Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Eighteen today

My son is 18 today.

He can’t be! I don’t feel much older than 25 so how can I have a son that old?

But he is. Having been born two months premature, he once may've looked like a piece of raw chicken that fitted into one hand, but now he’s a strapping, six foot lad.

In January, it really depressed me that I wasn’t in Cape Town when he started his last year of school so one would have thought that my not being there for such a ‘big’ birthday would be even more depressing. Strangely enough, it isn’t. I really wish that I could be there but accept that I can’t.

Next year, he’s hoping to spend his gap year in the UK, based at my place. Of course, he’s much more than welcome to but it’ll mean circumscribing my lifestyle somewhat. I doubt that my red wine stories will cease completely but there’ll have to be a bit more self-control in my life. I have, however, warned him that should I get offered a decent job in South Africa, his being here won’t stop me from taking it. If that were to happen (I certainly hope it does), he’ll have to base himself at his aunt’s place in Surrey.


Blogger whatalotoffun said...

for a moment I thought Blogger wont let me comment it took such a long time to open. Glad it did. Well happy birthday to your son. They say age is just a number you are as old as you feel then I would be sweet sixteen. Hope you get the job is SA then Buddess and I can come visit you sal dit nou nie lekker wees nie met 'n bottel lekker rooi wyn.
Have a nice day.

1:07 pm  
Blogger kyknoord said...

The big question is who gets the couch?

1:24 pm  
Blogger nyasha said...

don't traumatise the poor lad by sending him off to aunt Mildred in Surrey. Nomad, honestly! ;)
so if he makes it over to Derby there will be no more late nights for you and no more football hooligans to share a pint with. I feel for you and i see the dilemma. :D

2:07 pm  
Blogger mike said...

Hope this isn't too personal a question for this comments box - but if he stays with you, will you come out to him?

2:11 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

Congratualtions - there really ought to be a special ceremony for people who suddenly find themselves parents of grown-ups... of course I am still 25 as I have no children... maybe that's the advantage I've been looking for all these years...

blogger really doesn't like this comment its playing silly whatsits... and not letting me post... trying again... though its hidden the word veri...

2:32 pm  
Blogger andrea said...

Wow. The comment box actually popped up. First time this morning.

I sure know what you mean about watching your kids turn into what you think you still are. My son is only 13 but having reached 6', has decidedly individual taste in clothes and music and now has a girlfriend, I suddenly wonder what happened to my life.

Mike's comment: is your son unaware of your proclivities? (clever, eh?)

2:39 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

whatalotoffun : Blogger has been a bugger of late! Thanks for the birthday wishes. Suiping n paar (of meer) bottels rooi wyn met julle sal n plesier wees!

kyknoord : Him, of course! However, whether he gets a couch or not, I’ll have to move into a bigger flat. The current one, optimistically called a one-bedroomed flat, is really a studio flat with very little division between the bedroom and the living area. So, I’d have to move into a bigger place so we both could have a modicum of privacy.

nyasha : You have a point as while his aunt loves him to bits and he’s very fond of her, she’s very much the protective relative who still views him as a child and not an adult. By the way, it’s Nottingham, not Derby! Having him there won’t stop the late nights but I certainly won’t be taking anyone, let alone football hooligans, home with me for some couch rugby.

mike : Indeed I will. In fact, even if he were not to stay with me, next year seems like about bloody time in terms of coming out to him.

Caroline : I think they need to have 20 years taken off their age as a bonus for all those years of hardship and responsibility.

andrea : As I said earlier, blogger is being a bugger of late. That individual taste that one’s kids develop can be very off-putting if totally at odds with one’s own, don’t you think? How dare they develop tastes that I don’t like or approve of! As for Mike’s comment – yes, he is unaware although I think he suspects. As does his sister. Whenever a new friend’s name is mentioned, they’ll always ask if he’s married or has a girlfriend. If the answer is no, they always ask if he’s gay. Since the answer is yes to that three quarters of the time, their minds must wonder why. There are other reasons why I think they must suspect but, whether they do or don’t, they really need to know at some stage. I wanted to tell them about 10 years ago but my wife wasn’t keen.

3:11 pm  
Blogger Terri said...

Well that's gonna be an interesting conversation. Good luck. And Congrats on him making it to 18 :)

4:03 pm  
Blogger nyasha said...

it shows on the meter Derby some of the times you come around to mine, hence my comment! :)

5:25 pm  
Anonymous xmichra said...

well I hope your son had an excellent birthday. He's just at the age to have some decent trouble. hehe.

Glad you are better this time around with your innability to be present for him. It's hard, and I am sure he knows that. But his wanting to do a year with you should show you how much he still obviously loves you.

9:41 pm  
Blogger Saddle Up said...

Oooh... I think there's an interview question or at least a new post...

How will you come out to your son?

10:24 pm  
Blogger Tammy said...

Happy Birthday to your son!! I think he is old enough to accept anyway you live your life.

12:27 am  
Blogger justin said...

Good to see the photo of you with the kids when they were younger ... what a handsome bloke you are.
Our four girls have left home, but fortunately we see quite a lot of them. Our youngest is nearly 25, and sadly she is splitting up with her girlfriend, after living together for 4 years. They will keep in touch with each other, but we'll miss seeing her ex.

12:31 am  
Blogger Dawn said...

Congratulations on your son's birthday. I remember when my nephew graduated high school, my sister said that when she watched him on the stage, she realized that it had felt like all those years had passed in a heart beat. Now that I have a son of my own, although just coming up to 9 years of age, I see what she meant.

Isn't it interesting to find yourself in a situation that most teenagers feel they are faced with - he doesn't have to like it - but he should respect your choices.

It's a bold move and I hope it goes well for you. Given the kind of person your writing reflects you to be, I would expect you have raised a sensitive and passionate, well rounded young man ... with an appetite for fun!

1:17 am  
Anonymous patita said...

Happy birthday to your son, who is doubtlessly a fine young man (what with sharing my birthday and all)! Best of luck to both of you in all of your adventures to come!

4:56 am  
Blogger Rob7534 said...

Exciting news!

You and the son, living together finally. You can give him all the sage advice, the birds and the bees talk, and show him around the city.

He might bring home more company than you! You'll definitly need your seperate bedrooms then.

6:09 am  
Blogger Alan said...

I am sure your kids will be fine when you come out. They may even ask why you didnt do it earlier. They seem very bright and if they take after their Dad, very astute. Happy Birthday to JFP

11:39 am  
Blogger Frog with a Blog said...

Happy birthday to Nomad Junior, Reluctant Little or whatever you call him. Is he as reluctantly nomad as you are? Please describe the character to see how the combination is going to be in the tiny studio.
That would be a good movie. The grown-up son moves in with his gay dad in a tiny studio in deep England.
I see we have lots of interesting posts to look forward to!
Your mean French fan

11:42 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Terri : You want to be a fly on the wall when it happens? Thanks for the congrats.

nyasha : Odd how it does these things, isn’t it? But not as odd as my Moz friend who used to show up as logging on from Ghana.

xmichra : It was a quiet night last night with Mom, Sis and Gran but he is having a party at the house tonight (it’s a holiday in S Africa on Friday) so that is bound to be a bit of a riot.

Saddle Up : No more interviews for me – I’m not the interview whore that you are! :-) As to how it will happen, I don’t know. Probably take him to the pub and have a chat. Or, more likely, sit him down at home and have a chat. We’ll see.

Tammy : Thanks. Yes, I’m sure he is and I’m sure it won’t be that much of a readjustment for him. Well, let’s hope so..

justin : *Blush* I think kids who get partnered often forget that their partners become their parents’ friends and that a breakup can cause heartache to the parents. I certainly hope they keep in touch as amicable breakups are the way to go. There seems no point in harbouring huge amounts of ill-feeling towards someone even it there may have been a time when they warranted it.

Dawn : Thanks. Time does fly too quickly when you’ve got kids, possibly faster than if you don’t have them. He is a sensitive, well-rounded young man so I’m sure he will take to it well even if it may be difficult or awkward initially.

patita : Thanks and happy birthday to you. I hope you got to bake yourself a melktert and that it was worth it. You may have found it a bit bland? I think they’re bland in a nice way not that I make a habit of associating bland with nice. Mmmm…’nice’ is such a bland word but it’s so easy to use.

Rob7534 : It’s not as if I haven’t spent long periods of time with him over the past 5 years so we are very very close. But, should this happen, it will be the first time he lives with me without mother and sister being there. And, of course, he will be much more adult than he was in the past. Separate bedrooms are a must!!

Alan : You could well be right about them asking why it didn’t happen sooner.

Frog with a Blog : He is much more like his mother than I am. Very passionate, easily angered but easily mollified, etc. The typical trademarks of a redhead, I suppose. However, he’s also very well-mannered and very sensitive so there’s nothing uncouth about him. We get on very well but living in close proximity with each other in a small place could lead for friction. Yes, I can see how there may be some interesting posts arising from all of this.

12:12 pm  
Blogger Alan said...

People often say that it can be very hard coming out to their parents but I cant imagine the thoughts that you face having to come out to your kids. i know you have mentioned that your daughter has dropped hints before and I am sure that all will be fine.

3:02 pm  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Happy belated to you and your son.

Hm...what can I say...I'm itching to a child who's returned home to live with parent...

First, things will seem lovely. Then little by little, the arguments will creep in, angry words etc. Then, if you're lucky, compromise and getting along just fine. Phew.

How does your son feel about gay folks?

3:27 pm  
Blogger Moncrief Speaks said...

Happy birthday to your son!

I'm glad to have found your blog. You write so well and so vividly.

3:52 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

guyana-gyal: He's been brought up to be accepting of gay people and has known my best friend from uni days since he was born. He's gay and has recently 'married' his partner of 17 years. So my son is very cool about things gay.

moncrief: Thanks, and thanks for the compliment.

8:53 am  

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