He looked like my baby boy when I tucked him into bed last night.
As he lay sleeping, I could see the toddler, the preschooler,
The little cheeky man off to primary school.
When I woke him, far too early,
He was his usual bewildered self,
But with a hint of the break in his voice
and a faint whiff of teenager.
And when he came downstairs,
My baby was gone.
A boy no more.
Instead a handsome young man, taller than me.
Smartly dressed in oversized blazer, tie and trousers,
With a bag full of the latest kit, a bus pass and a mobile phone.
I drove him and his new friends off to secondary school for the first time
Each of them posturing, appearing confident
With their terror and trepidation clearly visible
If you know what to look for.
– a bit too loud, a bit too jolly, a bit too much teen slang.
I dropped them at the gates
And left them there
Didn’t even kiss him goodbye (at that point)
Not in front of his new friends.
And now he is gone
And the house is empty.
He’ll be coming home on his own now
A bit later than before, a bit louder, a bit more exhausted.
And maybe I’ll see a bit of my baby boy again
It’s going to take a bit of getting used to