I’ll Grow Up to be a Real Boy

Yesterday this baby


became a teenager. It was my son’s thirteenth birthday.

This boy has been a joy. He has taught me so much about life. It should have been the other way around, but I am certain that his place on this Earth has been to make me grow.

He has been a terrible sleeper from the day he was born – he simply doesn’t need sleep. He is rarely tired and I have only seen him yawn half a dozen times in his whole life. I had always been a worrier when I was supposed to be sleeping. I would turn over insignificant incidents in my mind, rather than fall asleep. Since this boy was born I have learnt how to fall asleep without doing that. 

He has been able to hold a conversation since about fourteen months of age. I think that he had a lot of extra language input because he did not sleep, his vocabulary is vast. Even though he didn’t sleep he spent many hours laying in the bed with me, just us chatting (my part was usually ‘go to sleep now’). He talks to people openly and honestly. He doesn’t have facades, he is who he is. He makes people feel accepted and comfortable as soon as he meets them. He has a wicked sense of humour and laughs freely and easily – including laughing at himself. He shows his emotions freely.

He has taught me about patience and integrity. He will voluntarily spend many hours with his young cousins without once showing frustration. I have never seen him be aggressive to another person. When he was about five I watched another child be mean to him. I called him to me to tell him to stay away from that mean boy. He said to me, “He may have had a difficult life, Mum. He may not know how to be kind. I’ll be OK.” His science teacher recently told me that there is one boy who is bullied in the class. My son stands between this boy and the bullies and says, “That’s enough, leave him alone now.” I’d like to think that I could be that person who stands up, but I don’t know if I could follow through when the situation arose.

I don’t worry about this little guy too much. Whatever happens I am certain that he will find his place in the world as he becomes an adult. He is bright, articulate and funny. He has respect and integrity. He has an old soul. He’s sure to find happiness.

Happy birthday, dude.


A song I loved, released the year that my son was born. Top ten material.

PS This will be my last post for a while. Tomorrow I am going on a bus trip along the Queensland coast with 130 teenagers. I stupidly bravely volunteered to be the helper parent on my daughter’s music tour. (NOT band camp, never call it band camp!). I have already packed the panadol. Wish me luck – may the force be with me.


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17 responses to “I’ll Grow Up to be a Real Boy

  1. twolimeleaves

    I haven’t known this boy of yours all that long, but can I say that you are absolutely on the money with this birthday post. He is all that you say. Well done, Mummy (and Daddy. and Pip)!

    Will be thinking of you while you’re at band camp. (sad puppy)

  2. Happy birthday to your lovely boy, and happy trip to you!

  3. He sounds like one mighty fine dude. How cool is he in standing up for others? I’m sure you’re proud of how he has turned out and it sounds like you have every reason to be.

    Have fun on “music tour” (aka band camp!)

  4. Bec

    What a brilliant post about your boy!

    Two of my three kids are non-sleepers, although it has improved a bit as they’ve grown. The third inherited her father’s sleep gene and she and he can sleep anywhere, anytime, most recently curled up together on the lounge in front of an afternoon of tv. Unfortunately she was born as the twin of one of my non-sleepers so I’ve never really reaped the gains!

    How brave you are to volunteer for band camp… That would be ‘brave’ in the sense that Sir Humphrey used it in Yes Minister, of course!

  5. What a magnificent dedication to your young man. And many happy returns to him. And the mid 90’s was a great time for music – I loved Pearl Jam and Bush and Live etc etc

  6. *sigh* My boy turns 1 next week and I am sad to think that in a blink of an eye he will be 13. I do look forward to meeting the person he becomes, though, and I hope he is as cool as your boy!

  7. A Happy Birthday to the new Teenager!
    Lovely tribute, & from all you write about him, he is a wonderful person, with wonderful gifts for this life.
    Enjoy your musical experience!

  8. Happy birthday you gorgeous thing!

    Tracey, what a lovely post for your son! Have a great trip with the other light of your life!

  9. What lovely sentiments to share about your son! He obviously makes you so proud!

    Enjoy being a chaperone! You’ll have lots of memories of this trip LOL!

  10. h&b

    Oh my Goodness, he is an old soul, and doesn’t he look exactly the same as he did when he was a bub 🙂

    Sounds destined for great things.

    I’d say he’d do you proud, but he already has 😉


  11. Happy belated birthday 🙂

  12. di

    Happy birthday to your gorgeous boy. I think he’s lucky to have a Mum like you who can appreciate or be willing to learn from children. Have a great trip.

  13. I love that photo of your gorgeous son, with the dummy squashed behind the ear. I have so many of those photos.

    You must be honoured to be his mummy.


  14. you cannot deny it- it so is band camp- hence need to pack panadol.

    he is one of lifes simply beautiful people that already inspires respect at such a young age.

  15. Look at the innocence just oozing from that photo! Amazing how THAT changes from oozing to mere glimpses as they age, isn’t it? A beautiful kid though. Inside and out, from all descriptions!

  16. Don’t you love the way they fling up their little arms like that when they’re sleeping.

    You have raised a beautiful boy. And I’m sure that all the things you love and admire in him are reflections of you and your Pete.

    A happy (if belated!) birthday…

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