Today I am meeting my son for coffee for the first time. I mean, we’ve been out to coffee shops and the like before as a family, but today I am sitting in one of a national chain of coffee shops waiting for him to make his own way here from school. (Tram and a short walk). My son is 13. He is much like many 13 year old boys I imagine i.e. has to be surgically removed from his phone and thinks playing on the X-box is a daily right. Lately it seemed to me that we weren’t really talking too much. Except at bedtime. Bedtime is when he tells me a bit about his day, when he asks me questions about when I was his age, and when he sometimes asks some very deep philosophical questions. The problem is I am always conscious that it is bedtime, that this is the time he should be going to sleep, so I often find myself cutting the conversation short, because I know if I don’t watch out I will be chatting with him into the wee small hours. He is also master of the Bedtime question; “Mu-um,” he asked once, just as I was turning to leave the room “What’s the Patriachy?” How could I just say goodnight and walk away?
So I asked him if he would meet me for coffee after school, in the understanding that neither of us would get out our phones. Instead I am looking forward to an engaging conversation with my favourite teenager. An intelligent, funny, all round amazing wee man, that I am hugely proud of, and love overwhelmingly.
I wrote this for him just as he was starting high school
Time will march on
Though I wish that it would not.
However I implore them to cease
The hours do not heed me.
I could as likely turn the tide
As stop the hands of time.
But still I would cling to what is
Ignoring the promise of what is to come.
How long can I deceive myself?
If I do not let go all will be prised painfully
From my unyielding grasp.
Change is uncomfortable;
The familiar is dependable.
So please forgive me if I cling a little too tight
For a little too long.
I am learning;
Learning how to love with equal strength yet looser grip.
It feels unnatural
And at first I am uncertain.
Yet as time will march on
I must allow you the space
To try your wings.
Just know this -
I will always catch you when you fall,
And all too soon you will learn to soar
While I gaze pride-fully heavenward.
For now, be patient with me
And just know how very loved you are