Wake up and smell the jasmine as boys become men

Father of boys who lives a very long way away is getting married. Boys are being kitted out and this involves a call on an early sunny evening from a lovely young man, the boys’ cousin. We have not spoken since he was little and came on summer holidays with his Dad. Having sorted smallish boy’s shoes and chest size we get into chat about life. We realise that we know more about each other as we both use social media and then he confesses that his Mum and him have always read my blog. How funny. I write my blog on and off whenever I feel I need to document something about my life I am never really sure who reads. However, it feels nice that two people that were part of my boys and my lives when they were small have had that connection to us somehow. It feels affectionate and makes me smile.

So, I am feeling at a bit of a loose end. So, it made me think time for a little rambling update. I am sat here very relaxed in our summerhouse. Our water feature is on and the birds are singing. It is the first day when the world starts to give you a glimpse of summer and hopeful of hot sunny days to come.

Earlier on today I was on step Nana duty as I helped prepare and serve food for my lovely man’s grand children’s party. It was a pool party. I felt very nostalgic about all the party’s I held for Big boy over the years:

  • Super Heroes – party games in a very small house inside and me with a very very small boy, and when I spent ours lovingly baking a batman cake for the children to follow the lead of one small Spiderman who declared it yucky!
  • The obstacle course –amazed myself using every bamboo and small tent thing going and kept over competitive boys on the go until they decided climbing on the shed was a good post food sugar rush activity
  • The Treasure Hunt – wonderful time had by all running through the woods for clues and building dens, veggie dogs in flasks ably supported as a single Mum by lovely friends
  • Mythical creatures and super heroes- Close friends working together to offer a story of witches, goblins and finding treasure for our children and the whole class! – to this day I can remember the children’s faces when they found a chest of treasure hidden in the Fairy Queen’s garden

We had pool parties and wacky warehouses too but nothing brings back such a smile of the effort involved in undertaking the party at home! Preparing party food to be eaten by grownups later, thinking up of activities only to discover that great game you thought would use twenty minutes over and done with in five! The making up of party bags to come in at under a £1 but looked amazing, and of course dealing with the crying, left out, quirky and sometimes damn rude child!

A friend once said to me you create experiences for children to give them happy and joyful memories in later life. Funny at the time hosting children’s’ parties seemed such a challenging ordeal and now I look back with rose tinted glasses ha-ha! I also need to remember the hoo haa smallish boy used to create about his birthday parties. Yes, as Mum I tried so hard to give him the same experience of parties and then realised he was the absent guest hiding under the table at every one! For him a happy birthday was cake and new Lego! Even now he really is not keen, a few cards and presents and a cake and he is happy.

I hope though for both boy’s birthdays memories mark a happy childhood. Certainly, now no longer having to host another party it has given me lovely memories of bringing up boys!

Large boy is a year on from university next month and is working and living his life in Devon. No long holidays for him to come home now and use up all our WIFI data. He has well and truly flown the nest. I am not sure if I am relieved, chuffed and or proud that he finally has himself a girlfriend. He is not a player is our big boy and being in love with a girl I think will be good for him. Of course, I am terribly embarrassing by telling the world but I am really excited for him. He has gone to her home this weekend and today I realised that I will no longer be the number one person in his life. My boy has well and truly flown the nest.

Smallish boy is seventeen this month and he has turned. I have now lost him into feral teen land. He is now out and about and I no longer have any control over who what or where he is or is with. I am not a cool Mum. When I give lifts, I have stop down the road or pull over in a shady place in case he may be seen with me. We are rarely in public together but when we are I am destined to walk alone whilst he follows behind me. Now I could complain but I can remember doing the same thing to my lovely Mum when I was that age!

Not so smallish boy has always been into mirrors. This last year he now postures and parades in front of mirror, to consider his fine physique, new hair cut or the success on his war on spots. But recently this has stepped up a notch and we are into clothes, needing to look “mighty fine”. The obsession with the gym has gone. Not so mall boy has a new occupation; Girls! He is now out and about across the town and indeed county in pursuit of girls! He referenced this activity as “making out”, I muttered the safe stuff and realized my little boy has now gone. To be frank not so small boy has gone feral and returned as smallish and enthusiastic wanna be Man! Now I would say we should raise a glass to this rite of passage as I sit here I suspect he is probably raising several cans in pursuit of finding manliness!

As a Mum I fret about doing the right thing. If I let him go feral I am bad mother? I cannot lock him in. What can I do? I text at regular hours of the day and ensure he has money. If I get a chance to give him a lift I take it. This ensures he is locked in small space with me for twenty minutes and I offer sage advice. This absolves my guilt, thought secretly he will do whatever he sees fit. Smallish boy has always controlled his own destiny, he will continue to do so as smallish determined young man.

So, two days have passed since I wrote the above. Not so smallish boy has just returned. He popped home, showered changed clothes and I dropped him off on his next adventure yesterday. I am sat in my summer house and he invades my quiet contentment with his teen bravado, brandishing cheap smelly chips (I am enjoying the aroma of my new jasmine plant), and talks to me like I am one of his mates! Unconditional love does not stretch this far, I have sent him off for a shower!

I have now gardened and my garden looks lovely. Another rite of passage methinks, this time for me. I used to be like not so smallish boy out and about seeking the next party but now I am happy with my garden, my lovely man and glass or two of wine. Now this is so not true! Let me get this right. We have danced and drummed and partied our way through the last couple of months. This coupled with visits to my lovely Mum means we have rarely a weekend at home. So, contentment this weekend is a recharge of the batteries, and a touch base with each other over shared garden, pottering and hanging out together. We have a summer of planned weekends of all sorts of exciting things, so for now time to top up the wine glass and chill. Well at least until not so smallish boy comes out of shower at least!  Yes I can still smell my new jasmine plant, in a while I shall plant it in the new shiny red pot I have have for it and place it in just the right spot.I think I am doodling with plants!

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