The Young Adult

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!


Archie with his mates out on the terrace

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.

The chef cooking eye fillet steak, Angus Beef sausages and duck, orange and pistachio sausages

The chef cooking eye fillet steak, Angus Beef sausages and duck, orange and pistachio sausages

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.

Roasted Kumera Salad on a bed of spinach, covered in pine nuts and crispy bacon

Roasted Kumera Salad on a bed of spinach, covered in pine nuts and crispy bacon

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.

Roasted beetroot salad on a bed of rocket with marinated feta

Roasted beetroot salad on a bed of rocket with marinated feta

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.


Archie doing his speech

And Archie loved his party and was very appreciative.

Coconut and Almond Cake with Raspberries and Sparklers!

Coconut and Almond Cake with Raspberries and Sparklers!

Happy 20th Archie!

The birthday present - a 'Street Cube'

The birthday present – a ‘Street Cube’

The view after sunset

The view after sunset

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  1. We had similar conversations this weekend at a family birthday party! Happy Birthday Archie!

  2. What lovely memories of Archie’s life, in brief, even with the colourful start on the linoleum floor of the delivery room. I can remember having those sorts of family celebrations, though our family consisted of only 4 people, and I don’t recall ever having such colourful dishes. They were always delicious though and I can just imagine how delicious those salads were … the sausages sound quite exotic. And the cake was a perfect end.

    I laughed to see Archie giving his b’day speech, beer bottle in hand if the fuzzy picture isn’t deceiving me. Did he need dutch courage? I would have thought Archie was glib enough to be able to speak for ages on various topics.

    Congratulations to the birthday (boy) young man. All the best is yet to come.

  3. There isn’t a finer young man to have a birthday than Archie. I consider myself really lucky to have met him as a teenager. 🙂

  4. Happy Birthday to Archie. How the time does fly! I’m not too far behind you with my Firstborn … my baby who was supposed to be my baby forever, too. Keep enjoying them!

  5. I know how you feel about your boy because I feel the same about my soon-to-be 18-year-old. Happy 20th, Archie!

  6. I have just decided that I will never get pregnant! O.O

    Happy birthday to your son Charlie. =) That’s a speaker, archies present right?
    Next to look forward will be your grandchildren. =P

  7. Oh the things we do for love. And just because doctors/midwives can be idiots sometimes. But I suppose it was all worth it!

    Happy birthday to Archie!

  8. Happy birthday, Archie! Times does fly and it gets faster as I get older. You certainly don’t seem old enough to have a twenty year old son, you must have been a child bride ;-)!

  9. Happy Birthday, Archie and congratulations, Charlie; (this is a nice piece.) I hate to say it, but you know how fast your youth went; you see how way-to-fast your kids grow, but when it comes to ‘The Next Generation” (grandkids), you can’t even leave the room and they seem to have grown! I wish all of you all the best, always.

  10. Happy Birthday Archie!! Those salads look divine! Looks like quite a party! 🙂

  11. I will need to look up Kumera, Charlie. I don’t know it. 🙂 But both salads look good. I really could entirely live on a diet of good salads. I know that Archie must have loved his birthday gift. Just think what he can do now with amplification on the street. Good for him.

    Our little boys will always be our little boys…now matter how old they get. We remember all the stages in between and that’s what makes them so special. Happy Birthday to a special young adult! D

  12. Happy Birthday to Archie… ahhh.. I guess that’s how my dad feels. I’ve been living abroad for 7 years and now that I’m back, he still thinks I’m a teenager 🙁 lol

  13. Happy birthday, Archie! How does this growing up thing happen? My youngest will be 21 in a couple of months.

  14. Amazing how fast the time flies and yet the memories are there “just like yesterday.” Mothers have the wonderful ability to remember simultaneously — birth, babyhood, school years, and now the young man standing before you, all at once. Lucky us! (Mine is 30.) Thanks for the glimpse of a terrific looking celebration and congrats to the birthday “boy!”

  15. My own son turned 23 on Saturday and we had a Mexican version of your celebration. And like you, I remember it all so clearly, including 3 Mexican doctors in the operating theatre (taken there by my midwife for a last-minute C-section ) singing “Besa Me Mucho,” and then there was this tiny speck of joy who is still my little boy…and always will be.

  16. Oh, waltzing down memory lane…I forgot to say congrats to Archie!

  17. Happy Birthday to Archie!

  18. Happy 20th Birthday Archie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  19. I’m sure you could love him more if he was “covered in pine nuts and crispy bacon”, which is making that salad sound quite lovely to me. 😉 Yes, celebrating our oldest kiddos makes for a ‘it was all worth it’ party, the pain seemingly distant enough, always our baby though. Happy Birthday, Archie!

  20. Happy Birthday, Archie!

  21. Happy birthday to Archie! What a lovely celebration. PS They gave me meds when my son was attempting to not be born. They didn’t work. Labor of love?

  22. Jappy birthday to you both one for giving one for getting the memories of giving. Seems like a minute ago doesn’t it. A lovely young adult it born well done

  23. Oops just in case you think I am all together mad that does read ….Happy Birthday

  24. Happy birthday to Archie and congrats to you! It does go by so fast doesn’t it. I mean Mr. N is only turning 9 this year, but I swear that he was a baby just yesterday. It looks like you all had a fabulous time. Love the birthing story…sounds similar to my delivery of Miss A. No drugs there either (and not by my choice). Phew. Primal sounds about right.

  25. Happy birthday Archie!!! My brother is turning 20 this year and mum has been commenting an awful lot on how grown up he is 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  26. Ah, the lino floor and the visuals! They do grow so quickly. I remember an old lady telling me that at a supermarket door while I was carrying a six-month-old child in to do the shopping. She said, “Enjoy this time with him, dearie. It will be over in a moment.” I didn’t believe her then but she was right.
    Happy birthday to Archie.

  27. Happy Birthday, Archie! You do your mommy proud! Enjoy life!

  28. Much to my daughters disgust, I keep explaining that despite her ‘actual’ age, whilst she lives at home she is one of the Children. I simply cannot acknowledge her as an adult while I am responsible for buying her toothpaste and toiletries 🙂 I do periodically suggest that if she is unhappy with the arrangement she is welcome to move out and be a Grown Up 🙂
    Happy birthday Archie! I hope you appreciate all your mother has gone through for you!

  29. Love that Beach Club. And wow to have a 20 year old seems so long away from how you put it I guess it’s not. Food looks just perfect for hungry boys and girls.

  30. Aww what a sweet post! Happy 20th birthday Archie!! xxx

  31. What a sweet post Charlie. Happy 20th Birthday Archie! x

  32. Happy Birthday Archie!!!!! My, how time does fly by so swiftly. My kids are grown and have their own homes but no grandkids.

  33. Congratulations Charlie, a job well done, and I agree, no one tells you the important stuff when it comes to child birth or even child rearing.
    Gorgeous salad though 😉

  34. I’ve always enjoyed reading family posts. My son’s 18 this year & will soon be a young adult like Archie!

    Came over from Kimby’s A Little Lunch blog. We’ve been stalking each other for quite sometime now. I’m following u on Pinterest! Looking fwd to sharing!

  35. Happy Birthday to Archie! My little brother turned 21 this year and it was such a shock! We had a big party for that. Watch out for the 21st!

  36. Happy Birthday , Archie! You made it! And congratulations to you, too, Charlie, and your DH! You made it, too! 😉

  37. Yes Charlie, I know how you feel, my son is 27 and he will always be my baby…
    Happy Birthday Archie!

  38. I do wish more people would be honest about childbirth. Your story (which sounds awful, and I think you should have been offered pain relief with plenty of time!) is what I am sure it must be like for many people, but then there is that euphoria stage and people seem to ‘forget’. I think letting people know what to expect would be wise!

    More generally, Happy Birthday to Archie and to you – I am sure he will always stay a child in some ways, especially when he wants a meal made or some washing done 😉

  39. Happy Birthday to Archie and to you too for your 20th year as a Mum. Where is that gorgeous beach club? It looks lovely, as does the grub. Ah, beetroot.

    I call my large 15 year old son a young man now, and it feels daft to shout: ‘Kids!’ and expect him to come. He’s the size and shape of a man, but just a young ‘un. Dear boy that he is.

    Birth, ah and ouch and thank god I did get an epidural for that first birth, ouch, ouch, my eyes are watering.

  40. A birthday greeting all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio … Happy Birthday Archie!

  41. My son is the same age so reading this was very touching to me. I agree they will always be our little boy and as much as I love the ‘man’ he is, I miss that little boy so much!! Happy birthday to you both!

  42. How beautifully you have woven 20 years in few short sentences.

    My little boy became a teen this year, and I can’t tell you how I want to hold the time that is slipping fast and hard through the fingers….he has dandruff, he is growing mustache,his feet are larger than his Dad’s and his palms are twice my size. He still ducks when I raise my hand though, although a smack on his back now means I have a sore hand for solid two days, lol!!

    Happy Birthday Archie!!

  43. Such great pictures!! And a Happy Bday too!

  44. My precious baby boy turns 20 this year, too – and I have no idea where that time went!

  45. Happy birthday to Archie! And happy labor-is-long-over to you. Heavens to betsy! Terrifying.

  46. Happy Birthday Archie. We all grow up eventually but we always still have a mum who loves us. Glad the party went well. You may have put my thoughts aside of wanting to have a baby any time soon.

  47. Happy Birthday Archie! Looks like a great party!

  48. Happy birthday to Archie and a job well done to you, Charlie. You have done a great job with your kids. Looks like it was a fabulous party with great food.

    Nazneen xx

  49. You must be so proud of him, and after a beginning like that it had to get better and better.

  50. Happy 20th Birthday Archie! My how time passes so quickly..

  51. It sounds like the birthday boy had a great day of celebration. May you share many more together as a wonderful family.

  52. Hi there and Happy Birthday Wishes to Archie! Just admiring those gorgeous salads which speak volumes about what season you are in. I am guessing kumera is some kind of squash or pumpkin? Vegetable anyway? xx Joanna

  53. Happy Birthday, Archie! Sounds like he had a terrific party. That was a great story about his birth – thanks for sharing with us.

  54. First of all, Happy Birthday Archie! Wow I think your story hit me. I’m going to hug my kids tight and spend extra time and will appreciate every moment. Your story that you felt time flies scares me because I already feel like my kids were baby not a long ago but already 6 and 4. What happened to my babies?! I still remember your horrific story about giving a birth. Reading and remembering it again made me smile. 🙂

  55. Happy birthday to your boy!

  56. Love this post! They do grow so fast, don’t they? Charlie, is that your home? Those are great photos. I can’t wait to do something like that with my boys.

  57. Time does fly way too fast for sure. I am still amazed to see my niece is already six, and so freaking tall:-) Happy birthday Archie!!! It looks like you all ate like king and queens, everything looked delicious!!! Hugs, Terra

  58. Happy Birthday to Archie! And may I just say, you don’t look like you could have a 20 year old! What a fabulous feast, but what is Kumera? I’m not familiar with that ingredient.

  59. Twenty years just slip right by! Looks like a great birthday party, and what fabulous food. I love the sparklers in the cake!

  60. First of all A Very Happy Birthday to Archie!!

    Time does fly and that too very fast… Reading this post took me back to the birth of my eldest son who is already 6+ now and I know within a blink of eye he will be a grown up boy too..
    Sometime I feel little scared of the time passing so fast, may be the mom inside me is not ready for letting them go n explore life without holding my hands but then isn’t that we all as mom wants to raise a strong and independent human beings… You have done a great job and I wish you and your little boy who is a handsome young adult now all the happiness and blessings…
    Last, I have been so MIA lately. But I am glad I am back reading your wonderful post and in Time toe wish Archie Happy Birthday.

  61. Two, no three helpings of that roasted kumera salad please Charlie.

    Hope you had a great weekend!

  62. Lovely memories, Happy Birthday Archie! Have a very good week!

  63. How time does go sailing along.. without a thought for us moms left wondering where our babies went! I’ve enjoyed every stage.. and I’m loving the young “adult” (using the term loosely) stage, but I miss my babies! Happy Birthday Archie!!

  64. Time does fly, doesn’t it? My oldest is 13.5 and I can’t believe it. I’m glad I have a five year old (almost 6) to keep me young!

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