It's been a big week for the boys.
School's back and that means the return of routine, early morning, get-ready fights, book covering and reunited friends.
Nathan is doing cricket, tennis and swimming this term. He also starts pre-season soccer training. He just got back from a weekend away, boogie boarding with his best mate at Middleton. I ribbed him when he got home, his hair stiff with salt and sand still in his eyebrows "So, did you get sick of Charlie while you were there?". He looked at me, simultaneously perplexed and disgusted...
"Mum. He's my best friend. You don't get sick of your best friend". Boom.
Nathan's not much of a socialiser, unless it involves sport. So this year, again, he has opted to forego a birthday party for a trip to Melbourne to watch his beloved Blues instead. He's heavily campaigning that Charlie goes too. We've got a couple of months to work all that out but Nathan's a planner. He's really keen to start making some connections at the club because he intends to be drafted before he turns 18. Which, of course, means we will need to move to Melbourne. He understands that it could be difficult for Stefan to leave school though, so he's already in discussion with his Aunty Pauline to move in with her until we're ready to follow him over there. Righto.
Then, over dinner this week, he announced that it was probably time for him to start working in the family business. Which, of course, is our hope too but we were expecting him to finish school first. He made a reasonable case that he could work part-time and even from home if the business would supply him with a lap-top and a phone. He could help pack wine but he doesn't have a forklift licence, so he probably couldn't do that yet. Mark said he's discuss with the board and get back to him.
Meanwhile Stefan is, as always, travelling to the beat of his own drum. As he sat at the breakfast bar watching me cook dinner this week he asked when I would allow him to get a tattoo. He thought he might like one on his arm to begin with and thinks a dragon might be appropriate. I've always known his penchant for pictures on his skin as he's been doing his own texta tattoos since he was a baby. I was taken aback though, that he is keen on piercings too. He calls them screws. Screws in the skin. Sigh.
I told him that we would talk about it later which he seemed to accept. His next request was for a blue mohawk. Are you picturing what I am? My beautiful boy with the sides of his head shaved, a bright blue spikey strip down the middle, a dragon sleeve on his arm and screws coming out of his face.
I wonder if he will still sneak into my bedroom in the morning, hold my face in his hands and kiss me, whispering 'I love you mum' while he thinks I'm sleeping.
He has no plan to play footy or live in Melbourne with his brother. He talks about having lunch with me at the Eiffel Tower and he fiercely disagrees with Nathan that Psy is the best singer in the world. "Adele has the best voice. Ever. Even better than Michael Jackson. Because he's dead." He told me, on the way home from a trip to the beach where Mark and the boys did some body surfing in the shallows, that he was going to teach his kids to do that too. "When I'm a Tato [dad], I'll stay with them in the water until they know how to do it. They'll love that Mum. They're gonna love me"
Time has a way of creeping up on you. It can steal your plans and hijack your dreams and slap you in the face with stinging reality.
I'm excited that my boys can see their futures. I'm proud that they're navigating their way through life and setting goals for authentic journeys. It warms my heart that they value good friendships and understand the important things that parents do and see no shame in loving.
I just wish that time would slow down a little.
Am I happy that my sons share their dreams and have these conversations with me? Absolutely.
I just didn't expect them to be 7 and 5 when they did.