My son Alex was born the night the clocks changed in October 1997. I went into labour in the early hours of the morning on his due date. When we left for the hospital there was a really heavy frost, we couldn't find the car keys and I travelled there in the van, with my midwife following. It turned into a glorious autumn day though and I remember looking out the window from the labour room and commenting on how wonderful it all was - pain killers and an epidural talking. And today it is his 21st birthday and I can't believe how fast time has flown by,
When I started my blog I wanted it to be a personal space for me to chat, reflect, share tips and advice and record the ups and downs of a fifty something mum who also loves style. Sometimes I worry I have lost sight of that original plan, it is easy to get caught up with SEO, what I need to be doing on social media and the worst one of all, comparing my blog to others. Comparison is the thief of joy .... so here I am with a personal post, the ones I love doing the most.
He wasn't a difficult baby, although colic and disturbed nights did take their toll but on the whole, I didn't ever get really bad 'terrible two's', sibling rivalry or dreadful teens.
To say I am proud of the man my baby has become is an understatement. He has always been a sensitive boy, preferring to be at home with me rather than joining in at nursery, clubs or activities. He was never one for the rough and tumble of the school playground and games of football. He was the first grandchild in my family, the first nephew and he was doted on of course.
He showed an early talent for anything technical and soon found he enjoyed music. In his early teen's he put the two together and announced who he wanted to work for and what he was going to do. I did used to worry about him though, I felt he needed to be able to mix more but it just goes to show that our early worries are usually unfounded. He has a massive group of friends, has a huge talent for chatting to people and is a fantastic networker, it has served him well and got him where he is today.
He rejected the usual route of going off to university and announced he wanted to remain debt-free and work his way up through sheer hard work and determination. We supported his decision and after completing his BTEC in Music Technology he started working full time as a Video Editor for the company he told me about when he was 14, he had already started working for them part time at 16! His career is now progressing, he is a Videographer for this music technology company and is doing fantastically well.
But more importantly he is a sensible, likable, balanced young man. He knows what he wants in life. And he works hard to make sure he achieves his dreams. There are times when I am a little jealous of the mum's whose son's left home at 18 to go to university - when his room is a tip, when his shoes are left by the back door for everyone to trip over, when he doesn't put his laundry in the washing basket .... but I admire his courage to prove his abilities without giving in to the peer pressure of 'you must have a degree'. He is proving that there are other ways. And mostly I love having him at home still, I know I will miss him when he does go.
Today he is celebrating with us his family and his lovely girlfriend. He does his best to be at home for family occasions and to support us and spend time with his grandparents. I admire this in him, family is important and he puts us first. He will often chat to his Grandpa on the phone and help him with a computer problem or go and fix something if needed. And he is always available to give Grandma a hug.
I love the fact that if something is worrying him he comes and talks to us his parents first and we are delighted to be able to support him. My top parenting tip is to always talk to your children, never judge, never be shocked, just listen and understand, keeping secrets is never a good idea, even little ones, you never know when you need to be able to talk about a big issue and being able to talk openly is the one thing that will stand you in good stead as a parent when challenges come along.
There have been times in the last 21 years when I have struggled, when it all got a bit too much, I did suffer from post-natal depression. I made a choice to be a full time stay at home mum but there were times when I was really lonely but I never once wanted to change that choice, I always wanted to be at home for my children and still do, if they need me I like them to know they can text me at any time and say 'are you at home, I need to chat'.
So 21 years after you arrived in our lives Alexander I raise a glass to you and toast you, you really are a wonderful young man, you are doing us proud. Keep doing what you are doing (but pick up your dirty washing please) and I can't wait to see what life brings you next.
Alex loves chocolate, it doesn't always love him! Centre with his little sister during a rare moment of sibling love and the photo far right is one he took of me and Emily when he first started showing an interest in photography.
Below, he started his love of bikes, cars and fast things early - and he looks after me on the ski slopes now, I like to remind him how hard it was to teach him to ski when he was 7!
Happy 21st Birthday darling.
Michelle (AKA Mum, Mummy, Mother) xx
Alex with his girlfriend Joanna Thurman-Baker, a very talented dressage rider, you can read her blog on Horse & Hound every month.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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