In some ways it seems like yesterday that my baby boys came into this world and I can’t believe that they are 13 already. In other ways, it feels like a lifetime ago as that day changed me so much and I am such a different person now to the mother I became back then.
Life has a way of doing that, shaping you slowly like erosion over hundreds of years creating beautiful waterfalls! Other than being in total denial that I am old enough to have teenage children, I have been thinking a lot about the significance of this birthday for my boys. Exams, college and career decisions, romance and friendships will all unfold and shape the young men my boys will become. Today, in the last blog that I will publish before my boys become teenagers I have written a list of things that I want them both to know, 13 wishes for their futures. It could have been much longer of course but I hope that these things will become a guide for me and for them (I will give it to Oliver to read) as we enter…The Teenage Years (read that in a deep booming voice over styleeee!)
My gorgeous boys!
You are turning 13 today and there are a few things that I want you to know and remember.
Harry – you are my sunshine. You have taught me so much about the person I am and shaped me into the Mum I am today. Your bravery inspires me so much. Oliver – you are the greatest thing I ever did. Considerate, kind, loving, polite, hilarious and bloody gorgeous. The list goes on! Please always know how much I love you both and that I am so very proud of the young men you are becoming.
Today I have thirteen wishes for you…and if you think this list is long just wait till you turn 21!
- I hope that you always know how much you are loved – even on the days when you feel unlovable as you struggle with hormones and the challenges of being a teenager in the 21st century
- That you remember the little things we have done through your childhood as you transition from child to teenager – the car singing, saying “see you on the other side of this sleep” each night (Oliver), saying “ I-love-you” as we touch our head, heart and each other’s chest as we say the words (Harry). They will shape the adult you are becoming and give you an anchor to carefree times when it all feels a bit much.
- That you learn to hear your intuition and trust it! Teenager years are perilous, don’t follow the pack. Be the 2% not the 98% and always be true to yourself even when that’s the harder choice.
- That you always know you are enough. Don’t compete with others, it’s a long road without any winners. Be yourself and the right people, opportunities and experiences will find you.
- That you always let me know if you ever struggle and you always know that you are never alone. Talk to me (Oliver) or show me (Harry). I am always hear to listen, advise and never judge.
- That you know that you are not defined by your grades in exams. You are so much more than a number and while I do want you to strive to be the best version of yourself, as long as you give the things that matter your very best shot, I am proud of the outcome.
- That you remember how to laugh at yourself. There are lots of decisions and learning curves through the teenage years and it will be easy to get lost in the seriousness of those moments. Always remember that we are just human, we are allowed to make mistakes and as long as we learn from them, its ok. Find the humour where you can.
- That you find strength in inevitable heartbreak and disappointment. I promise that it won’t always feel as crappy as it does in those moments and often, something better is on it’s way.
- That you strive for real likes, face time and followers and not just on social media. Its REAL connections that you need in a world that is rapidly becoming technology heavy. A GIF may make you smile, but a real conversation will help you so much more when you need a friend (I need to remember this too!)
- That you are never too big and cool for kisses and cuddles! Ever!
- That you don’t rush to grow up. You’ll never be a teenager again. So much awaits – college, driving, girlfriends etc but be patient. It will feel like an eternity while you are in your teenage years but trust me, you’ll look back and realise that it flew by. Stop every now and again and try to appreciate the little moments.
- Accept that you don’t know it all and listen to the advice that people share. It doesn’t mean you have to follow it but I hope I have raised you to accept that opinions should be valued and respected.
- That you don’t turn into Kevin the teenager overnight!
It might be your birthdays today boys but I truly believe it was me who had the best gifts 13 years ago and even though we laugh that you battered my body by coming out of the sunroof, I love that scar because I got it the day you made me a Mother and I wouldn’t change anything of our lives together. May you always know that you are loved, even more than cheese and gin!