My first born is almost fifteen.
I’m okay with that, for I am still youngish to have a 15 year old, having got knocked up at the age of 22.
He’s a fantastic kid, but my God, he’s not having as much fun as I did at his age.
I was a rebellious little shit and it was brilliant. I put myself in massive danger far too many times, but I had such a fantastic time doing it.
By the time I was 16, I was living in London on my own, working in a recording studio and drinking with all the Britpop celebs of the day in Camden every evening (I moved out the day of my final GCSE and started work the next day).
The job, the flat, the swanky mates only happened because for the two years prior to my 16th birthday, I was an underage drinker and proud of it. The Good Mixer in Camden was my second home.
Back in the dark ages (circa 1995) no one cared if you were underage. Beer and fags were in abundance and I ran around London like I owned it. And I loved every second.
I went to all the music festivals from the age of 15, sometimes tagging along with Menswear or Heavy Stereo and sometimes just turning up with no ticket, no tent and just winging it.
How did I get away with it? Where were my parents?
My mum died when I was 12 and my dad was from a generation where you left school at 14, got a job and got the fuck on with life. I was getting on with life and I knew what I wanted to do, so he wished me well and sent me on my way.
My son isn’t so lucky. He has me. And a father and a stepfather, but mostly me. That care free 15 year old turned into the world’s clingiest, most paranoid, stalker of a Mother that you could ever imagine.
I am a fucking nightmare. When he started secondary school at almost 12, I followed him there at a distance for the first 8 weeks to make sure he didn’t get run over or abducted by aliens. When I was told that I was fucking mental by everyone I know, I bought him an iPhone and installed Find My Friends, so now I can stalk him from the comfort of my sofa. And I do, constantly.
He doesn’t go anywhere after school. My house has an open door policy to all his friends, so he’s never lonely, but I would rather they were all here than walking around the streets. (Which, is something they would never do as they are all permanently attached to the xbox by their Dr Dre’s).
I am a paranoid mother because I know. I bloody know.
I know what teenagers get up to. I did it all, believe me. It has left me totally un-shockable, but totally in fear that my children will do it too.
Pretty much everything illegal you can think of? Check
I don’t want my children doing those things. Partly because the world isn’t as safe as it was 20 years ago. It’s just not.
But part of me knows my son is missing out a little. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t have done all those things. The experiences I had and the people I met shaped my life, which on the whole, has been pretty fucking great. Even the rough parts, I’ve sort of enjoyed, because it’s my life.
Luckily, my son has his head screwed on. He has a career path in the Armed Forces planned out and is already on track with it (he want’s be be an RAF pilot).
My only plan was to make a shitload of money somehow, so I am glad he’s got a proper plan in place.
I used to watch Absolutely Fabulous and laugh. Now it’s pretty much my life.
I am glad I have a sensible kid though, even though I am a dragon as a Mother.