This week, my eldest bambino turned 18 and I’m still a bit confused by it all, as if I have a child who is an actual adult?!
I had Charlie when I was 19, it was a pregnancy that many family and friends thought a mistake. I’d been with Timm for two years and if I’m completely honest, we were kind of stupid. We worked to go out, went partying a lot, spent our money on stupid things and were silly people in love.
But as soon as I found out I was pregnant, we both got our shit in order, we rented a tiny flat together and made a commitment to do this right, to support eachother and to be the best parents we could possibly be.
It brought out a different side in both of us, in me a deeply maternal animalistic desire to grow this little human and protect him with my life, a nesting instinct to make a home for the three of us. In Timm it was a desire to nurture and protect me, to commit to his career and to ensure we would be ok.
During 20 hours of labour, a labour where the judgement of others hung heavily over us, the midwives seeing this teenager in her boyfriends clothes as we couldn’t afford maternity wear (and also because maternity clothes in 2000 was flipping ugly!!!) and her boyfriend who had skater jeans and no clue. The comments that I should just have an epidural because I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain. It was a scary and overwhelming time where we both felt like control had been taken from us.
And then he was here. We made a human. And he was amazing. The moment I looked at him, I realised that I was made for this moment, that being a mum was the most important thing I would ever be entrusted with. I fell in love.
We went home from the hospital and both just sat looking at him in his basket asleep, we looked at eachother and asked ‘what now?’ We couldn’t believe we had complete responsibility for a baby. We knew we weren’t a typical family but we also knew we loved him more than life itself and so thought ‘fuck it! We’ll do this our way!’ My sister in law told me that we needed to feed him, clean him, keep him warm and just love him more than anything. And so that was our mantra and it didn’t do us bad!
Raising my boy over the past 18 years has been a rollercoaster, I always knew he wouldn’t be a person to fit in a box and go with the crowds. My boy is a rule breaker, a pioneer, a wonderfully weird person who will make his own road through life.
We are so alike in lots of ways, stubborn and headstrong and so sometimes we butt heads, neither of us backing down. But we can be screaming at eachother one minute and cuddling the next. I love him in a way that comes from somewhere deep inside, it’s primal and pure. And though of course I adore all three of my kids in the same way, there is a special bond between Charlie and I.
He was my first, we learnt how to do things between us, he made me a momma! For the first 2 years of his life, he was known as my shadow, we were always together and we’re eachothers comfort blanket. Timm was touring with work and would be away for weeks on end and so me and Charlie were a team.
In the past few years his kindness and patience has floored me, my illness has been hard on us as a family yet Charlie has always been there, laying in bed chatting with me when I can’t get up, visiting me in hospital and making me laugh, loving me and putting my needs ahead of his own, which is no mean feat for a teenage boy!
And now here we are, my baby boy is all grown up. 18 years old, ready to take on the world, make his own decisions and move into the next section of his life.
But however old he is, wherever he is in the world, he will always be my bambino and I will always love him, tell him I love him, be there for him and always, always be his momma.