My girls (bless them) run the show in our home and 1st K is such a quiet soul that extended family members asked me on a few occasions if he ever speaks. He usually only greets and is so polite that he only speaks when spoken to, except for when it’s me. That boy has inherited all my sarcasm and his dry humour makes me think of the Irish at times. How I love the Irish and their humour. Saturdays was our bonding sessions and I am eternally grateful for that. He’s supposed to be in that “I-hate-the-world” and “parents-suck” phase right now if I’m not mistaken, but getting to know more about him last year and showing him more of who I am as a person besides just-mom has made our bond that much stronger. Thank God for that because I always said if my meek boy rebels I would surely die. The way things are going now I think I won’t be pushing up daisies anytime soon on account of his behaviour.
As a mommy I’m not supposed to have a favourite and I promise it’s not the case but there is just a special kind of bond a mother and son shares. That’s why I’ve wrapped him up in more cotton wool than the girls. My mom, being an all girl mom, often remarks on the way he looks at me when he thinks no one is watching. I don’t know about that because all I ever see are eyes rolling.
He’s my first born and all his experiences are our experiences. His milestones are also mine as a parent. I’ve never done this before. I look around our neighbourhood and see boys his age and younger wanting to be thugs. Of his peers are already making out with girls on street corners. The horror. And before you go thinking that I’m judging them… I’m thinking about my girls who may be one of the girls who reciprocate corner kisses. Jesus take the wheel. It’s for the aforementioned reasons and also the fact that I’d hate for my kids to be anyones victim, that I’ve wrapped them in cotton wool.
My mom and family have been telling me for a while to shed that cotton wool but I wouldn’t hear any of it. Just a few months ago when my aunt gave me the usual speech I told her “It’s my son and I’ll raise him the way I see fit”. It may sound a bit harsh and also very ignorant so I’ll explain. My fears run so deep that I’m not always open to suggestions when it comes to protecting my chickens. I always think of the worse case scenarios. Those dishing advice may mean well but I’m responsible for K3’s well being and safety. If anything happens to my kids those same advise givers will probably console me with words like “Everything happens for a reason.” No thank you. I’ll pass.
This year 1st K is a junior at high school and the worst part of all is he has to travel to school. Luckily he travels with a transport company who drives picks him up from home in the mornings and drops him again in the afternoon. Not so lucky is that the taxi does not accommodate extra mural activities so we have to fetch him from school on those days. It’s been fine for the last few months until yesterday, when the hubster worked afternoon shift and could not fetch him. My first instinct was to say he couldn’t participate but knowing his mom he quickly and confidently (to my surprise) said that he’d take public taxi home. (It takes two taxi’s to get home!) I could just kick myself for having the hubster drop me off at his school one afternoon and me showing him how to travel by public transport. It was something I felt he needed to know. Good for him, he now knew and was determine not to miss out on his first chess game/match/practice/whatever you call it. I don’t know chess. What I knew for sure was that my nerves were shattered.
Just after 4pm yesterday I got a “please call me” from my son. That was a good sign. He was done with chess and about to get a taxi. His words: “Mommy I’m going to walk now and get a taxi… (slight pause) I know which taxis to take and I’ll be fine.” Tears threatened to spill and I was tempted to tell him to rather wait right there while I call my sister to pick him on her way home from work. Hearing my mom and aunt’s voice echo in my mind and realising that my son needs to do this some time or the other, I let go and wished him a safe journey.
A little over an hour later he was home sweet home with the broadest smile on his face. He was so proud of this achievement and besides my obvious relief, I was proud too. The past 24 hours I finally decided that the cotton wool has got to go. As much as I try to shelter my kids, especially 1st K, it’s just not realistic. They need to be able to fend for themselves one day and my fears need to be cast aside once and for all if I’m to prepare them for real life.
Unfortunately 2nd/middle K is going to go through pretty much the same thing as her brother because she’s my eldest daughter. I suspect she’ll have an easier time at it though because she’ll have her brother around and I’d have cooled down a lot by then. I do feel for the hubster though because he’s gonna have a harder time letting go than I do.
In case you think I’ve made peace with unwrapping the cotton wool and letting go a bit, let me assure you that I have a long way to go. *cringing at the thought of what our next milestone may be* Is it too late to change my mind about having kids?
PS: He had so much fun at chess yesterday and won all his matches. He also explained each match in detail. I had to pretend to understand everything and do the usual “oooh” and “aaah” noises because I’ve given up on telling him that I just don’t get it.