So Kid A has started high school. It’s been two weeks and still something tightens in my stomach when I think about him optimistically gambolling towards the school gates each morning, arms swinging inside his too-long blazer sleeves, a healthy glint of trepidation in his eyes and Marmite around his mouth.
On the first day, he came home asking what a ‘bender’ was. The second week he got to watch his first real-life fight between two other first year boys, not live of course, some foul little voyeur had captured it blow for blow on his mobile phone for the likes of… well… my son, to marvel at.
Bleurgh. He only just turned eleven years old last month. He gave me a kiss this morning in the car before dashing out to meet his pals. He’d forgotten. He’d forgotten that for the last two weeks, he hasn’t been so much of the chirpy wide-eyed little lad we’ve always known, but some sort of Oliver/Kevin hybrid. One minute he’s snuggled on the sofa, rupturing into one of the big numbers off the new Annie (you should check that, Jamie Foxx is H.O.T.) and the next he’s listing all the ways he’s going to annihilate his younger brother if he so much as breathes wrong.
Little boy? Teenager? Where the hell is he now?! He’s not sure either, he thinks it should be somewhere nearer the Kevin end of the spectrum but this morning in his rush he forgot, and an old habit bubbled to the surface.
‘Bye, Mum!’ he chirped, offering up those lovely pudgy cheeks. I seized my chance and laid a big smackeroony on him, and then promptly checked no-one in a school blazer might be watching, camera-phone poised.
As it is, he’s just come home feeling crook. He has blood on his shirt from a sneezing fit (No, Anouska, he didn’t get flattened by anyone, it’s not going viral on YouTube… don’t be so dramatic…) and is currently asking for a bowl of soup. So I’m off. To dispense said soup. And kisses, if he’ll let me.
Right after I’ve checked YouTube…