Despite sporting the chunky thermal and embarrassing bobble hat thoughts in our house are already turning to summer holidays 2013. The reason? Teenwolf came sloping and mentioned casually as he scoffed a vast trough of cereal ‘Oh yeh by the way we’re going on a lads holiday’.
My eye balls bulged and voice squeaked, palpitations setting in ‘When?’
‘Where?’ I managed to blurt out in a strangled squeak
‘Great’ I said through clenched teeth whilst sporting clenched hair and a fast loosening bowel.
Fixed grin in place I clung to the kitchen unit until the long suffering husband came in
‘What’s wrong with you?’ he asked as he attempted to prize my finger nails from the granite work top where they were firmly embedded,
‘Lads holiday’ I whimpered.
The blood drained from his face.
A right of passage these days I know that and is easy to say in the cold light of day quite calmly until I remember this time it’s my son. The shape shifter.
Do you remember your first holiday without your parents? How could you forget? That feeling of freedom, independence that feeling the world is your oyster. At the tender age of 18 if my folks had realised they would have chained me to my bed and not let me leave Aberdeen but they drove us to the airport waved us off with our over large cases and whap there we were independent holiday girls on tour.
What unfolded over those 2 weeks was a series of wild nights, moped rides, we met an Argentinian drug dealer, saw a German being stabbed in the foot, got into cars to go to clubs with complete strangers and had no thought whatsoever for our personal safety and no thought about any consequences of our behaviour. Our promise to one another is we would stick together all day and all be home together at night which we stuck to rigidly but within that criteria when I think now about what could have happened it gives me the chills.
But boys are different aren’t they? My pal Gordon went on his lads holiday with two of his chums Fred and Jeff. Jeff got mugged, Gordon had his clothes stolen and Fred broke his leg. There were three of them Teenwolf is going with the entire rugby team – and a few others.
So 18 giant, rumbustious, rugby players heading to Greece in August – when it can hit 40 degrees in the shade doesn’t exactly fill me with joy.
This is the boy that just a few years ago declared loud and proud that he would be a teetotaller. As a mum I was over the moon. Great I thought we will for have a designated driver in the house. Sadly it didn’t last.
Don’t get my wrong he’s no Oliver Reed but it’s the whole group mentality that does give me the heebie jeebies. I will worry for the whole lot of them.
When we travelled it was a long time ago and the world was a less scary place. It was. Since then the drinking culture that plagues the young Brits is seldom out of the press. It was recently underlined that this is not just when the go on a sunny holiday as Theme park managers down south announced things were so bad they would be breath testing students, after too many have vomited on rollercoasters while drunk or hungover during the first week of university. And that’s a day out – what about 7 days out in the sunshine with ‘the lads’. The consequences are reported in the paper every summer of balcony plunges, sunstroke, alcohol poisoning, unprotected sex. Yes I am talking about the worst excesses thanks to Emergency Ward Magaluf or whatever the latest reality show to be broadcast to scare the living daylights out of parents is. I know I have to rise above it and believe I have done my job as a parent as well as I can for precisely this reason. To let him go with my blessing. So using this logic I should be able to drive him to the airport and wave him off with a genuine smile before heading home and getting on with my life. In theory. So I have 6 months to practice that part meanwhile I am googling transcendental meditation, yoga and valium.