Posted by: Louise | August 28, 2011


The Little Boy Racer loves wheels, and moving on wheels. In this holiday house we are staying in I hear him sneak outside in his jammies while we are still in bed in the morning and whizz around and around and around the house on his scooter. He says ten minutes. I think he does it for hours.

Do you want to see the huge puddle I am scooting through? Watch the splash.

He loves water too and throwing stones into water. He will carry a stone for hours on end, if there is a whisper of a chance that he might find some water to throw it in to.

Our house (our home) is a mid-terraced house so there is no whizzing around and around and around the house to be done at home.

The scooter was a birthday present this year. He will come anywhere if he can bring his scooter. A few weeks ago he scooted nearly four miles in the direction of my parents’ house when the others and K decided to cycle the eight mile journey.

Before his scooter he had a wooden bike with no pedals. He rode it like a pro along pavements, down shopping aisles, around the school yard when we were collecting the others. I should have had a commission on all sales of that bike originating from our area. Taxi drivers stopped me, mothers, fathers, grandparents – all wanting to know where it came from. LBR was a whizzing blur, striding/free-wheeling off into the distance as I answered their queries as politely and quickly as I could.

As long as he has been able to talk, he has expressed a particular interest in vehicles and increasingly customized vehicles – an interest that scares his parents. I dread the day he notices the doughnut shaped skid marks on the roads.

The Little Boy Racer loves the thrill.

Let’s go kayaking today, he said.

The waves were looking particularly choppy. The wind howled about the house.

We would go up and down and up and down on the waves. I think we would capsize 20 hundred times. It would be cool.

He has a fascination with medicine – not helped by being asthmatic and on daily inhalers. Shortly after Laura died, when we were on holiday in France, he ended up being rushed to hospital by ambulance after an incident involving travel sickness tablets. He had been in the car alone. In order to access the tablets he had passed a glove compartment full of sweets and a box of homeopathic travel tablets before finally finding the serious stuff. Fascination with medicine. Nine hours later, when I finally found the hospital he and K had disappeared off to; he was sitting in a room playing merrily with toys.

Mummy, the doctors didn’t put their fingers down my throat to make me do pukies, he said quite pointedly.

There is a love of life about this boy that I sometimes envy. Where did he get that excitement from, that thrill in the possibilities of life? That love of living?

And yet.

Yesterday we went for a drive and stopped at one of my favourite geological anomalies. Do I have favourite geological anomolies? The rock looks like a fold of fabric in this one little place by the edge of the sea – soft and malleable.

It’s like the future, Astro Boy said.

We clambered down to explore.

We collected stones, threw stones, watched the crashing waves, clambered in and around the rocks and then it was time to continue on.

The others took off back to the car. LBR trailed behind and an anxious voice rose over the sound of the waves, as I headed up the rock to the road.

Who will look after me? Remember I am the delicate one.

I turned back to join the Little Boy Racer and helped him clamber up the rocks in front of me. He was singing as he climbed. I drew closer to catch the words.

I’m never going to let you down.
I’m never going to let you down.
I’m never going to let you down…



  1. “It’s like the future.” Astro Boy has the eye of an artist. Is he like you?

    And your LBR – all the fun-loving, adventure-seeking, thrill-riding action of a true “SP.”

    I don’t know if you are at all interested in the Myers-Briggs or personality tests like it, but your Little Boy Racer sounds like a classic SP. My husband is one; they gravitate towards all the same things. The other letters can be I/E (Introverted/Extroverted) and T/F (Feeling/Thinking), but the SP is what dominates.

    Such great kids. And I wish that Laura could be right there with them, exploring the future.

    Missing her here,

    Cathy in Missouri

    • I think you are spot on Cathy about the SP. Had a read through the four different SPs and LBR is there quite clearly in one of them. K and I did the Myers Briggs personality test a few years ago, but I hadn’t thought about the kids in that way.

      Thanks for the insight.

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