I Promised You A Secret

25 Apr

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read this post. 

Remember last week how I was so busy I ignored you all?  I was busy with this:

The Hub’s father once gave him a set of photo albums with pictures of his life.  Last August I thought that would be a lovely gift for Tory Boy’s birthday, with the addition of the stories of the photos, as much as I could remember.  My idea was to buy a couple of scrapbooks but the Hub thought it should be something special.  He found an old photo album in a charity shop, re-covered it, and bought two plaques: one for the cover with TB’s name and D.O.B., and one inside with a loving message from us all.  Spud chose the font; it was a family project.

By January I had sorted our extensive photo collection into His ‘n’ Ours groups.  I already had them filed by years into boxes, so it was a big job but not as big as it could have been.  All that remained was to stick them into the album and write comments.

Tory Boy’s (should I start calling him Tory Man now, do you think?) birthday was last Monday.  On the Thursday I thought I’d better get a move on, and did.  Ten-thirty Thursday night found me crying in the Hub’s arms that I’dusedtheoursphotosinsteadofthehisphotsnadI’dhavetostartalloveragain.  The Hub sent me to bed with instructions to start afresh the next day.  He was right. 

He would have helped me but he wasn’t allowed because every time he came near to offer guidance and advice I snarled getlostdivorcethiswasmyideayou’vedoneyourbit and he retreated to the safety of Sky Sports watching.  We haven’t stayed married this long by ignoring the danger signs.

Friday and Saturday were busy days but I got about seven hours in; Sunday, I locked myself in the bedroom all day, fortified by mugs of Earl Grey passed through a grill, and my secret chocolate stash.

On Sunday evening around eleven, it was done.  That boy better appreciate how much we love him.  His father and brother had to live with me like that for three days.  Think panic, hormones (my baby was no longer a baby, as every baby photograph reminded me) and blog-withdrawal.

The great day dawned:

That’s the album on the right.

He loved it; it was his best present, and his presents included an antique pocket watch:

a fabulous jellyroll quilt made by Viv (so he wouldn’t steal mine):

a Playstation 1 and Nintendo Gameboy from his brother:

and of course, books, dvds and lots of dosh – the last bit not from us, but from kind family and friends.  We are buying Tory Boy’s air ticket to wherever he wants to go that we can afford, and he will use his birthday cash as spends.  Making memories is more fun than material goods; though they are nice, too.

The PS1 and GB might seem like odd gifts, but TB is into old games.  The Gameboy used to belong to Spud and he sold it to a friend early last year.  TB was upset so Spud persuaded his friend (after a lot of harassing and restraining orders) to sell it back to him.  He happened to spot the PS1 on a boot sale the week before TB’s birthday and bought it because he felt bad that he had not been able to find the particular game TB wanted to go with the GB. 

Do I not have thoughtful, generous children?  I think I do.

We bought Tory Boy the obligatory key, of course:

From the pound shop.  He had a gold charm for his eighteenth and we know from experience that those keys end up packed away, one week after the important birthday, never to be seen again, so we thought our money was better spent on the ingredients for his birthday fridge tart:

It’s a favourite recipe of TB’s but costs a fortune to make.  The key ingredient is Peppermint Crisp (it’s a South African recipe) and TB supplied that himself, having ordered it from an online South African shop and presenting it to me with the words, Make fridge tart.

We couldn’t persuade him to have a party or even a few family and friends round on the day.  He wanted to spend it quietly at home with us, and he did, and declared it perfect.

He’s a man now; I suppose I have to let him do what he wants.  As proud of him as I am, however, I miss my baby.  I could make him get a haircut when he needed one.

20 Responses to “I Promised You A Secret”

  1. Paula Tohline Calhoun April 25, 2011 at 14:48 #

    Sounds like he has been a man for some time now – I know how proud you must all be, and deservedly so! What a splendid family! Also appears Spud is entering the adult category too – considering his wonderful and unselfish, kind behavior -but wait! That’s not necessarily adult, is it? Some adults will regress to selfish adolescent behavior once they reach the age of consent! However, since TB hasn’t, I’m quite sure Spud won’t either!

    Congrats to Tory Boy! And congrats to you and your Hubs for the two fine sons you have managed to raise so well! If you are anything like me you kind of wonder why you got such miraculous gifts as your sons, and know that in all honesty, how wonderful they are has very little to do with what sort of parents you’ve been. Except I never acknowledge that in public. . .oh wait. . .I just did!

    All the best, and enough. . .


    • Tilly Bud April 25, 2011 at 20:35 #

      I think if anyone was blessed with enough, it was us. Our sons mean everything to us.


  2. earlybird April 25, 2011 at 15:40 #

    What a wonderful surprise! Well done for getting it finished on time. Sounds like you all had a really good day.

    And don’t worry – in my experience they still need you even as they get older!


  3. earlybird April 25, 2011 at 15:41 #

    PS That quilt is AMAZING! I saw it in the first picture and wondered if Viv had made it before I read that she had.


  4. vivinfrance April 25, 2011 at 16:26 #

    You, and the rest of them will always remember that birthday. You put so much effort and thought into it that it deserves to be remembered, too.


    • Tilly Bud April 25, 2011 at 20:37 #

      We did and we will. Now I have to start on Spud’s album – six years to go and what’s the bet I’m doing that one at the last minute as well?


  5. nrhatch April 25, 2011 at 19:05 #

    The album looks top notch . . . as does the quilt. What a wonderful milestone birthday for ToryMan.


    • Tilly Bud April 25, 2011 at 20:37 #

      No, I can’t get used to it. No matter how old he gets, he’ll always be my boy.


  6. barb19 April 26, 2011 at 01:28 #

    What a wonderful day you all had together as a family – and extra good because that’s how Tory Boy wanted to spend his birthday!
    You have generous, thoughtful sons Tilly, and I know how proud you are of them.
    The hard work, tears and frustration making the album was all worth it on the day!
    Happy Birthday Tory Man!


  7. Patti April 26, 2011 at 22:52 #

    As Mom, you always get to call him “boy” – it comes with the job. The album is a lovely idea. I need to get someone to make me a quilt like that!


  8. sarsm April 27, 2011 at 19:36 #

    Awww… Lovely!!


  9. Jackie Paulson Author August 21, 2011 at 16:06 #

    I am in love with all the gifts, a quilt, and the tiny clock, and the personal scrapbook. Your hubby is such a great man. All men need to wake up and do more for their wives. My boyfriend has yelling and anger issues and I try to show the unconditional love of Christ.


    • Tilly Bud August 21, 2011 at 16:56 #

      Mine has a temper too, but he is a good guy, you’re right 🙂


  10. klrs09 August 23, 2011 at 18:59 #

    Wonderful post, Tilly. They do grow up fast — mine was 30 this year, but I still call him “Bud” everytime I talk to him and still think of him as my baby. Never mind the three grandchildren! LOL



  1. Be Suggestive « The Laughing Housewife - September 14, 2011

    […] oldest, Tory Boy, is, in law, if not in the eyes of his mother, a man.  He therefore needs a new name on this blog, because […]


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