Yesterday my eldest, R, turned 19. 19!! Where have the years gone?
Somewhat amusingly I woke at 4:30, and my 1st thought was: he was being born now.
Just strikes me as funny as I'm not really one for Birthdays. Or anniversary's. Or anything really. Dates don't mean much, which I think is a good thing - at least it has served me well, if only because I only remember for a year or two on those dates I would rather forget.
But anyway back to my Birthday Boy. He was happy, he seemed to have a good day.
*I* was exhausted though, I only did a couple of hours at work, and then spent the whole day cleaning and cooking, for his party.
His favorite pressie is a wallet I got him - it has Bad Mother****** stamped on the front (he did ask for it!)
If you haven't seen Pulp Fiction you won't understand the reference, but he loves the movie, and is made up with it. So no matter how irresponsible I felt I was being, getting him a wallet with a curse on the front, he is happy, which is what matters to me.
He also surprised me. He stopped the party mid-way to say thank you, said his parents are 'awesome' - very sweet. And very like my father. So confident. And so very un-like me. But hey ho, it was nice.
And I am actually writing this post about one of his mates, young man called Harry, who came to the party.
This young man appears to have everything. The youngest of 5 children, from extremely wealthy parents - and when I say extremely, I mean... well... beyond what I can imagine, and I know a lot of wealthy people.
My boys go to his house quite a bit - in fact at least 5 days a week, as four of them meet to use his gym. It's better than the one in town, that they have to pay for.
So anyway this lovely young man Harry was at the party - or rather at our house, he didn't really stay with the party people, but instead spent half the evening in P's room with P, playing C.o.D.
But when the boys tired of that, they came out and sat by the fire pit, roasting marshmallows in the dark.
My girls were silly with it, and kept burning either the marshmallows or their mouths, but it was lots of fun and laughter, & dropped marshmallows.
Harry was laughing at them, as he tried to roast his own mallow, and then turned to me and said: I like coming here, it's like being in a family!
I answered before I thought: But you have a family.
He must have held eye contact for at least 3 seconds before looking away and answering: Yes.
I know most people won't get it. But my heart broke for him in that moment. Because in that pause, I knew. He is living my youth. He wants for nothing, appearing to have the most idyllic life of big houses, lots of holidays, nice cars, nice clothes, not a care in the world - and yet, I feel so sorry for him.
I ask R about Harry's family today, but he didn't know much, said he'd never met any of them. His parents don't spend the summer here. But he said Harry didn't mind that, as they weren't close like our family... - that kinda shut me up, I have never thought about how close we all are, I just am very aware my children go without the things I took for granted as a child, and most of the time I feel bad about that.
But I do tell them - when my mother starts one her lectures about my parenting - she didn't raise me, the army of au-pairs did, and the boarding school I went to at 11 took over, and then I was gone at 16; my mother has no idea what raising kids involves.
And we are lucky, because money sure doesn't buy everything, and we might live in a little house now, and things are often a mess - and that's okay, because I don't have to stress about fancy carpets getting ruined by hoards of teenagers partying ;)