Carefree to care-managed: the art of growing up
I wrote this three years ago, yet think it is as appropriate now as then. The challenges facing my son as an 18 year old are different, but no less real. He continues to rise to them and to be a human being worth knowing.
Carefree: without worries or responsibilities.
We often think of childhood days as carefree; and it is true that watching young children at play evokes a sense of their freedom from concern or constraint.
When the boy-child was younger, fantasy games formed a huge part of his everyday play. Like many children, he loved to create forts out of chairs and blankets, turn cardboard boxes into spaceships, dress up and invent imaginary friends. In his case they were imaginary older siblings, which, for a mother struggling with infertility, was pretty tough to deal with at times.
Incredibly inventive, he was constantly making things. Lego and building blocks were indispensable in building props for his, often quite complex, games. Cardboard sheets were sellotaped and stapled into cars, aeroplanes and once, a huge aircraft carrier (and I mean huge).
Items he wanted but didn’t have were improvised. As a two year old, he…
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