Today our Sam, the Mad Professor, turns 18. I’m just not sure how I feel, to be honest. Sure, I’m immensely proud of him: he’s a good kid: kind and funny (he makes us all cry with laughter), thoughtful, a brilliant big brother (they play American Football together and have an increasingly blended mix of friends – I love this), a caring boyfriend (his girlfriend is adorable), ridiculously disorganised (sleeps through his alarm every single morning and only serious screeching gets him out of bed), but driven when he needs to be. He’s doing well at school (we got a letter over Easter from the sixth form team telling us how great he’s doing and how much he’s improved) and he’s holding down a part-time job as a lifeguard at the local sports centre as well as studying hard for exams. But GOD I FEEL OLD!
He’s driving now. Doing well in his lessons and won’t be long before he takes his test. He’s loving his Media A level the best, but doesn’t really know what he wants to do. Maybe go into the Navy and be a pilot like his Dad, but maybe go on to University and do a media course. Either way is fine by me. I just want him to be happy.
We’ve always got on well. A neighbour recently confided how stressful it is having teenagers in the house. I nodded agreement but honestly, honestly? Mine are lovely 90% of the time. Of course we fight – our most recent one was about how many teenagers he’s having over for his party on Friday night – but mostly we rub along fine. And neither of my boys has turned into Kevin the Teenager – a blessing for which I’ll be eternally grateful. I never was a particularly brilliant parent – especially with babies, but now they’re grown up I find it much easier.
He was the most brilliant best man at his Grandad’s wedding recently. I had SO many people come up to me, telling me that I should be proud of my boys. I really was. They were polite, charming, and looked pretty darned swag in their suits too.
For his birthday, he’s having a go-karting tournament with ten of his friends at a local track. He didn’t want a present – who needs gold watches or silver tankards when you can blast around a track with all your mates for a pressie? I totally agree. I’m planning a surprise present too: insuring him on my car.
Afterwards, everyone’s coming back to our house for drinks and takeaway pizza. He’s worn me down by using a stealth approach to add people to the guest list. ‘Mum, can I invite one more person to the party?’ ‘Sure you can’. Then two days later – ‘oh god, I forgot two people that I really want to be there…’ etc. I’m not a big party person, and not fond of drunk people either, so this party doesn’t fill me with enthusiasm. However, after a chat and a bit of compromising on both sides, I think we’ve agreed on a number that suits both of us. He knows that his Dad will be throwing out any dodgy drunk ones, so I’m sure everything will be fine.
Just ask me again on Saturday morning.