Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Boys to Men August 9, 2013

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footballI was reminded last week of the benefits of sport and how wonderful it is to observe boys becoming men.  One of the men-children played football this season, fortunate enough to play in the First squad with mainly Year 12 boys (sadly his brother has hung up his rugby boots now that he has left school – no amount of cajoling, encouraging or threatening helping to convince him to keep playing).

For our footballer, I noted a couple of benefits from this season – one, he played with older boys, I am sure a good influence as they are more mature (the drinking games they taught him at the end of season party were NOT an advantage!).  Two, he observed up close how they are balancing the demands of Year 12 and sport.  And he formed good friendships with some of his teammates, a strongly bonded group, with a great bunch of very supportive parents.

At the end of season gathering, another great chance for the boys and their parents to get together (they really do the parent participation exceptionally well), there were the traditional speeches, videos and presentations to boys and coaches.  Naturally each parent delighted in the comments made about their son, all clearly proud to receive such public praise and recognition.

I especially love to see the wonderful young men speak publicly, about their coaches, their teammates, their parents, their school.  To witness men-children on the cusp of adulthood, showing grace and maturity is heart-warming and reminds me that my own men-children are on the same pathway, about to emerge from adolescence to adulthood like a beautiful butterfly from a chrysalis.

And whilst we don’t see that side of them often, more the prickly caterpillars at home, or the jousting testosterone-laden lion cubs, I am confident that the persona they present to others is of delightful, well-adjusted, polite young men, with no hint of the way they sometimes behave for their parents at home (isn’t it always the case)?

For those who wonder what happened last week (I know, NO post), could it be that Mother of a Man-Child’s days of writing thrilling stories about the adventures of her men-children is coming to an end?  That they will stop to provide me with excellent material for the blog, simply through the things they do on a daily basis, because they are finally growing up?  Let’s hope not!!!  Although last week passed without any unusual incidents, so I was left bereft of a worthy tale.

I have written about the celebration of boys through sport before – such an important part of their school life.  https://motherofamanchild.com/2011/08/26/a-celebration-of-boys-through-sport/

 

 

Turning 17 – The Cusp of Adulthood March 15, 2013

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fireworksThe men-children turned 17 the other day.  Yes, I am actually prepared to admit that I am the mother of 17 year old children, even though it automatically “ages” me.  Not that I am being vain, but if I only talk about my 9 year old, it’s possible people MIGHT think I am a little younger than when I talk about my 17 year olds (I live in hope, or more likely denial!)

The funny thing was the excitement of one of the boys at turning 17 recently, because he was only one year off turning 18 and a whole host of possibilities that opened up to him.  I looked at him blankly and said, quite seriously, “I am not sure what you’re so excited about?  Apart from driving the car LEGALLY on your own, you’ve pretty much done everything else.  Sex, drinking, partying….I’m not sure what’s left”.

It’s not like they “save” themselves for anything these days is it?  Then again, perhaps it’s the emotional hurdle, the absolute sense of adulthood and freedom from your parents that is what excites them about turning 18 (except of course while they’re still living under our roof).

It was only a year ago I reflected on their birth, as they turned 16 years old.  I wonder if the time is flying for them as fast as it is for me?  https://motherofamanchild.com/2012/03/09/happy-16th-birthday-boys/

I now observe some of my friends with their 14 year olds, just as they enter the heady and challenging years of the hormonal adolescent.  It’s a whole new world when you first venture into it, and with hindsight and experience, that much more easy to navigate.  I am hoping my newly acquired skills will stand me in good stead with a certain teenage sister of a man-child in due course.  In the meantime, I can laugh at my friends’ expense (with total empathy of course), and enjoy the sense of déjà vu.   Perhaps my next step as a blogger is to become the agony aunt for troubled parents of early teens?   Topics and questions welcome.  Chances are I can point you to one of my posts over the last 3 years and we’ll have it covered!