In praise of Jack

Over the last year or so I am aware that I spend a lot more time talking about Sam than Jack.  Mainly because this is a record of our home educating journey and for Jack that journey has come to an end, but also as they get older I am more trying to be more mindful of their privacy.

But feel the urge to be embarrassing mum.  My oldest boy turned 12 today, next year a teenager.  He is growing up so quickly and already there seems little ‘child’ left and get a real sense of the man he may become.  His English teacher is already talking about the possibility of him making a living from writing :).

I haven’t always done the best I could as a mother and have definitely made mistakes but more by luck than judgement he’s turning out rather well and he’s given me several reasons this holiday to realise how pleased and proud of him I am.

Of course there is a sense of pride in what he achieves.  Recent parent’s evening all we heard was praise but don’t think we were the easiest of parents.  Not interested in arbitrary levels or how he compares to others.  But I hope and believe we have a bright, intelligent boy who is willing to have a go and try hard at things which aren’t his natural skills (and can cope with a bit of ribbing about them not being his skills 😉 ).

Last week was Gang Show and 6 three hour shows over 4 days.  He performed well, stood up on stage in front of 100’s of people day after day with a self confidence way beyond mine.  But it was way more than that.  It was putting life on hold for 7 days of hard work and very late nights.  Months of rehearsals, losing an evening and a day every week, even showing up the weeks he had completely lost his voice, with lots of being moaned at and having things chopped and changed.  Mid week he was given an award for, in his words, “something along the lines of ‘not being anything special but being the backbone of GangShow’ “.  Gave us a bit of a laugh but did please me to see his effort, attitude,  and  general good naturedness acknowledged.

He’s got more life skills and self confidence than many way beyond him in years.  I won’t say I don’t worry about him (he’s my son it’s my job) but he’s doing me proud.  I can ask him to rustle up a meal if I’m busy, leave him home and not worry, let him go out with a be home at such and such, only thing stopping him heading into town on the bus is waiting for friends to do it with.  He’s proved himself able to deal with problems with common sense.

As well as all that he is also developing an awareness of others that I take for granted.  Out in town on Monday I was complemented on the boys manners and told I was bringing them up well on 3 separate occasions, I laughed it off but actually I have a nearly teenager who offers his seat on the bus (believe me this is quite a rare being), who automatically picks up the shopping in the supermarket to help, who is concerned over family budgets, who instinctively say please and thank you (to me as well as strangers), none of them massive things and all things I take for granted but obviously there are enough about who don’t to make people comment that mine do.

He seems to make friends easily but also enemies as he seems to have inherited the family trait of not suffering fools gladly which is not so good. But I think he’s proved a generous, loyal friend to those that matter to him on a few occasions this year and I think those that matter to him are the sort that are worth it 🙂  He really does have a nice bunch of friends.

I am happy and proud that my son is turning out to be smart, reliable, a doer (school council, Scout competitions – happy to sign himself up for anything) and may I add an incredibly sharp wit who is very good company.  He is also developing a mature sense of himself and an ability to see the funny side and laugh off or along with teasing.  I have to say not only do I love my son but I genuinely like him too.

There you go gushing over, I’ll have to keep close eye open for the next pot hole on the parenting road, must be due a trip down one very soon after that smugfest.

I will also add in balance that he is a slob and the state of his room drives me to distraction!!!

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