teenage son, Wellbeing
Comments 50

‘But I don’t need a ceremony Mum’: giving the perfect 18th birthday present

The spirit of Mum and Dad are alive in this antique ring

Best birthday gift for my son #Australia #vintage #silverrings #love #familyheritage @boneAndsilver

Remember how I worked out what to give him in a flash of early morning inspiration, and then he guessed it HERE?

Well of course I went ahead anyway, despite my disappointment delight at his intuition.

It took 2 weeks to organise, during which time his actual birthday came and went, but I could rest in the quiet glory of knowing I’d nailed the present. Family and friends got together on 2 separate occasions to wish him well, and I could see he was very pleased at all the love and attention he so rightly received, bless him.

As we entered the 2nd week, a little nagging began- ‘How long till my ring is here Mum?’ – ‘I can’t wait for my ring, I wish it would hurry up’ etc (spread out over 5 or 6 texts sent at random hours).

Finally I cycled down to the jewellers to collect it, and even she was excited at how well it had turned out, and what an excellent idea it was.

But would it fit? She urged me to bring him in if it needed adjusting, while I determinedly prayed that would not need to happen, as it is open underneath, so there is a certain amount of flexibility in its sizing…

I texted him that it was in the house.

‘I’ll be round in an hour.’

He bounced in the door while I was on the phone- ‘where is it, where is it?’

‘Wait a minute; I am not just giving you the ring. I want there to be ritual with it; it’s important…’

‘Mum, I don’t need a ceremony.’

‘No, but I do.’

Stopping a teenager in full flight when they want something almost within reach is not easy; like holding back a bolting horse.

But I’m as stubborn as he.

I finished what I was doing, then lit 2 candles- one each for Mum (living in England) and Dad (who passed away 10 years ago), and wafted an incense to clear my room. I took a deep breath, reminding myself what I want to say, and why.

‘OK, I’m ready; come in now, and close the door behind you.’

As soon as he enters, I can feel the gravitas or reverence settle on him; I just had to trust that it would. I tell him to sit on the bed, then sit opposite him with the ring in a tiny bag.

I nod to the two candles:

‘I’ve lit them for your Grandma J and Grandpa L, who can’t be here, but are both very proud of the young man you’re turning into. L gave this ring to J on their honeymoon in Mexico, and then she passed it on to me years ago. May the best 3 qualities of each of them come through this ring to you: Dad’s telling of a good story, and his love of good food and travel; Mum’s love of books, her kindness to animals, and her sensitivity. May you pick the best 3 qualities of me that you wish to embody- you can decide what they are for you- and may they too come through the ring. The rest of it is up to you; you are from us, yet uniquely yourself, with your own gifts to offer the world; may this ring journey with you on your amazing path, now that you are officially a young man.’

There was a long silence, as he slipped the ring out of the bag and onto his finger.

It fitted perfectly, and we smiled at each other.

‘Thanks Mum, it’s awesome. And I guess I did need the ceremony after all. Thank you; I get it now.’

Happy 18th at last, my gorgeous son ❤

In gratitude for ritual, G xO


    • Gee, thanks Cathy, that’s such a lovely compliment to receive- I’m so glad it affected you in such a sweet way 😍🙏🏼


  1. Having been an 18-year-old boy once for more or less one year, I applaud your persistence. I would fought the ritual tooth and nail–though I would likely have yielded in the end. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha, yes Matt- he did resist, & roll his eyes, but to be honest, I just tuned him out & tuned into the energy of Mum n Dad, & this unique chance to honour them with him. He basically stood no chance of winning 💪🏼❤💪🏼

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Debbie- yes, I’m so glad I held firm to my urge for ceremony, and he is indeed a very blessed young man, in many ways already 🙏🏼❤🙏🏼
      Thank you for your good wishes xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for commenting Patti- yes indeed, I feel very lucky to have been able to create & share the ring experience not only with my beautiful boy, but with my readers too- makes it all the richer 😊🙏🏼 G

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m big on anniversaries, traditions & rituals so totally get why you needed a ceremony and how wonderful your son got it too. What a perfect gift. That brought a lump to my throat. Beautiful 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful gift and accompanying ceremony for both your son and you. ❤ Thank you for your gift of sharing it with us. Your ceremonial words, especially, resonated with me, and I had goosebumps, which always indicates to me something deep from within, heartfelt, and good. ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, thanks Michaela: ‘goosebumps’ is one of the ultimate compliments 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
      I’m glad my heartfelt-ness worked for you; I did feel a bit vulnerable sharing it, but then again, perhaps our world needs a bit more of that energy right now hey? ❤
      Thank you for commenting 😊 G

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes it’s when we feel that vulnerability that our message seems to reach out better, deeper, more meaningfully, so that it was worth that risk. And yes, I think our world can use more of that kind of energy. ❤ You're welcome! Always a pleasure visiting and reading your blog, Gabrielle. I get to feel and I get to ponder. Thank you so much. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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