June 14th. This is the day my son was born. Time has passed in the blink of an eye. I cannot believe he is a grown man with a wife. There is an old saying, ‘your daughter’s your daughter all of your life. Your son is your son, till he gets himself a wife.’ Like all sayings there is a truth in this but not in our case. My son is my son, and he always will be. We have a deep but different bond to the equally deep bond I share with my daughter.
What type of a man has he grown into? A simple question, he is a man I am proud to call my friend as well as my son. He is the man, we all hope our boys will grow into. A man whose appearance intimidates many. Big, broad, solid and bald. He rides a motorbike and wears a red bandanna. He holds down a responsible job. Don’t be fooled by appearances. He has his faults and is far from perfect, but he is kind, loving and generous of spirit. He has a fearsome temper, one he has learned to control. He is a man of principle, too many at times for his own good. He is married to a beautiful woman and they are true soul mates. They desperately want a family but that does not seem to be in their future. They have suffered losses and the deepest and darkest days of despair when they lost their baby James, an angel born too early to stay long in this world.
As a child, he was a handful and I remember thinking if he had been my first baby there would never have been another. Allergic to everything, well almost. Life was a trial, hyperactive and always in trouble, but with a smile that would melt your heart. He has an interesting love, hate relationship with his sister. I think it stems from her putting him in a rubbish bin in the bitter cold of a Canberra winter when he was six weeks old. A word of warning, do not say anything bad as they have always had one another’s back when it counted. Maybe that comes from being RAAF brats and moving so often they were reliant on one another for friendship as well as companionship. Perhaps it is, just who they are.
This is the boy who conned his Amah into arranging a snake charmer to entertain his friends at his 7th. Birthday party. The boy who drowned in the Penang Chinese Swimming Pool and when revived and safe in hospital rang the Butterworth RAAF Base Commander to tell him how nice the nurses were to him at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital. The boy who wanted to be Steve Austin, the six million dollar man, who took a dive off the neighbouring chook pen, the boy who rode his red trike down the front steps of our house in Canberra and broke the trike and scraped his hands and face and knees. The boy who fell out of the station wagon and had stitches in his head and who one day swallowed my wedding ring. The one who would sneak out of the house as a teenager and roam the streets at night, because he was confused when his Dad and I divorced. I think he somehow felt responsible. He thought I never knew. He is also the teenager who gave all the money he had saved for presents to a homeless busker one Christmas because he thought he needed it.
He is the man who stood beside me when his sister was ill, who grew up overnight when his stepfather had a double bypass, who was always there for me when I was worried about anything. He worries about his sister, about his brother, and about his beautiful wife. He was there for me when my grandparents died, when my mother was ill and throughout my father’s devastating illness and death. His grandmother’s death hit him hard he was the one person she would listen to when no one else could reach her.
He loves me unconditionally and he loves his stepfather who he calls his Dad. He cares for his stepbrother and sister although he doesn’t see them now. He cares for his father and his parent’s in-law. I know if ever I need him all I have to do is say the word and he is there. He is a man whose heart is full of love and compassion.
I am privileged to love and call him, my son and my friend.
I posted my thoughts about my daughter some time ago – I thought it fair to even up the balance. 🙂