Jacob is 9 and romping through the forest of testosterone faster than any of us had expected, but still managing to keep his sweet nature as he grows an inch a week. Obviously quite often his jaw sets and his muscles harden and the big boy in him comes out to say hello. When that happens I'm not really allowed to hold his hand too much on the street or give him a big hug outside school and the rules are changing while we find our way along. So he is still my soft boy in private and I therefore assumed that we had seen the last of him being that gentle in the open while he navigated these new waters.
Back to the conversation at dinner. We talked about what the boys had done that day and he mentioned a lesson in PHSE that picked up on an Assembly his teacher had done about goals, citing Dame Kelly Holmes and all she had overcome and achieved.
In the lesson the teacher asked about any goals the class had or could think of that were similar and he said "I told them about you Mummy".
When I asked him to tell me what he meant he said, and I paraphrase:
"Well you were having hard time when Louis was diagnosed and so ill as a baby. And Daddy was away working a lot and you had me to look after too. But you worked really hard to achieve your goals, which were to make sure that you had someone to help look after me all the times that you had to go to hospital. And you wanted to keep us both safe."
I just stared at him, genuinely speechless at what he had felt, intuited and said so publicly in a lesson at school with 14 other boys just itching I'm sure to take the mickey.
I reached out and squeezed his hand and all I could say was "you are an amazing boy"
He said the teacher followed up asking him, sensitively I'm happy to add, to tell a bit about his little brother and asking if any of his friends knew why he had been so poorly. Louis proudly grinned at the table as Jacob reeled off all of the friends that had put their hands up and knew about him and his special DNA.
Once I gathered myself and found my voice, I told J that it was amazing to be able to think about me and how I must have felt. To be able to take what I have spoken of about their early years and intuit how it must have felt for me as a parent.
I told him it was amazing as a 9 year old, as a boy and most especially as a 9 year old boy.
I also said I would like to blog about it if he didn't mind, and it has taken me nearly a week in hope that the emotions have subsided a little.
Needless to say I am clearly snivelling as I type, so will press send quickly and end by saying all that there is to say.
I am a very lucky Mummy.