Helligan 2002Me and my boys at Helligan circa 2002.

Today I’m the parent of two teenage sons. Tomorrow the eldest will be 20. I will have a 20 year old and in 9 days an 18 year old. When did that happen?

Happy birthday boys!

When you decide to have kids, let’s face it, you have no real idea what you are about to take on. Helping them to walk and talk, sleepless nights, grazed knees and illnesses, birthday party manicness, the financial implications of increasing the world’s population, sharing their disappointments and achievements and many other things including the good times, days out and holidays. You take on a responsibility for their upbringing and safeguarding until they become an adult.

So when is that time exactly; becoming an adult – 14, 16, 18, 21? Perhaps all of these and, in some ways, none. Arbitrary ages don’t make them more mature, but the entitlements they get at these ages bring extra responsibilities for them and for us parents too.

St Anton 2012

Us in Austria in 2012.

And whilst it can be tough on them growing up and moving on and taking the first steps in their semi-independent lives, (we’ve all done it) it hurts for you a bit too and every time they come home and go again.

When my two were aged 8 and 6 we had a family holiday in Charmouth, Dorset. Most nights we would walk from our caravan down to the beach. The boys would run off and play in the sand and we would sit on the grass and watch them as the sun went down over the sea. On one of those evenings I realised something quite alarming; that we might only have as many summer holidays with the boys as we’d already had. At the time it worried me but looking back it was a good thing.

We’ve been lucky, we’ve always got on alright and I know we always will. I’m well proud of them and who they are and of Mrs J who also takes ace photos. I wonder what the picture will be like in 2022?


Maybe I have my moments with a camera too.

So be there for your kids, it won’t last forever.