I thought to write a blog post about young Felix turning 18, and starting off on holiday today with the boys – his first time abroad under his own steam. He’s paid his own way, organised the route, and saved up enough cash from babysitting jobs to have a healthy fund for beer.
They leave on an early flight tomorrow. I feel bereft. I know it’s just a holiday, but it feels like a milestone to me.
He’s a sensible chap, though he is very sociable and likes to have a good time,* so at this point, my Mother’s instinct has to shift focus from imagining all the high jinks that
will could happen beyond my watchful eye.
I decided to get out the photo albums, and have a reminisce (or perhaps a little weep) at him as a baby.**
It’s a sort of loss, looking back.
Can I even remember it? How did I do it? What was life like with a baby? The physical memories of being around babies are largely gone, though I held a friend’s child recently and cried a little into her soft, downy hair, because the jolt of remembering was so strong.
And then I gave her back, ’cause she was drooling on my new top.
Look at his sweet face, and his cheeky grin! Look at his chubby fists and that one of him age 1, with a bucket on his head. How we laughed. Oh, and look at this one where he’s six weeks old, and weighs the same as Grandpa’s veg patch marrow. I’m holding the baby, and grinning, and Grandpa’s tenderly cradling the marrow. Too funny.
Ah, and look! Learning to walk, while we were in Bremen. So sweet.
Look at our lovely little house! It’s cute, toys everywhere, and a giant pram in the living room. Look at our tiny bedroom, painted in that weird misjudged green that was like being under the sea. That room was so small you had to turn sideways to get round the end of the bed. Look at how small the clothes are, hanging from the washing line – teeny baby clothes and bibs, strung up like bunting at a party.
And, is that really me, that girl who looks fifteen, in the baggy 90s fashion? Look at my hair! So dark, no grey at all. Look at my skin! I was like Snow White. Look at me with childbearing curves! Wow. Did I even know how good I looked? (Answer: categorically, no).
I don’t recognise my own self in those photos.
And you know why else?
Because I’m much more myself these days. More expressive. Less timid. More kickass. More take no nonsense. More confident. Free.
Maybe looking back is a gain, after all. Some things are best left behind.
Have a great time Felix!
*And quite right too!
**And, yes, I was also looking for a funny photo to embarrass him with on Facebook. I did find one. Be afraid, Felix 🙂