A bit melodramatic, I know.
Before The Boy started school my Mum recalled the day I started school. She said she felt bereft, like she was handing me over to the authorities and was no longer the only one responsible for me. She said that for the first time, she felt she had to share me. I didn’t quite get what she meant at the time.
The Man was telling me about a little boy from school who appeared to be a bit naughty. This boy (we’ll call him Bob, Bob is a great name) is someone the Boy talks about as his friend. Bob is the one who pushed him over in the playground in an effort to convince the Boy that Branston Pickle makes you strong. Bob was the person the Boy was talking whilst he was supposed to be listening and the Boy had to go on the “thinking mat”. Caveat – I don’t want to imply that the Boy is perfect and it was all Bob’s fault.
It made me realise that I have absolutely no control over whether the Boy is friends with Bob or anyone else. He is now in the system and has his own life within it almost entirely separate to that of his role within our family.
How is this possible? I carried him, for 9 whole months (and lost all future ability to wear a bikini) and I gave birth to him (and lost all future ability to jump on a trampoline without a care, or a visit to the toilet beforehand) and I have raised him thus far, by feeding him, clothing him, developing him. I feel very territorial about the Boy (and Baby Girl). I am not mightily impressed that I now have to share this amazing achievement and role to which I have only just become accustomed to, with a number of other people.
Obviously children are people who should have rights and a place in the world separate to their parents but I don’t think I appreciated that this would actually happen. Given a choice I would not relinquish control without a darn good fight, but I realise now that I wasn’t given a choice.