Saturday, 2 May 2015

Closing the door on childhood

The Pinch Point has passed (hooray!). Thanks so much for all your lovely messages. The headache has gone. Work seems to be improving. The man is still not my man - but I hope we will be friends.

Life is back on a straight, manageable, line again.

But something happened this week that, because of the fug, almost slipped by unnoticed. And it was this:

Tween started to shut his bedroom door at night time.

This may seem like the tiniest of actions, a nothing. And it is unremarkable, on its own. But add in to the mix that, since birth, he has been afraid of the dark and has always had some light in his room at night. The landing light has always been left on, the bedroom door slightly ajar.

His older brother, Teen, started to close his door a year or so ago. I remember the first time I saw it, firmly closed, when I came up the stairs one night. It seems ridiculous, but I was shocked and unnerved by it. Suddenly, he had literally closed the door on his childhood; gone were the late night checks and light kisses on the cheek. Just a white, slightly grubby door, metaphorically saying "FUCK OFF".

I don't need you any more.

But it was ok, because Tween's door was still open. I was still able to pop in on him, look at his sleeping face and the funny way his mouth makes an 'O'; put the duvet back on if he'd kicked it off; shush the cat out if she was dozing on his head.

And then, this week, it came. About a year earlier than Teen, perhaps encouraged by Teen's door-shutting firmness. The grubby barrier. The two fingers.
I saw it when I went to bed. On the one hand, a tiny thing, a closed door - just two inches of change.  On the other, something had shifted on a much grander scale. I raised my hand to knock, hesitated, lowered it again.

Before I got into bed, I gave myself a good talking to. They need their space. They're growing up. They are becoming adults. It's exactly what I did. Get over it.

But what the bloody hell are they doing in there? Wanking, probably. Browsing porn on their phones. Inappropriately texting. Watching violent films. Playing '18' rated video games. Oh God oh God oh God...

The truth is, they might be doing some of that. They probably are. But Christ - when I was 12, I was writing all sorts of crap in my diary about boys. And aged 14, I was snogging and fumbling with Paul thingy at the bottom of the garden. It was normal. I didn't have sex until I was 16 and by then I was fully aware of the risk of pregnancy. Although I was generally a twat as a teenager, I had a fairly sensible head on.

And I think my boys have sensible heads, too.

The door is shut.

I'll leave them to open it.


  1. Good for you Lottie. Hard to let them go...but how else are they going to learn to Fly??

  2. So funny, but touching too. I remember shutting my own bedroom door too and a teen. Writing angsty poetry. Talking to boys on MSN. Now I'm a mama myself! Where does the time go?!

    You sound like a very cool mum, I'm sure the door will always be open to you :) x

    1. Aw, that's soooo kind Laura! Thank so much. And you're right - time seems elastic; lots of stretch when we're little, now - not so much. xx

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  4. I will endeavour to be like you when my boys are big (sob). Fab blog!! 'Wanking, probably' Hahahaaa. X


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