The Gallery: Together

My two boys have been together for nine and a half years. Since my younger son was born, they’ve done everything together. They are very different people, yet they fit so well together. They are best friends.

Right now, I am so pleased my eldest has his little brother. Because my big boy is struggling with something and I am struggling with him. I don’t know if it’s just normal tween, puberty stuff or something bigger. Because he won’t tell me and I can’t read him.

As he sat on the floor, sobbing into my mum’s arms over yet another of life’s injustices the other day, it hit me. What if this isn’t just usual growing up stuff? What if he’s depressed?

If he’s depressed, then I will deal with it, I will look after him. I will do whatever it takes to make him better, but right now I don’t know what’s going on in his head. All I know is I have an unhappy boy who is cross with the world – me, his Daddy Dad and his sister. Only one person can make things OK, only one person can make him laugh and snap it out of him. His little brother, who loves him unconditionally.

I think the fundamental problem is friends – or lack of them. He had good friends at primary school – a close-knit group of slightly geeky boys. But his best friend moved away and two of his other friends went to grammar school. He was left with a couple of boys who don’t seem committed to friendship. Maybe they don’t really like my son that much, or maybe they’re not interested in a social life and spending time with friends. Either way, he seems to spend far too much time at home kicking out against the world.

For 15 blissful minutes the other day, a trip out was arranged by my son’s friends. They were going to go to Nando’s. I was very pleased about this – the first time they had independently organised something and it would push my son’s fussiness and make him challenge himself with food. But then one of the friends was ill and another away. The trip out didn’t happen.

I’ve suggested to my son that as the Easter holidays are so ‘boring’ what with us not going on a fancy foreign holiday and him having to hang around with his little sister, that maybe he tries to rearrange this trip. But he hasn’t. I don’t know if he can’t be bothered or if he never really wanted to do it in the first place. My feeling is that being with true friends would make the world a better place.

But what do I know? I’m only his mum. I’ve never been an 11 year old boy.

But in the meantime, whether his friends are really his friends or not, whether he gets invited out or not, he’s got the very best friend a boy could ever need. His brother. They share laughs, they share fun, they share secrets. They are together.

 

 

These photos were taken when my lovely boys were 3 and 9 months respectively. They are together in nearly all of my photos of them
This post was written in response to a prompt on The Gallery at Sticky Fingers. Pop on over to see how others have interpreted the theme ‘together’.

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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26 Comments

  1. They seem so close and it’s very sweet to look at photos like that. Long may it continue!

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  2. They really are lovely together, thanks very much. I really hope it continues too!

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  3. My 12 year old is going through something similar. He got called fat by his so called only friend in the village and now wont go out. His school friends are scattered far and wide – he says we are boring and doesn’t want to come out as a family anymore, but of course we make him! He loves his younger brother, but won’t admit it. Thank goodness for him – they spend most days together! The joys of boys.

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  4. Such a lovely, thoughtful piece. Unconditional love is so important and sometimes it is the little ones or the very old who truly “get” this.

    Friends can come and go (and come in different shades of sincerity)and feeling left out, or on the margins, or disengaged, can hurt, but never lose faith, he sounds like he is a deep, caring lad, and given the right environment will make some strong new friendships.

    Sadly, it’s sometimes easier to cut off than to risk rejection – which is why that unconditional love is so important.

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  5. I so know what your saying on the unhappy tween front, Beth is the same she is angry at everything!

    The only one she is never angry with is Joshua

    Love the pictures 🙂 xx

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  6. It is fantastic that they are so close. Friends come and go. Hope he is happier soon!

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  7. It’s a difficult age, so much change to contend with. Siblings are often the only constant. Get him into a club away from the ‘school set’ would be my thought. An opportunity to talk to different people of his own age. I purposely put my daughter in the tennis club away from where we live so she had somewhere to be when school friends got hard, it happens it times.

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  8. Awww lovely photos. You will always have your siblings no matter what! Hopefully he will rearrange his trip soon 🙂

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  9. Awwww, such lovely photographs, but such a very tough time for you all. Wishing you all strength and light to find a path that works for everyone xx

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  10. Being together as a family as children builds strong bonds and commitments as adults. Yes, there will be disappointments, but your children will always have each other.

    Lovely photos x.

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  11. I read this earlier. My son is very reclusive and has a few friends. He’s almost 16 now but in his first year of high school I worried and fretted that he was lonely and on his own. I still ask him now who he eats his lunch with! May e it’s because his older by three years sister had a wide group of friends and my house was always filled with Sarahs, Beckys and Sophies

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  12. Sorry on my phone! What I was saying was its horses for courses! I always made sure my two went to clubs outside of their circle of school friends so they always had other people to mix with. My son goes to Karate and it’s given me confidence when I think of him alone! I know he can stick up for himself!
    Maybe have a chat to his school’s pastoral team. I’m sure he will be fine! What gorgeous photographs too x

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  13. If it helps at all, I think that year 7 is a hard year for them. My eldest went through a bit of this – not sure who her friends were, not wanting to invite anyone home or make the first suggestion about getting together. Everything has settled down since she has reached year 8 and her friendship group seems much ‘tighter’ – we’re even going to have them over for a BBQ and sleepover for her 13th birthday! Hang in there, I think it will get better. It’s difficult for them to know ‘who they are’ when they move from primary to secondary. So lovely that your boys have a close relationship though 🙂

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  14. Oh bless you I feel for you I really do. It is an impossible job being a mum sometimes and when they are sad and won’t talk to you it seems even harder. It is a funny age though with the hormones kicking in and the change of school and friendship groups makes life even tougher for them. Will he talk to his dad? I went through this with O but a bit younger as the school change is a year earlier. He settled once he found a good group of friends though. You are an amazing mum and you are there for him, he will find his way eventually and you will get your happy boy back, you just have to keep loving and supporting him.

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  15. its nice when they have each other, hopefully you will get to the bottom of his issue and he will be happy again

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  16. Gosh that sounds tough 🙁 hope he finds some better friends who can show him the true delights of Nandos and other places of tweenage wonder xxx It sounds like such a hard age… I have all this to come and more I’m sure xxx

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  17. oh this made me really feel for him (and you). It’s great that he is close with his brother and I really hope that he opens up and shares whats troubling him.

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  18. I went through something very similar at the same age. All of my friends ditched me and I was pretty much a loner – it’s a very depressing state to be in. I can promise though, that it gets better. I’ll be thinking of you both. Such cute pictures, I’m glad he has his brother 🙂

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  19. Thank you all for such lovely comments and support. It is reassuring to hear from so many of you that this seems quite normal for this age group. As he’s my eldest and I don’t have friends with kids this age, there’s nobody for me to really talk to about it.
    Sarah – I think you are so right about easier to cut off than risk rejection, I think that’s where he’s at now.
    Nikki – he will talk to his Dad sometimes, although he got upset with him this week. They’ve got some quality time lined up this weekend, so I hope that will be good for them.
    I am so glad he’s got his little brother who will always be there for him.

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  20. Sweet pics!! aaah, my tween girls are exactly the same… my eldest never seems to stick with one friend for too long and cries most days… I really think it’s all part of growing up, she’s getting much better now that she’s in her 2nd year of secondary so there’s light at the end of the tunnel! Kerry x

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  21. Thanks, Kerry. Glad things are looking up for your daughter. Sounds like year 8 is a lot better for most kids than year 7, so there’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel. Sorry to hear you went through it too, Misty. But glad it got better for you.

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  22. It’s a funny age for boys I think, J has just turned 12 and I have had a lot of these feelings with him, he seems to have found the transition from primary to senior a little more difficult and it is taking him longer to build friendships and settle. With that said, he is improving and right now is at the fair (even though it’s freezing!) with a lad from school who is also staying over for the night. I hope we’re through the worst of it. Depression was a big consideration for us with J too. I hope your boy starts to feel better very soon. Hang in there!

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  23. Thanks, Mama Owl. It’s good to know others are going through this and that the end may be in sight! This evening I actually heard my son on the phone to one of his friends and he was texting another one. And his very best friend who moved away and he hasn’t seen for six months is visiting tomorrow! Think it will be so good for him. So maybe the end is in sight for us too.
    Thanks, Kara, they are adorable still – just a lot bigger! x

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