This is the year my first born will turn 18 and he can’t wait to get his driving licence. This is also the year wee (big) Mowgli is going to turn 16. It feels like only yesterday when I was sitting in a stupor after being smacked hard with his Autism diagnosis. Now he has banned me from his bedroom to prevent me from re-arranging his things! Also this year little missy moves into double figures and is hoping this is the year she get her ears pierced.

I checked a few other mothers for their thoughts on the subject. “But my wee one had them done when she was four?” “What? Gosh…really? Hmmm…maybe I’m a bit of a stick in the mud then…” The other Mum smiled at me. I immediately knew she agreed. But the thing is, it’s another sign, isn’t it? My kids are growing up (and away) and it feels like someone turned up the speed of time when I was looking the other way and now young worlds are fast, fashion driven and faddish!  It  seems strange to be discussing the dangers on our roads and ear piercings with my ‘babies’ and I never thought Mowgli would ever object to Mum hanging out in his bedroom. Wrong! He does! Autism or no Autism, they all grow up!

Maybe I AM a bit of a stick in the mud but it’s what comes after the ear-rings that worries me. What’s next? I mean who would have thought Hanna Montana’s singing and dancing smile would turn into a tongue lengthening exercise? And now everyone’s at it! My nephew was showing me some Facebook photos of Christmassy nights out and they all looked like they were either throwing up or having a ‘longest tongue’ competition! It’s all the rage this tongue thing, Kim Kardashian, Harry Styles, Rihana, Johnny Depp, Sharon Osbourne, Violet Affleck… though to be fair to young Violet I would stick my tongue out at the paparazzi too and perhaps that is how the celebs really feel about their ‘monkey in a zoo’ lifestyle but I wish they would wind in their lizard tongues. Tongues, like selfies, are so last year and as a parent I really shouldn’t have to worry about the impact of a celebrity’s behaviour that is all about pushing boundaries and little about being positive role models for our children and young people. Unfortunately, our young follow every move they make on social media which makes the challenges of parenthood more difficult. Is it any wonder I’m shunning the ear piercing idea or rather the next move to the teenage years! I’d rather get out a mega roll of cotton wool and wrap my daughter up to protect her from the big bad world but that’s not going to work either.

I have dodged the earring-gun bullet for now, but I know I will not be able to hold my ground for very much longer and I also know it won’t be long until I hear a cheery ‘beep beep’ outside my front door. Mowghi will jump into the front, wide eyed and smiling at his cool brother in the driver’s seat. I’ll sit in the back with little Missy discussing the after care of pierced ears. Yeah… 2014. It’s all in front of me (big sigh.) Guess all I can do is embrace it. No one can turn back time but there comes a stage where you have to let go, breathe deep, turn a corner and hope for the best.