Big boy is 20 today. So no longer a boy and no longer a teen. I can remember being twenty and being still very much a girl as he is still really a boy. I however spent my summer holiday in London. The weather was hot and we hung out at the local open air pool and partied until dawn. When I wasn’t in London I was hitch hiking my way to festivals or friends in different parts of the UK.
My big boy however hangs out in his room. The computer is all. Yesterday called to participate in family supper making the response was hang on I am in the middle of something! In the middle of what? Hiding from the real world and interaction with human beings? I am unclear as to what to do. He is actually really sociable and polite if you can get him out of the bedroom. I have made him hand out CVs, he has several skills and would be fine working in a café or bar as he is polite and hard working. We have tried a Children’s play scheme as he is good with kids. Any of these as an option would do him the world of good as he needs to participate in the real world. However he is in the catch of having little experience, and yes last year he did do voluntary work and enjoyed it. As the summer slips by I worry that gradually my boy is losing his confidence and his cheery self by sleeping all day and computers at night.
So today we are going out for a walk and a drink as Mother and son, a gentle pep talk methinks. Or perhaps I am out of touch and placing my expectations on him. He is not asking for money, though we feed him. I am not sure he is as sociable as I am and may well be content with his online mates , many who are Uni mates playing games and hanging out?
Meanwhile smaller boy has survived year ten at school. He doesn’t do school rules, and has little respect for poor teaching but goodness how many tears have I shed this year? In spring smallish boy got distressed with the world, a wrong word from a teacher, not enough sleep, teen hormones who knows? He took himself to the top floor mezzanine and threatened to jump. Seconds from falling he was saved only to face little help from services, just process and procedure and form filling. None of really know what was in his head to become so distressed but he has had little help from external services. However his school have been amazing. Small boy has been at school whether for an hour or two from days of it happening with school fighting his corner to access education safely.
And then he gets drunk at school! All those years of fighting his corner, all the effort school have put in to getting him back in class and as little social experiment he pinches a drop of vodka to see what may happen. You see he never thinks of consequences just the good idea at the time.
My small boy is the most charismatic likeable chap you could meet. He smiles and chatters but will not work to order, and struggles with his dyslexic identity and support offered. Out of school he is hanging out in the town centre wearing his latest flash trainers making the world laugh. Despite their exasperations every teacher I have recently seen is working to get smallish boy to deliver the best side of him. His fabulous art teacher described it best. “Be proud to be different smallish boy, everyone wants to be fantastic at art like you, accept who you and continue to be different”.
Normally I have a theme for my blog but today I am just capturing a parent moment in time about two boys who are lovely human beings but completely exasperating! I love the “Being Brilliant” books and Andy Cope’s approach to teens and life. Smallish boy and I every day have the conversation which focuses on whether he can deliver his “best version of his self”. As a Mum this is what I want from them both a strive for “Best version of self” but in smallish boy’s words:
“Mum not best version today, I am an alright, that will do version of me”.
Off to wake up big boy with presents and love …..