The evidence is crystal clear. We tried hard to mask our nerves but the video clip reveals how shaky we were. The wobbly handover of iPhone from me to my husband exposes us. With the blur of a tear (or more) in our eyes we were in full throttle proud parent mode.
Parental bragging is not very attractive. There exists that delicate boundary between charming anecdote affectionately and humorously told, with just the right dose of vicarious self-deprecation, and over-enthusiastic and self-absorbed account of absolutely brilliant children. I would love to claim that I don't fall into the latter camp, but although my children tell me I'm strictly Victorian and much tougher than other mums, I'm sure I'm as guilty of the occasional self-indulgent brag as anyone else.
So it is with some reserve that I am now blogging about Saturday night, but the thing is, it was rather special. This is because No. 1 was given an exciting opportunity by some extremely decent people - one especially, his guitar teacher, Charlie. Nothing warms more than generosity of spirit and this band of musicians did that by gently welcoming No. 1 onto their stage and trusting him to play his part.
No. 1 has provided a piquancy to parenthood, lending an edgy unpredictability we don't always need or savour. Sometimes it feels like we are crashing down waterfalls rather than riding the waves. But Saturday night showed us the flip side of the coin. No. 1 knew it wasn't all about him. He loved and drew on the smiling support given by good friends who joined us at the pub, and he looked with appreciation at Charlie and his band, and the cheering crowd, as he performed and then finished his moment on stage with a satisfying flourish of the arm. I wonder if I was the only one to notice the deep breath and release of tense shoulders once he was done!
I'm now fully aware that the "parental bragging" warning sign has gone into high alert status. But I did confess to the odd brag here and there. And it's not every Saturday night that your No. 1 son strolls on stage seeking to emulate Slash in "Sweet Child O' Mine" and does a good job. There, brag done, won't do it again for a few months (or Saturday nights), promise!
Angelique & Becky
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