Tuesday 17 September 2019

I just about managed not to make a holy show of my son at his graduation

Justine O'Mahony.
Justine O'Mahony.

By Justine O'Mahony

The Teenager graduated from primary school last week.

 It was the end of an era and an emotional day, for me anyway. I have very fond memories of the time he spent in the school, his teachers were lovely as were his friends and on the whole he was very happy there.

He said I could come to the ceremony as long as I didn't make a show of him. As if! I promised I wouldn't and agreed to sit as far away from him as possible. But then the Principal made a very moving speech about the boys starting out in the adult world, taking responsibility for their actions, listening to each other and asking for help if they're struggling. I started to bawl. There was a domino effect and within minutes all the mammies around me were bawling.

I saw him cast me a quick dirty look before swivelling around to face the front again and pretending he didn't know me. The next thing they started a slide show of photos taken of the boys over their eight years in the school and there he was, up on the big screen, on his first day with his stiff new shirt and scratchy jumper looking absolutely petrified.

I started to sob. I looked over at him and he was looking as terrified as he did on his first day. I could read his mind-'please please pleaaaaase don't let her make a holy show of me!' Himself squeezed my leg which I initially mistook for a gesture of sympathy and compassion when in actual fact he was trying to pinch me to shut up.

'How did that adorable little kid who wouldn't say boo, turn into that raging bunch of smart ass hormones?' I whispered to Himself. 'Same way you and I did, I suppose,'he replied. I don't think I was ever an adorable little kid and I certainly wasn't smart ass. My mother would have murdered me if I'd answered her back. She'd have been chasing me around the kitchen with the wooden spoon!

Afterwards I went up to congratulate the Principal on his fine speech, we chatted for a while and I tried to call The Teenager over to get his picture taken but he was out the door like a shot, running as fast he could away from his mental mother as he likes to call me.

I was just congratulating myself on not having let the side down too badly when I passed a mirror in the school hallway and realised with horror that you could see my very yellow knickers straight through my white dress. What was even worse was it had Wednesday emblazoned in black across the back. It was Thursday.

I grabbed Himself. 'Now everyone is going to think I'm wearing yesterday's knickers! Jesus what am I going to do?' Of course Himself thought this was hilarious. 'Well it could have been worse-you could have been wearing Monday's knickers.'

I've decided to keep the incident from The Teenager. If he finds out I was flashing my knickers to the whole school he'll never speak to me again. In fact he may actually leave home.

Some things are just best left unsaid.

Wexford People