For every birthday my mother takes her grandchild shopping.
Usually she can’t wait to tell me what they’ve chosen. This year I got a phone call.
Mother: “Um, well we had an interesting shopping trip.”
Me: “So, what did he get?”
Mother: “Um… <long pause> it might not be quite what you were expecting.”
My heart fell.
Was my son going to go swag on me?
Was I going to face the public while my son tripped over his trousers while his bottom flashed at passersby?
Oh, the horror.
Mother: “A bow tie.”
Me: “Well, bow ties are cool.”
Mother: “I think he has been watching too much Doctor Who.”
To which I say there is no such thing.
It looks pretty cool.
Eleven years ago my neighbours in our flat conversion in Blackheath, south of the Thames, were complaining of my using power tools at an ungodly hour of the morning.
Apparently I sounded like a constipated cow, which was exactly how I felt.
Now that tiny little baby boy is a tween.
In South Africa I am often complimented on my “Firstborn”.
He really has grown up into an amazing little man.
I am very proud and humbled to be his mother.
Each day he teaches me something new or asks a question that makes me think.
James Leo Alexander, you are the best James in the whole world.
Thank you for choosing me to be your Mum.
I promise I’ll do my very best not to embarrass you.