I love me an apron (don’t laugh), I mean, I literally had to scour ALL of the fine shops of Windsor to find the 80s style wipe-able apron I was coveting (reminiscent of my mother’s) with good old Daniel Department store coming through, but that’s not what this post is about. Well, metaphorically it is, so stick with me as the apron strings have been nervously loosened of late here as my eldest son, Oliver, 9, started a new school and the school bus with it, rapidly maturing before my eyes and it has freaked me out.
He even represented his school at a Parent’s Evening just two weeks after starting school and we heard last week that he’d made the school football team, too.
He’s even allowed to use his phone on the journey to and from school. Oliver even encouraged me to join TikTok (I know it’s for the kids and all that but I’m taking the offer while he still thinks I’m cool as I know I’m on borrowed time, there)!
…What a few draining weeks it’s been, a jolt back to ordinary life after a long, bureaucracy-free summer.
This adulting in school term time is tough. Waking up at 6.30 am and helping the kids with homework. Cry.
Those two on the other hand, have embraced change prettily easily. Yes, there’s been some tears before bedtime, and they felt overtired at first but they’re both lapping up more responsibility and are desperate to mature.
All this racing to grow up has left me feeling a bit bereft and bewildered.
The flip side has been witnessing their growth and weeping with joy.
Alexander’s literary skills have quickened of late from grasping complex spellings (‘gnaw, knitting, knot) to his understanding of the world around him and processing the complexities of life. The other night he spoke again of my late and much loved young Auntie Zak, his godmother, explaining to my friend Kelly that he’d lost his best friend to a disease a while ago and he couldn’t stop hugging her, reflecting on one of the last times we had with her, adding that she was like g_d to him. Xander’s purity and his unwavering belief in heaven, comfort me. Zak’s 2 year memorial passed recently, and while I will forever hate October because of it, Xander’s words soothed.
Life continues in us all, and despite the cruelty we so often face, I observe my boys, resilient, gentle, thoughtful and kind and while it’s sometimes hard to accept they’re becoming young men, I see their potential every day and the marks they’re making on the world already -tonight we helped a homeless man called Rick, taking him food and donating a night in a hostel for him and the boys’ care and attention and the emotional intelligence they demonstrate which only comes with age, and it makes the loosening of the apron strings a little more bearable.