Monday, 11 July 2016

Scared of boys!

Last year, I wrote a childless woman’s guide to surviving the school holidays, but this month, I won’t be able to follow it at all. Geography has separated me from many relatives, and until two years ago, I only saw my great-nephew every few years, and he really had no idea who I was, saying politely at one stage, “it was nice to meet you!” But – out of tragedy – we’ve had the opportunity to get to know each other better, and he’s discovered my husband understands computers and computer games, something he used to do with his dad.

So this year, when his mother asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he replied, “I want to go to Wellington and stay with Auntie [Mali] and Uncle D – on my own.” He arrives on Wednesday, and I have to say, I’m a little terrified. He’s a 13-year-old boy, the first boy in our family in three generations, and the only 13-year-old boys I've known in my life were when I was a 13-year-old girl!

Oh, and did I mention that his mother and I were pregnant at the same time?

Wish me (and him) luck!


  1. I think it's wonderful he wants to visit!!

    You've got this. Promise. Have some scheduled outings, but don't push for anything. But generally teenage boys are much more agreeable than girls. And he wants to spend time with you, so that's a huge plus.

    Have fun and looking forward to hearing about the visit!

  2. This is so exciting, though definitely has the potential to be hard. I think I love the kid though, because rather than asking for stuff for his birthday, instead he asked for an experience. Maybe he inherited the travel bug from Auntie Mali? :)

    My only piece of advice is to take how much food you think you will need and double it. Boys that age are bottomless pits. Oh, and he probably won't roll out of bed much before the crack of noon.

  3. dear Auntie Mali, I am so happy for you! You will have a wonderful time together.
    It is a great honour that his birthday wish were you & your DH. How cool is that!
    I also thought I was afraid of teenage boys, before starting teaching a boy aged 15. And then a bit later a boy aged 14. They are great, both of them.

  4. I only ever had Younger Nephew for an overnight once, when he was about 11. In part, I too was afraid of how I would relate to little boys, and I was also scared of the responsibility. My fears were groundless -- there were some awkward moments, but overall, I think all three of us enjoyed it. I wish I had done it sooner, and more often, and with his brother too. So have fun, Auntie Mali!! :) (I'm sure you will!) It's a great opportunity, for him AND for you!! The fact that he ASKED to come visit is half the battle, I think!

  5. Wonderful that he picked you both as his birthday present! You've got this! No expectations (imagined high hopes), have fun, and go with the flow. :)

  6. I can imagine the swirl of emotions over his age (that you and his mother were pregnant at the same time) and the path not taken, mixed in with the honor of being chosen to spend time with. I'll be watching to see this unfold...I know it will be a beautiful thing :-)

  7. I am wishing you luck! And I am one email away (with access to an almost 12-year-old boy) if you have any questions/need for activity advice, etc. But I don't think you'll need it. :-)

  8. When I first started coaching middle school track (grades 6 to 8) I was terrified of the boys! I think I was remembering how I felt at age 12/13 with boys. But, they turned out to be great. So I hope you are an awesome visit and that this proves to be true for you too.

  9. Oh, good luck! I agree with the others that you have a leg up since he actively asked to visit, so you know he enjoys your company! I spend a lot of time with 13 year old boys throughout the school year and they are wonderful (most of the time). You will have s great visit, and I hope the parallel/not parallel with your sister's pregnancy isn't too hard. I hope the fun of the visit makes that easier to swallow.

  10. oh dear. I've never been good with 13 year old boys. Not even when I was 13 myself. (or maybe especially)
    You glossed over the decision making here (boy asks, more than one adult said yes? my childless-stepmother memory asks, did you agree? did you need convincing?)
    From knowing your writing I know you are in a better place than I was, so I should not compare to how I felt 4 years ago, but that is all I know. I hope the bitter and the sweet are a good balance. I hope there will be small moments to just be in the moment. And yes, you can still have some time to yourself if you need to regroup. And sorry for being late!