It was Small Sprogs birthday last week. He is a not such a small sprog now; (according to his sister) he swears like a trouper on the school bus, his upper lip has a slight shadow and he doesn't give out unconditional hugs any more (not to his mother anyway). Yet inside I know he is still the same Small Sprog; he still wants to know how many atoms are in an ant and he still imagines ridiculous scenarios at meal times - "What if a big dinosaur came down the road right now?..." -that sort of thing. Though his pre-teen self doesn't like to leave the sofa unnecessarily and all the best wishes he got on Facebook were from girls!
But I still love him as a small sprog and I still want to hug him, but that's not part of this part of the game now, hardly ever. Yet in one of his moments he will butter me up and tell me I'm the best mummy in the world; if he doesn't make guitar hero I reckon car salesman is right up his street!
I know he is not mine, he is his own person, I do not own him but I am borrowing him until he can make it in this world on his own. Sometimes it's hard.
For his birthday we took him Go Carting, it was brilliant. After that all his friends came back here and whiled away an hour shooting each other with Nerf Guns before eating their own body weight in pizza and birthday cake. As I lit the candles on the cake Tall Girl hissed at me: Don't sing! (God forbid I do something dreadful to embarrass her) However I had already checked myself before her stage directions had left her lips; he was 12 now, he certainly didn't want his mum singing 'Happy Birthday' to his friends did he?
So as I approached the table, holding the cake with the lighted candles in front of me, one of his good friends burst into song: Happy birthday to you. He wasn't embarrassed I thought, how brilliant, it's still perfectly acceptable to sing 'The Song' when you are about to be twelve years old. We all sang together, however I'm under no illusions that they may well be singing far more risky songs together in the future and I definitely won't be party to those!