I am pretty sure I do at least one thing wrong. Most days I do more. I used to think I was alone, until I talked to other parents who were honest. Here is a place for more parents to feel less alone, and more "good enough".

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

13 years ago............

Well. There goes Week One of the holidays. I was all set to write about Week One tonight, but it has hit me with some force that my eldest child is 13 years old in the morning. Well technically at 7.05pm, but I don't think he would take kindly to that idea. I'll catch you up on Week One in a few days - it was not very restful despite only having one child around for the majority of it. A snap shot would be of chicken pox with a side of bacterial skin infection and cheeky random mice trying to take up camp in our house - see what I mean?

So, back to the almost 13 year old. I distinctly remember finding out I was pregnant with him. I was actually at work, and hiding out with a pregnancy test during my break. His existence was discovered in Bradford University Library - that'll be where he gets his brains and eccentricity from then ;) I didn't tell anybody for weeks as I hadn't a clue what to do. I think it was about January before it was common knowledge. The boy completely altered the course of my life. I had been coasting along, rather a mess if I'm honest, pulling a whole trolley of baggage behind me and not really with any kind of a plan. But I knew that I could be a good mum, and I knew it was my responsibility to do it right.

2003 was a really hot summer. My brother's girlfriend and my mum's next door neighbour were also heavily pregnant, and we spent most of the time complaining about the heat and swapping tips for getting cooler! I was a week over due when I went to Bingley Hospital, which isn't even there anymore, for a routine check-up. Only to be told that I was 4cm dilated! I hadn't even had any labour pains! It was 1pm in the afternoon and because I was young and my mum had pre-eclampsia with all of us, they wanted me straight into the hospital. We dashed back home for my bag, and the builder was just smashing up the concrete to start the extension. When we told him I was having the baby that day, he just looked at me as if to say "Well, you don't look like it!". And that was how I felt too.

Adam was born at on Monday 4th August 2003 at 7.05pm. He weighed 7lb 8oz, which was the exact average weight for babies being born at that time. He was absolutely fine, no problems, and we went home the next day. Well, home to my mum and dad's house for a few weeks until our flat was ready for us to move in.

He was a really chilled out baby, not too keen on noise but then we lived alone just the two of us, and I guess that's what he was used to. He was happy to go to anybody and just trundled along with every day life, rarely crying, and waking up most mornings at about 4.30am just in time for The Morning Line ;) I was the only one of my friends to have a baby, and they all spoilt him rotten. I don't think I even bought him any clothes until he was 12 months old! Never crying was the luckiest thing in the world, for more reasons than one. At 4 months old he had bacterial meningitis with septicaemia and spent days in an oxygen tent, but came out of it without a scratch (apart from a few chest infections for the next couple of years), all down to the fact that he never ever cried, so when he did cry that day non-stop, we took him straight in and it got caught early xx. Bless his cotton socks xx.

Tomorrow he's going to be 13 years old. Which is not adult by any stretch of the imagination, but it's the road to that. Only 3 more years of main schooling, then 2 years of further ed at sixth form or college. Next year he'll be choosing his options and thinking about what he wants to do a little more. We are already looking at university options and talking about volunteer work along with other outside interests. At present he's going for teaching History in secondary school, which is no surprise considering for his 7th birthday he had a tour of the Imperial War Museum in London and knew more about World War 2 than the Eden Camp guide did when he went to look around aged 10.

13 years seems to be a bit of a watershed moment, a bit of a, "standstill and look at me, remember, I won't be here for much longer", kind of time. A time to remember that you don't really have them for very long at all. Sometimes my 7 year old and my 3 year old spend the whole day vying for my attention, and I have to go hide for 2 minutes to try and get a piece of sanity back. One day, they will stop doing that too. I feel like the eldest is the one we have to figure out the most things with, and especially the teenage years. Working out when to pull nearer and when to let go, treading the fine line between independence and yet giving enough support. I don't really know what I'm doing, but I get the feeling most parents don't, especially with their eldest. The ones who say they do are usually lying, or not doing how they think they are. I see kids I looked after in Reception finishing their GCSE's this year, and that is my son in 3 years time, and I don't feel like I've done all the right things to prepare him for life. I don't think any of us ever think that. All we can really do is just try, and keep on being around.

All we can really hope for, is that they grow up to be kind. Kind is what matters every day.