Proud Mama

14 Dec

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Alex001

I have two gorgeous sons.  That’s not why I’m proud, though I am proud.

They are kind and generous and hard-working.  That’s one reason I’m proud.  Or three, to be accurate.

I have a post coming up about Tory Boy; today I’m going to tell you about Spud.

From the age of four, Spud wanted to be an actor.  He played the lead in many a school production, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar – his Munch munch, munch munch was Oscar-worthy, in my opinion – and Jonah and the Whale.  I must try to upload the video of his singing I Need A Boat.  Adorable.

The Hub and I were convinced he was going to make a career in acting.  We were anxious but accepting, because he is a natural.  Then he went to high school and discovered rugby.  Rugby practise clashed with drama club and drama club lost. Our flab had never been so ghasted.

Rugby was abandoned after three years – too many wet and freezing early Saturday mornings and not enough aggression on his part to be a serious player. He was enthusiastic but nice – not a winning combination in rugby.  I was relieved when he gave it up, especially after the time he was knocked senseless for a minute.  I couldn’t watch him play; it hurt me too much.  I have plenty of photos of his scrapes and bruises if I feel nostalgic.

He never went back to drama, however.   We couldn’t convince him.  He has a full week with long school days, hours of homework each night and weekend, and his Manchester City season ticket, so we didn’t push it.  He said he wanted to concentrate on his GCSEs, knowing that no parent is going to argue with a child who claims he wants to work hard to pass his exams.  Did I mention he was clever?  And a little manipulative?

In September of this year he entered Sixth Form.  For my non-UK readers, that means two years of tough exams which must be passed to enter university at eighteen.  However, universities require more than good exam results; they want to see evidence of extra-curricular activity.  Spud became a mentor for new pupils starting high school; joined the climbing club; volunteered to help at school open events (we have always had to press-gang him into this; we insisted on it, because of how much the school is spending on him.  He just wanted to stay home and do homework.  Yeah, right; we believe you, Spud); and – wait for it – auditioned for the school’s Classics play.

Considering it has been five years since he’s done any acting to speak of, he did well to get the part of The Messenger, the third-biggest role.

It wasn’t enough for him.  A sign went up in school:

Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’  – auditions.  

The auditions took the form of workshops, then call-backs for the bigger parts, then more call-backs (this school takes its drama productions seriously).  Spud read parts of the text, had me drill him in the story, and watched clips on You Tube.  He couldn’t find a complete version on the internet, or he’d have watched that as well.

Spud desperately wanted to win the leading role of Prospero.

Prospero and Miranda from a painting by Willia...

Prospero and Miranda from a painting by William Maw Egley; ca. 1850 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spud won the leading role of Prospero.

That’s not why I’m proud, though I am thrilled.  I am proud because of something that happened in one of his auditions.  The teacher had the students read different parts together.  Spud and his partner finished reading and the teacher said to him, ‘Thank you.  You were excellent.’  

Spud was pleased to be complimented, of course, but mortified for his partner.   He immediately made a point of telling the teacher that if he was any good, it was thanks to his partner working with him.

I’m proud because he made sure to give credit to his friend, and because he was embarrassed to be singled out at the expense of someone else.

I don’t want my children to boast about themselves.  That’s my job.


52 Responses to “Proud Mama”

  1. mairedubhtx December 14, 2012 at 14:11 #

    FINALLY! A post–and a rather good one, at that–about Spud! He sounds like a delightful young man, a son any mother would be proud of. Well done on the parenting, Linda!


  2. sharechair December 14, 2012 at 14:20 #

    You have every right to be proud. Wonderful guys you have. 🙂 I laughed extra hard at the weather-discouraging rugby stuff. My oldest (now 35) quit baseball after one painful season. His reason? “I don’t like to sweat.”


  3. laurieanichols December 14, 2012 at 14:34 #

    Spud is such a gentleman. You’re right; you can’t be enthusiastic and nice when it comes to rugby but you can be enthusiastic and nice when it comes to theater and life. I can picture you so proud of your son for being what we all hope for in our children; a thoughtful, kind, talented and empathetic young man. Hooray for Spud!


  4. jmgoyder December 14, 2012 at 14:37 #

    This is so wonderful! I’m thrilled for both Spud and you – what a beautiful son. He and Ming sound so alike in many ways – sometimes gobsmacks me! Go Spud!


  5. Grannymar December 14, 2012 at 15:23 #

    Spud sounds like a fine young man. As my father used to say: “It all reflects on the home training”!


  6. faydanamyjake December 14, 2012 at 15:26 #

    How wonderful, its in his blood obviously! 🙂


  7. gigihawaii December 14, 2012 at 15:41 #

    What a touching tribute to your son, Tilly. The last part brought tears to my eyes. Way to go, Spud. I’ll be reading more of your mother’s blog to see what else you are doing, which right now is a lot! Cheers!


  8. Elaine - I used to be indecisive December 14, 2012 at 15:43 #

    What a thoughtful son you have there. I blame the parents… 😉


  9. misswhiplash December 14, 2012 at 15:46 #

    I agree with what you say..what wonderful sons you do have. That was not only a considerate things to do , it was also caring and for any young person to be connsiderate, caring, intelligent and talented…The Golden Globe is already awarded! Well done Spud….


  10. Rorybore December 14, 2012 at 16:26 #

    Just to be clear on the rules….complimenting Spud leaves my Malteser privileges safely intact, right? right then….Way to go Spud! You are surely a talented and thoughtful young man! And I am hoping we will see some pictures, or even video of your excellent performance.


    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife December 17, 2012 at 12:29 #

      Yes, compliments to my kids are not only permitted, they are actively encouraged!

      BTW, your comments keeping going into my spam box. Who have you upset at WordPress?


  11. slpmartin December 14, 2012 at 18:05 #

    Indeed you have much to be proud of…oh…don’t forget to videotape Spuds performance and then upload it so we can all share in your pride. 🙂


  12. rebecca2000 December 14, 2012 at 18:07 #

    Awww sweet. You should be proud.


  13. Janet Williams December 14, 2012 at 18:18 #

    What a thoughtful, sensible young man — a great credit to his parents.


  14. Naia December 14, 2012 at 18:30 #

    A proud mama is always a pleasure to behold. I do like how you were explanatory in your pride. Not just saying, “I’m so proud.” So many think that eating glue is something to be proud of. 😉

    Of course, in my opinion, a child can not graduate Kindergarten without learning how to eat glue and survive. Caiden did it last year and his teacher still makes fun of me and my idea that him doing that was a requirement. I didn’t tell him that requirement. I was so proud when he figured it out on his own!



    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife December 17, 2012 at 12:30 #

      And you are right to be proud!

      I don’t think my boys reached that milestone but, now I think about it, Tory Boy did have grommets because of his glue ear…


  15. terry1954 December 14, 2012 at 20:17 #

    I can hear the pride in your voice. I am proud of you also for being such a wonderful mom!


  16. SchmidleysScribbling December 14, 2012 at 21:42 #

    Congrqtulations to you and Spud. I expect to see him on BBC someday. One thing I know is this…Britain produces the best actors in the world. Dianne


  17. adinparadise December 14, 2012 at 22:03 #

    You are rightly a proud Mama, Tilly. Congrats to Spud on getting the leading role and also for being kind and thoughtful. 🙂 You brought him up well.


  18. barb19 December 14, 2012 at 22:30 #

    Spud is a son to be proud of, but most of all, I like the fact that he gave credit to his partner at the audition – that says so much about him.
    I hope he reads this post.
    What’s your secret in rearing kids?


  19. viveka December 14, 2012 at 23:08 #

    Now is done …. The Spud post. Magnificent job. Wonderful job here with the post – you and Hub has something very special in your son.
    I love your last sentence.
    “I don’t want my children to boast about themselves. That’s my job.”


  20. viveka December 14, 2012 at 23:36 #

    Andy, we can never protect us – we can only hope that it’s never happens to anyone we love.
    We can go out to buy milk and never come back home for many reasons .. not only because of violence or terror. We have created a monster – we have created the society that we live in today, with all the violence that we take into our lives and homes, through games, movies … even music videos has violence. We feed all the lost souls wrongly – mostly young but also adults.


  21. viveka December 14, 2012 at 23:39 #

    Linda, so sorry – but I pasted this replay completely wrong. Had two windows open at the same time.
    Can’t promise it won’t happen again.


  22. Island Traveler December 14, 2012 at 23:41 #

    “They are kind and generous and hard-working. That’s one reason I’m proud. ” You raised your kids with a kind heart and a gentle soul. Their priorities in life including their quest for knowledge and wisdom are an inspiration to the young generation. You are blessed indeed to have such wonderful children. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.


  23. Katharine Trauger December 14, 2012 at 23:52 #

    Lovely. Only it wasn’t a whale. A big fish. :-p


  24. lenwilliamscarver December 15, 2012 at 00:59 #

    You are a wonderful mother to have produced such fine sons, way to go!!!


  25. Al December 15, 2012 at 01:01 #

    Very touching post, Tilly. I knew the first time I saw a picture of Spud he had a kind face and demeanor. You and the Hub should be very proud, but you may need to stock in some extra pride because I suspect the accolades have only just begun to roll in for this fine young man.


  26. annie21livinginusa December 15, 2012 at 02:36 #

    You have a wonderful young man there, how lovely… entrance over here is the same…….all those extra mural activities really do count for something….good for the kids though….keeps them out of mischief…..


  27. sarsm December 15, 2012 at 08:48 #

    You are right to be proud. What an absolute star. xxx


  28. sonofwalt December 15, 2012 at 08:51 #

    Oh, I love a good proud parent post! And yes, you should be proud. And personally I am proud to associate with a parent such as yourself. I think you deserve some credit. You done good, Mamma!


  29. benzeknees December 15, 2012 at 09:01 #

    Good on you Spud!


  30. vivinfrance December 15, 2012 at 18:42 #

    Pride in one’s offspring is to be applauded, as is Spud. I bet you can’t wait to go and see him in The Tempest.


  31. eof737 December 16, 2012 at 20:37 #

    You have wonderful children,… and handsome too.



  1. In A Child’s Mind | terry1954 - December 17, 2012

    […] Proud Mama ( […]


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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