Friday, 22 February 2013

Just Sneaking This One In..


This is the post I wasn't supposed to write. "Don't get all sentimental, Mum,"  he said. "It's just a birthday." But so many of you kindly stopped by to wish him all the best, I can't help myself. Thank you. One comment especially got me musing. The very wise and thoughtful Jennie wrote
"It tool us ages to get to eighteen, didn't it, and they do it in a flash!"
and I'd like to thank her for it. It says everything I'd been thinking. Perfectly. 


I wasn't supposed to post pictures either. But when I looked through the ones I'd taken as he got ready for the Valentines Day Formal, I fell for this one. Those two men..

On Valentines Day eighteen years ago, I went for an ante-natal appointment. "Your blood pressure's up," they said. "Come in and you can have your baby."

"Nooo chance," I said. "It's Valentine's night and my husband has promised to cook. which only happens once every other year and even then only if  Valentines is on a Tuesday."  And they laughed and shrugged their shoulders, promised to keep an eye on me and let me go home.

When he did eventually arrive, he was born looking like a baby bird and he opened his mouth and squawked for food and then he started to grow. The presents surprised us: from his Grandpa's parishioners; from friends of the newly named Uncle Dave (they took up a collection in his Halls of Residence and sent a Peter Rabbit); from all over. I've kept every last card.

We named him after his Father and his Grandpa and his Great Grandpa; and the second of these baptised him himself, on Palm Sunday, in a last loving act. He died before the year was out, so some of the rest of the first few months are a blur. But there was still a First Birthday party, with two Grannies; and, as the years stacked up, the celebrations kept coming: McDonalds with pre-school friends and a big pile of Happy Meals, bowling, the cinema - where his new friend knocked over a huge display of sweets in the lobby and we didn't know whether to laugh or run.

That same friend was first onto Facebook to wish him all the best this year; and he'll celebrate his own eighteenth in a week. They've grown up together and they have turned into fine young men. Our lad looks like his Dad, but maybe thinks a little more like his Mum. He has an enquiring historical mind and a taste for debate; and when he stands up to speak, he's fast and funny, with an open decency I admire (that comes from his Dad, too).  He was an angry toddler - his words, not mine - today he's calm, charming. Sorted. He's ready to move on and we're getting ready to let him go..

..and that brings me back to Jennie and her message. They do it in a flash. And I'd do it all over again if I could. Best of luck, big man. Whatever the next year brings, we're right behind you.

42 comments:

Julie Kirk said...

Oh Sian - so beautiful. I'm sure he'll be secretly very glad you did write it.

I was especially touched hearing about how his Grandpa got to meet him. I never knew any of mine - but know from experience that having 2 doting grannies goes some way to make up for it. x

Here's to a wonderful future ahead for your baby bird!

KathiJo said...

Ahhh Sian, those words are so lovely, one day he will be so grateful you shared these personal thoughts. It is these words which will be held close by future generations just as cards and notes were years ago.. and what a great kid x

cate behind the purple door said...

Happy 18th birth day, Sian, to you and your tall one! Wow, never truer words than jennie's, I'd never thought of it like that!

Gail said...

Oh, that is absolutely lovely Sian. He may not have wanted you to get all sentimental now but in a few years (if not now) he'll be so happy you did. What a great picture of your two men.

Jennifer Grace said...

What a lovely capture of the years gone by. It's touching to think of him so small, and growing up to be such a nice young man. All the best to him! x

Jo said...

That is a beautiful post Sian and Jennie is so right, they really do it in a flash. The picture is wonderful and I hope he had an amazing birthday x

Alana said...

Very touching sentiments Sian. I keep wondering where the years have gone. It's a new era for them and us too....changes for us all. A photo to treasure:)

Amy said...

And one day when he is tying his own sons' tie, he will understand why you had to write this post. We change a great deal once we have children - he looks and sounds to be a fine young man - best of luck to him as he makes his own way.

Twinkle Star said...

Seriously brought tears to my eyes - as I sit with my 3-month old mini man on my lap I know if I blink, I'll miss something! My eldest boy will be 7 in a few weeks, with my middle boy turning 3 not long after. I hope they turn into fine young men - just like your young man. Wonderful post Sian.

Hugs, Estelle xx

Barbara Eads said...

What a handome young man---and his dad "ain't" bad either!! Time does go by so very fast. All of a sudden, with this post it hit me---YOU are young enough to be my daughter!!! Cherish these moments, my friend!

Jimjams said...

Beautifully written - he is well loved!

S said...

Wow, you are blessed with two charming men in the house. I was just thinking the other day, how we tend to think our children are still too young for this and that, but we were probably as independent or more at that same age. It is all about perspective, and from our view it all does come about too quickly.

debs14 said...

What a lovely post. These boys/young men are more soft hearted than they would lead us to believe and I know that he would be very touched to read you words. How very special that his grandad was able to take part in such an important ceremony in his life. Happy memories.

dogmatix said...

What a lovely post and well worth the disapproving (but secretly pleased?) looks you will get from him. Hope u all had a great day xx

Nathalie said...

Sian, you just made me cry! As my oldest will be turning 16 this year, I am so relating to your words and your feelings... sob

Maria Ontiveros said...

I love this post! I'm so glad that I had the privilege of meeting both your kids (and your wonderful husband). You've done such a terrific job with him. I don't think I ever told you that Henry wrote a little bit about him in one of his college essays (it was about how different cultures deal with diversity challenges, and he wrote about the changes taking place in Northern Ireland).
Hugs to you,
Rinda

Jennifer Shaw said...

A beautifully written post Sian! Thanks for sharing this beautiful story of your son. Love the photo you chose to share. :)

Elizabeth said...

You're a good mum with a sweet and loving son.

Denise said...

How proud you are of him and how handsome he looks.This is such and emotive photo of him and his Dad.A perfectly worded post Sian.Congratulations young man xx

Kirsty.a said...

I love the way you tell a story. It's not sentimental, just heartfelt

Missus Wookie said...

Beautiful indeed. Thanks for sharing that comment too - so true.

The days are long but the years are short...

Mary B said...

A lovely tribute Sian thank you for sharing

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

This is so wonderful!

Beverly said...

This post is such a treasure and I am sure he will reread it many years from now and be so happy you did it. It is so very hard to see them growing into men but at the same time so very exciting. So thankful that angry boys can and do grow into glorious men :)

Mel said...

A lovely tribute which makes me excited to be starting this exciting journey!

Sandra said...

Honestly this is the most beautiful post, you've bought a tear to my eye

Louise said...

awww Sian, a wonderful post.. I have a lump in my throat. your words are so perfect x

Karen said...

Not many posts make me cry, but this one did. Perhaps it's because my son will be 30 this coming week, and the years between 18 and 30 seemed to fly by even faster than the first 18. You have every reason to be sentimental and very, very proud!

Abi said...

This is such a beautifully written post Sian and so lovely to see from your perspective. It has made me wonder what my mum thinks each year as my birthday comes round. What is he up to next year, is he heading into the world of work or uni? x

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

I could just save this and post it in a year for my tall one. ;) They are so similar! Except that I said no way because it was my birthday but my doctor didn´t listen to me. *sigh* I wanted a Valentine´s baby two days later. :D

Rhona said...

What a beautiful post, it brought a tear to my eye. My son will be 25 this year which feels like another milestone reached. I still remember bringing him home from the hospital so clearly but he's grown up in a flash! I know he'll move on but at the moment he's quite happy to stay at home ;) xx

Ladkyis said...

That took me back 30 years to when my daughter was closing in on her 18th birthday. Jennie is so right!
OMG! I have just realised that most of my grandchildren are older than that now! The feeling that arrives when the first one reaches that marker is never forgotten. A beautifully written post, thank you for sharing

Sinead said...

This is such a lovely post, something that will be really precious to look back on. You have a wonderful way with words :D Thanks for sharing!

favouriteworkofart said...

Beautiful post. Made me very tearful (in a good way).

alexa said...

Such a delightful and touching post, Sian, and I can't help hoping this turns into a scrapbook page for him ...

Alison said...

What a lovely post Sian...you are obviously (and rightly ) very proud of your young man
Alison xx

Jennie Hart said...

Crikey, that took me aback Sian :) Thank you very much.

What an amazing photo of them, they certainly are a handsome pair and you are quite right to be proud of them. There is loads more of support to come from you both for him, but I think for now you can smile and say job well done.

Chipper said...

I'm glad you snuck that in! That is beautiful collection of memories.

Karen said...

A fabulous post Sian and it sums up so succinctly how we feel when they get to 18>

Lisa-Jane said...

Wow, 18. I can't imagine life with 18 year old children but judging by how fast the last 7 years have gone, it won't be very long to wait till I know!

Miriam said...

This is such a beautiful post Sian x

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

I'm only just now getting to read this sweet post, Sian, and I just wanted to say that it is a lovely tribute to your grown boy. And that photo to go along with your post is priceless.

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