Sunday, 8 September 2013
After the hustle and bustle of getting back into the school routine this week it felt really important to stop and breathe and really be present this weekend to evaluate how things are going and count my blessings.
These days, this boy - it's all so wonderful right now - I have a lot to be grateful for.
The teen phase came so suddenly for Cameron and as a parent I entered it with a lot of trepidation. There's a huge stigma attached to adolescence, isn't there? To back that up I had my own experiences of being wildly rebellious and self-destructive in my youth to add to the mix. I was so scared to embark on it from the other angle.
So far, I needn't have worried. I love spending time with Cameron and feel so lucky that he lets me into his world. It's a privilege to witness his coming of age, to see him blossoming and creating the roots for the life he envisions for himself. I feel honoured that he's still interested in my opinions and that we have this amazingly open dialogue where he feels comfortable enough to discuss anything with me.
I'm proud of the choices he makes, the way he works and gets along with his school peers without succumbing to peer pressure as they experiment with smoking, drugs, violence and crime. And equally, how he can slip right back into the uncorrupted world of play with his home educated peers and respects that innocence by adapting his behaviour to the occasion.
I adore that Cameron isn't even a little bit interested in celebrity culture. While he enjoys certain films and TV shows, he couldn't name a single artist in the top 40, a soap opera character/actor or X Factor contestant - last month I had to explain to him who Brad Pitt was! Cameron walks his own path and knows his own mind. He questions authority and stands his ground when he feels justified but is also able to back down when he realises he's wrong. And he is funny - so funny! We spend a lot of time laughing.
We talk at length about the contrast between our lives at age 13 and Cameron enjoys the comparison, I think, weighing up his options and developing a sense of pride in his (mostly) sensible decisions. This uninterrupted time to talk is a definite pro of being the small family that we are - there's almost always an opportunity for a long conversation.
It's funny how some phases of parenthood go so painfully slowly while this stage is going by too fast. A cliché, I know. But true, nevertheless. These days are fleeting and each one of them challenges me in a small (or large) way to let go a little bit more and trust that it's going to be OK.
This weekend we made windowstars, walked to the park in the sunshine, rearranged furniture, watched an episode of Educating Yorkshire, baked homemade tiger rolls for packed lunches, played with the cat and chatted a lot. We ate comforting chicken and vegetable cobbler, read our books and remarked on the autumnal chill in the air. It was everyday stuff, yet magical when I really stopped to appreciate it all. I need to remember to do more of that.
Inhale. Exhale. Life is good and I am so grateful.