Write Of Passage …

signatureWith one signature, that was it. Done.

I had met The Teenager in our local building society after school finished the other day.

At, 17, it was time for him to take control of his savings book, still tucked inside his ‘Children Saver’ folder, complete with a smiling dragon. Previously, he needed both our signatures to access his Christmas and Birthday money, much to his annoyance. And mine, especially when I had to meet him after work to withdraw a fiver for a gaming magazine he absolutely had to have.

We approached the counter, and after much convincing that this 6′ 4” Teenager was in fact 17, we signed the forms, transferred ownership into his name alone and left, leaving behind the smiley dragon folder.

And that was that. I recalled the day we opened the account together – the temper tantrum when he was offered a red dragon money-bank and not the shiny gold one. The negotiations, the store-room rummagings and the crying-hiccups until they found the last gold one. He clasped it in his tiny hands and stopped crying long enough to peer over the counter and rasp a tearful, ‘thank you’.

And there we go – The Teenager now has his own bank account, building society account, National Insurance Number and numerous other bits and bobs. From the Red Book he had as a baby, where percentiles were jotted down and compared with the average, to his GCSE results, he has a trail of paperwork and all the complications that go with it.

I clearly remember my very young son hitching up his dungaree strap and asking me (in nursery!) why his name was so long and why he always ran out of paint when he had to write it across the top of his painting. Simple – Christopher might be his full name, but he could choose what he wanted to be called. He chose Chris (natch) and for a time wanted to be known as ‘Kit’. At that point, he luckily had no idea just how complicated and long his surnames were.

Anyway, today has been a milestone. I’ve started a file for The Teenager, with all his info that I usually file under Family Stuff. It’s a weird separation, but forward-looking. He can take it to University with him, and have everything in one place, until he loses it and I tell him I’ve copied everything, just in case.

So as he inches towards adulthood, I take more and more of a back seat. It’s another stage, successfully navigated. When I was first diagnosed with MS, my only wish was to remain well enough to see him through his teenage years and out into the big wide world.

We’re almost there.

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8 thoughts on “Write Of Passage …

  1. Teresa McTernan says:

    Aah…job well done methinks…x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      You’re really kind!!
      This last school year seems to be going at a breathtaking speed – hard to keep up with all the changes …

  2. Judy says:

    I’ve loved following your writing about your boy growing up to what he is now. I look forward to reading more. Be well, the both of you. xo

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you so much!
      Looking back over the almost five years I’ve been writing this blog, I see just what The Teenager has gone through and also just how much he has ‘grown’ through this experience, of having a mother with MS. I’m proud of him 🙂

  3. Don’t the years tumble past at an ever increasing pace? Not too sure if its frightening or alarming. Maybe even both.

  4. Keith Rhodes says:

    Talking of teenagers, I have been going through a BIG heap of papers at home today and I stumbled upon a writing book that I had at school 43 years ago ( I really must tidy more often ).

    I was amused to read these words I wrote aged 14 some 43 years ago :-

    ” When I watch television and see politicians arguing with each other and saying that – we are the best – it makes me want to vomit on the Town Hall steps. I ask myself why can’t they just get on with the job instead of wasting taxpayers money ? “.

    And The words Brexit and Farage had never been thought of back in 1974 !

    • stumbling in flats says:

      That’s really funny! It’s incredible how fast-moving politics is these last couple of years – in some ways like an ongoing soap opera. I’ve just watched Michael Gove defend the £1 billion payment to the DUP this morning and nearly chucked something at the telly.

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