Let’s turn the clock back 15 years, shall we?
Things were a little different back then. We didn’t have a mobile phone to our name, and getting online was still a matter of a clunky dial-up connection, then counting the minutes for fear of running up a monster bill.
The Greek economy looked rather different back then. The country was on the rise, and we were enjoying the benefits that came with catching up with the rest of
still being cheap enough to be competitive.
I was a mere spring chicken of just 32, but I felt anything but sprightly. I felt…. HUGE!
I was nine months pregnant, and ready to pop. I’d enjoyed a largely trouble-free pregnancy, apart from constant heartburn since the moment of conception and my bump denying me the pleasure of sleeping on my tum. I had just stopped work in preparation for the Big Day, and was now bored out of my skull. I was definitely at the “OK, let’s get this kid out now” stage.
Two days before, I’d had a check-up and was told that if something hadn’t happened by 10 February, I’d be checking in to get the process started with a little help from the hospital. I felt a little more relaxed. One way or another, the end was in sight and I would soon come face-to-face with the little person who’d been listening to my bump-mumblings and kicking me in the bladder for the past few months.
It was Friday night, and we’d decided to chill out with a movie and something to eat. Little did I know that “The Fly” (good choice of pre-labour entertainment, eh?) and veggy lasagna would come just a few hours before my son decided to make his debut.
When the time came, all went well – apart from Hubby mistaking my “My waters have broken!” for news that the washing machine had flooded the bathroom again (that’s another story). Once the contraction pains kicked in, they came fast and furious, and Kiddo entered the world at the ungodly hour of 5.15 in the morning, just three hours after punching a hole in his amniotic sac.
My first thought – happily unaddled as I’d managed to come through the experience without any drugs – as I looked at the blood-streaked alien the midwife was triumphantly holding by his ankles was “How did we manage to make such a good-looking kid?”
HIS first action was to pee in a spectacular golden arc onto my wonderful midwife and the nurse assisting her.
Fast forward now to 2012…
Things have certainly changed. In some ways, they are a lot worse and a lot less certain. But in one very important way, they are much better – thanks to that little person I came face-to-face with very early one morning of February '97.
I am no longer mother to a scarily dependent new-born. Instead, I'm the proud parent of a young man who squares up to my 1.78 metres and looks me straight in the eye, before cracking a joke and reaching for his guitar.
Over the years in between then and now, I could match maternal moans blow-for-blow with other mums. But the truth is, he’s a great kid who’s given us very little heartache so far and has shown amazing maturity about some of the problems we have faced.
He’s not a star pupil, but he’s pretty good. He’s not the most diligent of swots, and needs to be told to make his bed or tidy his room. But amazingly, although he occasionally issues me with warnings not to embarrass him (I know, what a spoilsport!), he still seems to like spending some of his time with us.
Tomorrow, that beautiful bald bundle of joy that came rushing into the world turns 15. He’s got the bum-fluff, a girlfriend and some teenage boy habits better left unexamined to show for it.
He’s almost a man, and I couldn’t love him more.
But perhaps more surprising is the fact that I LIKE him enormously too.
Just how lucky does that make me?