Mothering teenage boys is a puzzle.

I want to write today about being a mum to a teenage boy.

My first born was 15 a few weeks ago, and, I feel the same way I did on his first birthday. On his first birthday I cried, and held him all day. It was a multi layered cry, on one level I was relieved that we had barely survived the first year, he was growing out of the baby stage. I wept harder though, when I thought about how he wasn’t the baby anymore, that my arms would get lighter from here on out. I cried in celebration because it was our day, his birthday, and my birthing day.

This year on his 15th birthday I cried. I cried because our relationship is evolving and my arms and heart are aching for my little boy that always wanted my attention, that little boy love for his mumma. I would stand for hours watching him bowl a ball. Now he goes out into the yard on his own to practice cricket. For the little boy that would always yell out to me, just so he knew where I was at all times. For the little boy that would cuddle me just because he wanted to, now I have to place his arms around my neck. He is moving out into the world and doing things that he doesn’t need me for. He organised work experience with Queensland Cricket at Albion, which meant he had to catch two trains to get there and then walk to the fields. He was completely confident and excited to be doing this on his own. My husband and I took him the first two days and he was mortified. The third day, I sat drinking endless coffee, in my back yard staring at my phone waiting for him to call me; when he changed trains, when he arrived at Albion station, when he clocked on at work. I was more worried on that day than the day I sent him off to school. At school, the staff have to care about the students, keep them safe. Putting him on a public train, and off to work in the big wide world, where no one really cares, was scary. He was totally fine and completely nailed his work experience – the whole experience, not just the work part. But getting ready, arriving on time, being responsible.

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Date day. (I look impressed don’t I)

 

He also has a girlfriend who he wants to spend more and more time with. This is honest to god killing me. I want my little family with me at all times when I have the weekend off (which is not often). He is now wanting to go and watch her play sport and spend weekends with her. Last weekend they had a “date day”. He watched her play sport and then her family dropped them at a local beach town. My boy took his girl for lunch at a burger restaurant, splurged on ice cream, and they hung out on the beach. I actually had tears in my eyes talking to my husband about this situation. The conversations in our house are now revolving around not blowing allllllll of your money that you work for, on a girl. This conversation does not go down well. This also hurts my heart because I want to be supportive, but, am finding this teenage, first love situation stressful, and hard to navigate so that I don’t look like the bitchy mum.

The no secret rule in our house is one we have preached since we tied the knot. We always try to be open and honest in an age appropriate way with the boys. At the moment that includes lots of talk about how to treat a girl, how to be respectful. We have had the; having babies at your age will completely ruin your life conversation. We have been focussing a lot on talking to him about choices and the wrong ones will send you in a down ward spiral, how at this point in your life the world is your oyster. This was cemented last week when my boy and I had to meet at the school to decide his “pathway” through the next two years at school. My husband has been spending a lot of time with him, and his brother fishing in their little boat, surfing, riding skate boards, and mountain bikes, and four wheel driving, re-enforcing in his soul that we are always here for him, and that there is always opportunity for conversation when hanging out with dad. I feel a bit left out at the moment with all of the boy activity going on. There is a definite shifting, I feel like we are puzzle pieces that haven’t clicked into place yet, that we know we belong together, but just have to find our place. I do feel like I am grieving for the little boy days, when my husband and I were the only important people in his orbit. When the most important thing I was teaching him was how to brush his teeth or that a banana is a better choice than a chocolate.

As I sit here writing this my boy is on school survival camp. We are old pro’s at school camp, Montessori kids start going to camp in prep (prep camp is a one night sleep over at the school). This year is different again as I feel like this is a big test for him, with choices that he makes and how he behaves on camp. I am missing him a lot more than usual. And my advice to him when he got out of the car was

“Love you, have fun, learn lots, try and stay warm, don’t get any one pregnant.”

Him “OH MY GOD…MUM!!!”

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Post 100

Post 100

I made it…………………………….100 posts. What a relief that is over. I am glad I did the 100 posts but feel as though an invisible weight has been lifted now the 100 posts are done. Thanks to everyone that has read and supported my writing, I love and appreciate you and the time that you spent reading. I wasn’t sure how I was going to end my 100 posts but I want to tell you about an experience I had yesterday.

My husband’s phone blared its annoying alarm through our camper trailer at 4.20am. I rolled over and buried myself in the blankets and said “not today”.

“Yep, come on you wanted to do this, up you get.”

It was dark and the usually busy streets of Byron Bay were deserted. Street lights were on and neon lights were lit above the motels throughout town. We made our way up the hill, commenting on the amount of people running at this early hour, up such a steep hill. We parked the car at the closest car park and walked up the hill. It was blowing a gale, I was carrying my camera and phone and was rugged up in jeans and jumper.

We were just about at the top and I wanted to take a photo of the lighthouse in the dark with my new camera. I turned it on and click not working. Shit. One main reason I wanted to come up here was to get a photo of that. I was so annoyed with myself, I kept walking but was ranting about how it could have a flat battery and disappointed that I would have to take photos with my phone. We reached the top, after watching one of the runners that I had commented on while we drove up the hill, pass us on her way back down the hill. We sat down in a little alcove of the lighthouse out of the wind and watched the sky. I started playing with my camera, because I was still baffled and annoyed at how it could have a flat battery. I looked up and the sky had changed colour. I handed my husband my camera and went to the fence surrounding the light house and took a photo with my phone. As I sat down the light from my phone lit up my camera. My husband pointed out to me that I had in the dark put the camera on the wrong setting that is why it wasn’t taking photos. I was relieved and got up and started clicking away at the first light of the day. I sat in the arms of my husband, my back to his chest and watched the sky change colour again and again. I felt so blessed to be the only ones on the most eastern point of Australia, leaning up against an icon of the Country that was built 115 years ago to guide ships and protect the shore. As the sun started to rise, the crowds at the lighthouse started to rise. At one point my husband said to me “you better go and grab a spot at the fence if you want to see it”. I stood against the white wood and metal fence, with my husband at my back, listening to people from all over the world chatting to each other, I watched them taking selfies and posting to social media. Now don’t get me wrong I posted my pictures last night to social media but at the time it didn’t feel right. I am not particularly religious, I do like to go to Christmas Eve mass, but that’s about it. But with my feet firmly planted on the ground, standing in silence and watching such a colourful and majestic sight as the rising of the sun, for me sent goose bumps over my skin, my heart felt so much love and I had tears on my cheeks. It felt like more than a new day, it felt like a new beginning, a fresh start.

Post 99

Post 99

In nearly 100 posts, lots has happened. Winter to summer, school to school holidays, I was at the peak of working hard on my marriage.  Now we are still working on it but not in such an acute I love you but really do hate you way. Now it’s more of an I love you and can say to your face that you shit me kinda way and know we can talk about it.  I have learnt that emotions are what they are, and just to feel it. I had some really shit days in the beginning and fought them, there was one particular day that was really shit and I just laid out on my bed and felt it, it was awful and painful and I wailed. There have been other days that I have loved so deeply that I have felt that experience imbed in my bones. I am much more grateful for the people in my life, and I love them so. Still things I am scared of – like sharing my writing.

I have discovered that I love photography. I always did like taking a snap shot, so when my husband spent his tax refund dollars on a beautiful camera for me, I swore that that beauty would be used every day. I have discovered that I like the small details in a subject. A face, hands, eyes. I was taking photos of the beach the other day and they were nice, but it was just another beach. Then I sat down, squatted down and  laid down on the beach and took photos of the dune grass, the ghost crabs, seagulls, rocks, shells, jelly fish, blue bottles. At the Byron Bay light house I was photographing the blocks that made the lighthouse, the windows, the doors, the glass, the letterbox. My husband’s hands were an extremely popular post on my Instagram and received more comments and likes than any other post from this holiday. In saying all of this though, I still am not comfortable taking a selfie with just me in the frame.

I have become observant of my experiences, surroundings and people. I have become observant of conversations and what has been said. Some days I feel a bit creepy and purposely leave out some experiences because I don’t want to overstep the line. However, the more scary and emotional and cleansing the post was for me the more open, real, honest and raw I was with my writing seemed to be popular with my loyal readers.

One more post and I have done my 100, it wasn’t in the time that I wanted to do it, so feel that is a bit of a fail. But big wins for me was that I was published in one of my fave magazines Womankind. And, I had the privilege of interviewing awesome women and want to continue to do so and be a collector of women’s stories.