A Boy

It was a hot, sunny Monday, the day you were born. I lay in a bath for hours, from early morning right through lunch time, for some relief from the contractions. I worried about your sister, who was with your Nanny but probably wondering why I was gone so long. I worried about your father, who seemed restless and eager to find reasons to leave me alone. Perhaps he was feeling the stress, or the heat.

I closed my eyes and tried to picture your face. In my visions, you had the same brown eyes as your sister and a smile that would melt the coldest heart. Overwhelming love for this person I had not yet met, but kept so close, brought tears to my eyes. My second child, my first son… who would you become?

It was late evening before I met you, and I saw you whisked away, limbs hanging limp from the doctor’s hands. Sheer terror gripped me then, suddenly certain that you would not survive to be the boy in my head. The minutes that passed felt much longer than they really were, while I waited for someone to say something, anything… and then you cried.

The sweetest noise I ever heard, that wail. There was nothing but you after that, as I cradled you in my arms; it was just you and I. Eventually the outside world crept in again, and I gave you up temporarily to be adored by others, while I watched your squashed little face as you adjusted to life outside the womb.

Since then, your life has been a million moments of wonder. You were a quiet little boy, one happy to sit back and watch your sister with her theatrical performances. You let her talk for you for so long, I used to wonder when you would ever feel the need to speak. But your heart-warming smile that made your chocolate button eyes sparkle told me enough; you were happy, perfectly content in our little house, with our little family.

As you grew, you made your first friend. You met her at nursery school and she reminded me so much of your sister. Again, you took a backseat as she shrieked and giggled, happy to be along for the ride. Until the day she shut you in a cupboard, anyway… you cried that day, and sat with me, always a little warier of her after that.

It was a long time until you found your voice. Even at school, “We wouldn’t know there was anything wrong, until he’s crying quietly in the corner. He doesn’t tell us if anything happens… we wish he would!” But to me, you always spoke. I heard your stories of Spiderman and Venom; you directed me as we acted them out. We were spies, burglars, superheroes, squirrel trainers… whatever your vivid imagination conjured up. With me, you could be anything.

You loved song time before bed, would join in with me and your sister, keeping the beat with your djembe drums and singing silliness out loud. Perfect moments in my memory.

I loved to hear you talk about whatever you had learned at school, or from those programs you loved to watch… science, history, nature. A clever lad you were, coming up with theories and ideas sometimes fantastical but often close to the truth. You wanted to know how everything worked and I had my work cut out keeping up with you sometimes.

But I hated your lack of confidence. I hated that you would watch your sister do so much and feel less than her. You were never that, my kind, empathic boy. You found some things harder than she did, without a doubt, but that just meant you tried harder. You were one of a kind, truly remarkable, and you still are.

Now you are 18. My little boy is a giant of a man, with a giant heart to match. I don’t pretend to keep up with your knowledge any more, you ‘science’ much better than I do and I love it. Black holes, nuclear fusion… and still that analytical, logical mind that wants to work out more.

You give so much to people, you shoulder their worries and you care. You care so very much. That makes it sadder that I don’t see that smile so often anymore. I am worried about you.

You, my watcher, seem to absorb the energy of those around you… you are happy when everyone else is happy. I know it is stressful here, with a new arrival imminent and our home opened to others, and I am grieved to see the effect his has had on my boy.

I have let it slide, our Mum and boy time, and I am trying my best to put that right. I hope that you will keep talking to me… never forget that with me, you can be anything. Let’s find our harmony again.

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New Year

2018

‘New Year, new me’, I’m seeing, ‘New story to begin’

But let’s not shelve the year just yet to let the new one in.

A year of faith and growing, a year over so fast,

A year of making memories so sweet they’ll surely last.

Some experiences uncomfortable but still a learning means

Some sad goodbyes I’ve uttered, the end of hopeful dreams.

But in their place has flourished relationships anew

With promise underlying, and old friends proving true.

I will not write a new book. My life won’t ‘start again’,

I truly wouldn’t want it to; I will reflect, and then

I’ll start another chapter, with characters we’ve met;

My lovely little family, who never do forget

The value of each other even when we’re far apart.

Advice, a shoulder, just some time to listen. In my heart

I know I’ll always have them, and soon, some others too;

This coming year my family is about to grow and bloom.

And you. Your heart is honest, and seems to mirror mine,

This New Year I will get to see just how we intertwine.

Let’s welcome in the New Year, sending promise far and wide

And look forward to memories with good people at my side.

A New Life

My mind is wandering today. I have some news; my daughter is pregnant and I am going to be a grandmother. I would like to say I am thrilled for her but, since she told me, all I feel is no small amount of dread and worry.

So I need to untangle these thoughts and feelings. Here goes.

I am worried about her degree; she has a year left and a dissertation to write. I appreciate that it won’t necessarily be easy, being pregnant, but it will be so much harder once she has a baby. How will her pregnancy go? Will she be able to keep working? Will she be hit with morning sickness, and a sore back, and all the other things that can come with pregnancy? How will she manage?

I am worried about her relationship. They’ve not been together long, they don’t know each other well… what if it all falls apart? I know how that feels, especially at 20 with hormones all over the place. What if he isn’t the boyfriend and father she wants him to be? What if he lets her down? Is she strong enough to pull herself back together?

She is so far away from us too. 112 miles, to be exact. What about the days when she needs a shoulder, or a hand with cleaning, or just someone to reassure her that everything is okay? What about the times that all she needs is some time out from the little person she is charged with looking after?

She’s a character, my girl. She likes to be in the very centre of everything. How will she adjust to being second in line, in the scheme of things? How will it make her feel, to have to always put another first?

How is she really feeling right now? I remember being told I was pregnant with her, and being utterly terrified… Terrified because life as I knew it was over… Terrified that I would never be able to to this job justice, and it was going to be the most important job I ever did.

And now I see what needs to happen, because that job is one that is never over. It doesn’t matter what I worry about; of course I will worry, she is still my baby, after all. What matters is that I can help her with her worries. I can remind her, on the days that she is worrying, that she is strong and beautiful and capable. I can remind her of the mountains we’ve climbed right to  the very top. I can assure her that the worries she has are nothing next to the joys and the rewards of being a parent and that, yes, she will tear her hair out at times, but one look at the face of that child will make every tear and every frustration worth it.

And, my beautiful girl, you will never be alone. Every second that you need me, I will have your back. I will laugh and cry with you… I will help you stand tall when you think you can’t, because I know what you are capable of, even if you don’t. I will hold your hand, and your child, and I will love you both so unconditionally.

Congratulations, my little girl, you are very lucky… now you will have your own little wonder, in exactly the way I have you x x x x x x

 

Dear Father Christmas

christmas

Dear Father Christmas,

How has your Christmas been? Rather busy, I expect. I hope you’re finding time to relax with your family now that the festive period is coming to an end.

Thank you for the books; it is always a pleasure to find something new to read in my stocking, and your choices were perfect, as usual. I must confess to being quite disappointed at the surprise gift of a chest infection but have since come to the conclusion that, once again, you’d managed to come up trumps. After all, without it I might not have had the joy of experiencing my son, now growing up fast, being protective of his mum, shielding me from the rain, carrying my shopping and making me endless warm drinks. It is easy not to notice the small things, but you highlighted them for me and made me smile.

The loss of my voice also gave me an excuse not to make ‘small talk’ with various relatives, but to observe quietly the wonder of Christmas from the point of view of my dear nieces and nephew. How excitable they were! I can’t imagine a better way to spend Christmas than listening to their chatter and giggles, stories and songs. Thank you, once again.

I missed Midnight Mass this year, being too busy coughing and spluttering, but ‘Carols by Candlelight’ more than made up for that. Seeing my daughter singing with the choir again was divine and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

It has been a long year full of seemingly endless disappointment and tough lessons to learn but, in true Christmas spirit, I am ending the year surrounded by love. Before long a new year will begin, and I am looking forward to it.

Merry Christmas,

OrdinaryGirl x x x x

It’s Been a While

‘Tis May, and this will be my first post of the month. I’ve been quiet, taking time with friends and the young ones, enjoying the sunshine while it lasts.

I’ve been debating with myself too, going round in circles over ‘Angry Words’ and the people that inspired that post, and trying to work out how to deal with those feelings. The conclusion I have drawn is that my family are often the people who understand me least and that it is time to take a step back from them for a while. I love them dearly, but there are people who know me better who are more equipped to help me through.

I feel better for having made this decision and my friends are here, as always, to share my smiles and laughs and that relaxed sensation I get from not feeling the need to justify myself constantly; thanks, people, you are wonderful.

wordpressfamilyaward_2

A little while ago, I was nominated for the ‘WordPress Family’ award by Kimberly at ‘Words4jp‘… Thank you Kimberly, I am honoured. There are few people I have met online that I have connected with in quite the same way as I have with you and, while I’m not feeling like now is the time to begin nominating others, I wanted to say a public thank you anyway 🙂 I’m looking forward to catching up on your posts!

Family Time

A film night with my children… such a good idea. My son wasn’t overly impressed with our choice of girly movie, but he sat with us anyway and laughed and sang. I don’t spend enough quality time with these children, and that must change. They are the biggest and by far the best part of my life, after all, and it does us all good.

Tomorrow… Shakespeare at the theatre, with my children and my sisters. I’m looking forward to it already 🙂