And then you were 13

Carolyn Voisey by Carolyn Voisey Additional Needs

Carolyn Voisey

Carolyn Voisey

Mum to one incredible little dude, I work full time in higher education and have my own small business as a jewellery designer/creator. I love noth...

And then you were 13

I thought writing a blog post to celebrate my boy reaching his teenage years would be a simple task. I’m on the fifth (sixth?) attempt at this point and struggle to get past the first few lines. I don’t want to write the same thing as I’ve done over years past, it gets boring for a start, but this birthday has been a particularly difficult one for me as his Mum to navigate emotionally… and I really want to somehow put that down on paper.

Thirteen is a milestone, lets be honest. As far as he’s concerned he is no longer a little boy, he’s growing up (far too quickly to my mind) into a young man. He’s as tall as me now, he wants to try new things and be allowed greater independence. On occasion he is still very much my little boy, wanting nothing more than a cuddle to be close to Mum, but as he physically changes into an adult he is also mentally changing too.

I’ve really struggled in the run up to this birthday.

I don’t know whether it’s the knowledge that he wasn’t really expected by the medical profession to reach this age, or that so many of his friends didn’t get the chance to that has been playing on my mind. I don’t know how to talk to him about his emotions; he’s going to start having some big feelings and like all teens he will need to learn how to deal with those, however being preverbal adds additional complexity.

I always find the week leading up to his birthday to be a bit tricky. His arrival didn’t quite go as planned and although wasn’t as traumatic as many, our stay on the post-natal ward left me with a diagnosis of PTSD. I still struggle against the need to wrap him in cotton wool and protect him from the world; even though he reminds me (daily) that he is more than capable of doing just fine thank you very much!

If I’m honest, I miss him being a baby. I miss the ease with which I could lift and carry him. I am beyond proud of the handsome, gentle young man he is growing up to be. His intelligence is undeniable, as is his stubbornness (can’t guess where he inherited THAT trait from. Ahem). And it is the greatest privilege imaginable to get to see my boy grow up, something we feared we might never do.

So, welcome to your teenage years my wonderful, tenacious boy. As your parents prepare for the attitude to really kick in, I pray we remember at all times that it is that attitude and tenacity that will take you wherever you wish to go x


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