Archie is no longer a teenager. It’s so hard to believe because it seemed to me that he would be in that sphere for decades but the reality is, time stands still for no one, not even my Archie and this January he has been tipped over into ‘Young Adult’ status.
Twenty years ago, (and it doesn’t seem possible that it could be that long), I was writhing on the floor of a delivery suite screaming for medical intervention but alas, the ever-caring midwife advised it was too late; she should have offered me drugs earlier. Of course no hard feelings!
And Archie’s birthday falls at a terrible time (had I known how terrible an after-Christmas birthday is I wouldn’t have insisted on him being induced). But I did. Because it was a heatwave and I was so over the heat and everyone asking me, ‘Is anything happening?’ and, ‘Are you sure your dates are right?’, and, ‘You know, my doctor’s really good and he wouldn’t let me go so long overdue’, and the ever-sensitive, ‘You wouldn’t think it would be possible to get any bigger’.
But after four hours of torture that caused me to turn into a primal being, refusing to get up on the bed and instead lying on the lino with my legs wide open not caring who was in view (or who had ‘the view’). It’s hard to recall how that happened but I just remember the lino felt nice and cool and I wanted to stay where it wasn’t so hot, like on that plastic mattress with the polyester sheets.
Someone should have warned me of what to expect.
I went to all those anti-natal classes and no one said anything about what really goes on in a delivery suite devoid of pain relief. It was a war zone.
But Archie was born and all was forgiven.
With all the euphoria the lino birth seemed reasonable.
And so after a few days we took him home and he was our baby who was going to be our baby for forever. And at the time it did seem that the relentless monotony of it all would go on into eternity. But he started to walk and he learned to talk and he went to pre-school then primary school then it was time for high school and he went away to boarding school. Then came the Gap year then university and suddenly I no longer had a child at home but a young adult.
He was my little boy and I guess in a way he always will be, but his 20th birthday party crept up on me rather suddenly. We didn’t have a big celebration, we just gathered a few family members and friends and in the beach club where we held our Boxing Day celebration and my father-in-laws 80th, we had a celebration.
And Archie loved his party and was very appreciative.
Happy 20th Archie!