Who will you be?

One of my favourite things to do is imagine who my boys will grow up to be. Will they be bogans? Or hippies? Will they stay up late reading by torchlight like I did? Or will they ignore all books like their father? Will they be outdoorsy like him? Or will they curl their lip at the thought of a hike? (I just don’t understand hiking ok I mean it’s just difficult walking right? I don’t even want to walk let alone difficult walk.)

Will they perform? That seems inevitable for Eddie. Every morning you’d think he was preparing for the Oscars not kindy. Will either of them be introverted like their dad? Or will they both be that person who never shuts up like their mum (I think it’s heading this way since it’s 7am and I’ve heard 15,000 why questions already including why does my blug stay in my body and how do I get it out? Maybe he will be a goth?)

When Eddie was very small, and asleep in the buggy (those were the days), I caught sight of a group of skaters at a skate park. The young boys were so tall and gangly and uncoordinated yet so sure of themselves when they were on their boards. They were cocky and confident, totally at ease with each other but there was clearly some rigid social structure underpinning their hang. I thought about whether Eddie would be like them. Would he be popular? Shy? I saw a boy fall over and one of his friends cackled loudly and yelled to get the attention of others, another helped him up and gave him a rough pat on the back. Would he laugh or help? Or do both? I saw another absolutely fixated on tightening the wheels on his board. Another huffed angrily on a durry. I hope he doesn’t smoke – I hope he doesn’t see that almost every single photo of his father and I taken at night from the age of 17 to ummm 26 includes a cigarette).  One boy had the loudest laugh I’ve ever heard, it sounded like a tin drum and I found myself smiling while I watched him. Eddie’s laugh is so forceful, even at only a few months old – would he be the child that made everyone laugh? Or would he laugh at others? I hoped not. I thought about the type of parent I needed to be for him to help him freely become whatever he’s meant to be. What qualities should he have? I wanted him to be kind. And maybe patient, since I’m not very and his father is very. But also not as shut down as his dad and so many other men can be. I want him to talk about his feelings. Feel he can be open, and maybe he can teach others to be open too. Maybe he’ll be a teacher. I hope he becomes something noble, but then whatever he does I’ll be proud of him and—-Just then I realised the skateboard kids were staring at me. They’d formed a pack. They looked so wild and free! Oh I’d like to be like that – I gazed longingly at them. Maybe I could ask them about their mothers? One of the boys yelled at me, breaking my daydream:

“Take a picture you creepy old lady!”


The moral of the story is probably don’t spend 40 minutes watching teenage boys play in a park.



3 Comments on “Who will you be?

  1. Ha! I was at the beach once and wistfully watching the family near us. They were a large, diverse whānau and I thought they were pretty awesome. I was young with no kids and missing my whānau. Anyway one of the children said, “mum that lady is staring at us” and the adult replied, “shhh”. I realised that I HAD been starring, probably for 40 minutes and that all the adults in the group were aware of it but so awesome they decided to put up with the weirdo.

  2. Awesome, I used to love this little pastime also, when my kids were little.
    One of them (now 30) clearly wanted to be involved in everything with a passion.
    She was always wanting to make others lives better. She loved dancing, was an avid book reader of everything! Drama.
    we thought she may be an actress or a politician (but think she’d find that too boring). Definitely a person who was not afraid to fight for any cause she thought worthwhile! From a young age she always barracked for the ‘underdog’. She loved animals with a passion and was the a magnet for unwanted, unloved cats she found anywhere. From six months her smile could brighten a room and ones mood. Knew one day she’d be famous and guess what? She is 🙂 xxx