Tag Archives: parents

Flying The Nest … Almost …

teenagerThe Teenager is off to the Reading Music Festival.

He left with a huge amount of stuff a couple of hours ago. Early tickets.

If I read those sentences again, I sound almost casual.

Believe me, I’m not.

After 17 years (he only turned 17 last Sunday), he will be without anyone looking after him for 5 nights. Five whole days and nights. Oh, the possibilities.

The planning has been months in the making: the gear – tent, groundsheet, sleeping bag, super-duper mobile charger. I shelled out for a locker. Plus part-payment towards a gazebo when he’s there. The wellies, the thick socks. The sun cream.

Last night, he asked me if I could pack his bag if he put everything he was taking on my bed. Yeah, no worries. I’m the master of packing.

I got upstairs and surveyed the room-full of stuff to fit into a tiny bag. Out went the white t-shirts (really?), the jeans, the fourth pair of shorts, the shower gel, the toothpaste. I jumped on the bag and closed it. The wellies were non-negotiable.

In work yesterday I had a text;

‘Urgent, need funds for haircut’

‘You got your hair cut last week?’

‘Not Reading-fresh? Please?’

So, he had his hair razored. With a bit at the front, strangely reminiscent to those 80’s Aha haircuts? Anyway, we ran through the Parental Lecture. It started easily enough,

‘… son, Chris …’

‘Mum, I know what you’re going to say, and I, like, take it on board.’

‘… but …’

‘No, it’s fine …’

‘… but …’


‘Can I just say  it?’

‘Mum. I know. No drugs, no women. Got it.’

‘Women? Who said anything about women?’

Anyway, he got the bus to town earlier and met up with nineteen other friends who will be sharing the gazebo.

I had a think, after taking some deep breaths. I should be proud? I should marvel at his desire to be unwashed and dazed for five nights. To worry that someone will steal his groundsheet?

I can’t talk. Shortly after turning sixteen, I took my backpack and tramped around Norway, The Shetlands and The Orkney Islands for six weeks. Without nineteen friends. All on my own.

And I came back almost unscathed.

Maybe I should just text him, see if he’s eating properly?

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All Grown Up

appleI had the joy of accompanying The Teenager into town today.

Sadly for him, his savings are held in his kids account at the building society and he needed my signature to clear it out in order to buy a MacBook.

The woman behind the counter was somewhat startled to see his fun savings book with a grinning little red dragon on the cover.

‘Erm, ok. Are you off to  Uni then? You do know you can change your account?’

‘Gah. I turned 16 a couple of weeks ago.’

‘Ah. Wow. What do you feed him then, mum?’

‘Just porridge.’

Money extracted and with The Teenager slouched next to me, we headed for the Apple store where we were accosted by an eager sales assistant as soon as we stepped inside.

‘Hello young man’, he said, looking up at The Teenager. ‘Off to Uni?’


‘Well that’s a shame. If you had a student card you could have had 15% off your computer, insurance cover down from £199 to £48 and a free pair of Beats headphones, retail price £165. Aren’t you tall? What do you feed him?’

‘Just porridge.’

A dramatic pause. Amazingly, something in my brain clicked. I fumbled in my wallet for my student ID from the Master’s course. And I am now the best mum ever, having just saved The Teenager almost £500. He quickly facebooked and tweeted his friends the news while I dealt with the paperwork.

Everything bagged, we left the store, with The Teenager holding his bags with utmost reverence and care. He would stop every now and again just to look at them, stroking the Apple logo with a dreamy, faraway look in his eyes.

Back home, we chatted about his A Levels. He has an induction day tomorrow and I trotted out the usual parent stuff:

‘You’ve got to hit the ground running with your studies. Make mind-maps as you go along.’


‘You’ve chosen to continue your education. A big step. Drink lots of water, keep your brain hydrated. Oh, and don’t forget your pen tomorrow.’

‘Pen, lol. So old-fashioned.’

A bit later, I got a text from The Teenager.

‘School was great today. Am in love.’

Oh. This is a new one. I told him to invite her over for coffee so we could have a little chat.

‘D’ur, Mumzie (his new way of addressing me)  I’m in love with my Mac. Lolz.’

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