Friday, 22 November 2013
I've made it. I have finally reached the status of Embarrassing Mum.
It doesn't matter what Embarrassing Mum does, it won't ever be quite right. I'm old. I don't understand how things work these days. I don't know what 'everyone else' does or has. I certainly don't know how to be cool (and that's probably not even the right word) like 'everyone else's' mum.
And so, I begin the task of continuing my relationship with Toby (12, but far more knowledgable than you could possibly imagine) when he is beginning to push me away to form his own sense of identity, separate from me and even from our family. It's a daunting prospect.
And it's a very strange feeling to watch my child, the one I cradled in my arms, sung to in the middle of the night and taught how to wee in the toilet, pulling away from me. Of course, he doesn't know that I know what he's doing. He just thinks that I am clueless about the whole thing. I've always been old. I was never his age. And yet, I find myself remembering being 12 and feeling shocked that Toby is as old as I was then. I remember boyfriends to awkwardly hold hands with, giggling girly friends to meet in the town (2pm, outside 'Boots', every Saturday) and feelings of being desperate to grow up.
It's time to let go again. I need to let go, but hold on at the same time. He needs me to be his safety and security as he begins to tip toe out into this world of girls (not yet), school results, new friendships and fads. As all around him turns into a whirlwind of confusing thoughts, decisions, dilemmas and not to mention changing bodies, he needs his parents to be the boring ones who stay constant.
So, I'll be Embarrassing Mum with pleasure, as long as (when nobody is watching) he will still come and give me a hug and tell me he loves me.