Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

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?

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! 


Mother of a Man-Child: A Festival Hall Concert – 30 years later! November 26, 2010

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Who remembers Festival Hall?  That iconic place for performing Australian rock bands, enjoyed by generations of Melburnians over the years, including yours truly at a memorable 1979 Split Enz concert.

Wind the clock forward 30 odd years, and Man-Child I is asking me if he can attend a U18 concert with mates at Festival Hall next month.  No problems, it all sounds above-board, legitimately run etc etc, so yes he can go.  Next thing you know, as I’m halfway through making dinner, fielding calls/emails on the mobile phone, answering a million questions from 7-year-old daughter at the end of a school day, next thing I’ve got a 14-year-old boy with the laptop wanting to order the concert ticket online.  And rather than telling him to try coming back in 3 hours when it’s a little quieter, idiot mother drops everything and completes the online order, putting dinner (and my first sip of wine) off for another 10 minutes.   How do they manage to do that?

Now I mentioned my own experience as a 14-year-old attending the Festival Hall concert.  It was a great concert and we had an absolute ball.  That’s probably because we’d been drinking ourselves silly all afternoon on the banks of the Yarra River!  So without mentioning this detail to Man-Child I, I have outlined a few rules around attending the concert.  He must have dinner at home before-hand, and he’s not to ask to stay at a mate’s place that night (which he often does).  By all means have a friend to stay, but I want him local.  For good reason as you can see!

Recent events have led me to believe it’s very important to have my men-children physically “checking-in” at home on a regular basis.  Otherwise you’ve really got no way to know what they’re up to.  Just call me Inspector Mother of a Man-Child – I feel like one half the time!