I am a doting aunt and have shared greatly in my nieces’ and nephews’ lives. But that is not the same special bond that a mother has with her children. I honor and respect women who have been blessed with children. So when I saw that Richard Armitage shared his London Premiere with his Mother, I thought about the emotions that must be swirling in her head. If I were fortunate to have as wonderful a son as Richard Armitage, this is what I would say to him in a letter that I slipped into his tuxedo jacket pocket, for him to find later.
December 12, 2012
My Beloved Son,
No mother could be more proud of you than I am this day. You have worked hard and dedicated yourself to your profession. And now you are finally receiving the recognition and rewards that you so richly deserve. I know that you would humbly say that your work is your reward–and that I am biased as your mother. And maybe I am biased–a mother’s prerogative, that I will not relinquish.
From the first moments that your father and I knew that you were to join our lives, you captured my heart–even as your heart beat below mine. I nurtured you inside me for nine months, a very long time to wait for you to arrive. But then you have had eighteen months to wait to share your current artistic project with everyone–so you might understand something of my impatience to greet you as my baby boy.
The day you were born my life changed forever by having you in it. No one tells you about the unbounded love that you feel for such a little person as you were then–my tiny little man, eager to greet the world. You were perfect! Ten fingers, ten toes, no teeth, two blue eyes that shined brilliantly then, as they do now forty one years later. I would not take my eyes off of you for an instant during your first week of life–watching you breathe when you slept, cradling you in my arms, hoping then that you would have all of your dreams come true some day. I still catch myself sometimes, just watching you as you live your life–in awe that you are my son.
As you grew up, your shy and kind and friendly ways of being in the world charmed me and everyone who knew you. You had such a spark of curiosity in you–wanting to try new things. And somehow, we found the courage to help you do that with your schooling, music, and dramatic arts lessons. Then, the Summer that you left us to go off on your own for the very first time–we almost crumpled at having to let you go. You seemed so young to us–our baby. But, you were becoming a young man. It was so hard for us to say farewell at the airport, but we knew that this is what you wanted and that our level headed son would do his best, work hard, and come back with stories to tell. And oh my, did you ever have stories to tell! Your elephant poo stories were among the most memorable. Though perhaps, not suitable for every table conversation, I might add. Hint, hint. Sorry, that’s the Mum in me coming out. I smile when I hear now and again from my friends that you still get asked about that time in your life. Your six months away from us, living in another country, was just one example of your inner courage to try something new. You also still have an innate curiosity in you. And we are glad that we had nurtured that spirit of adventure in you.
There is a saying that parents give their children roots–a foundation for their lives–and then they give them wings to be free to follow their own path in life. You are very grounded in the lessons we taught you–you are unfailingly polite and kind, self-effacing and humble, socially conscious, talented, and focused on your work. And you have flourished as the wonderful man and dramatic artist that you are. You have become a master storyteller, weaving tales of heartache and happiness while bringing the love of literature to a new generation. Your character portrayals and stories always illustrate what is good and right and honourable–even when your story’s character is the example of the opposite of those qualities. You find the humanity in your roles, and you touch others with your sincerity and depth of feeling.
Now I know that you would shush me right now from singing your praises. You are probably blushing as you read this–perhaps even tearing up. But a mother’s pride in her son cannot be contained–certainly, not my pride in you. You, of all people should know that from one of your roles–your first “role of a life time”. I feel no less pride in you and your accomplishments than she felt in her son. But there is a very great difference, for you are living flesh and blood–and you have become the embodiment of all that we ever hoped for you. You are my pride and joy–and you always will be.
And my wish for you always is that you experience every happiness that you wish for yourself. That is all that I ever wanted for you, for you to be happy in every way. You recently told someone that you wanted to share the book of your current story with your own son someday. Hint, hint. But, no pressure. Ha! It will happen someday and you will be a wonderful father. So although my little baby boy is all grown up now–and you are much taller than we ever imagined you might be–you are still my little boy who grew within me, below my heart and in my heart.
Thank you for letting me share this wonderful day with you. I am so proud of you.
Your Loving Mother
If I had a son, that is what I would have written to him on his big day that he shared with me.
So let’s enjoy some Richard Armitage pictures from his Hobbit Premieres in Wellington, Tokyo, Toronto, New York, and London–courtesy of Morrighan’s Muse (above top), www.RichardArmitageNet.com (below 1-4) and Masha Neronova (below far right).
And thanks to Richard Armitage Central for making this video interview available:
“Richard Armitage at UK Hobbit Premiere in London – 12/12/12”
Another thanks also to Richard Armitage Central for making this video available:
“Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, meets the cast of The Hobbit”