Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Only Yesterday (revisited)

This post is from Fat frumpy and fifty blog and I thought it particularly suitable for here. If you've already read it apologies. Turn up the radio. Pour another shot of gin!

It was only yesterday you would run to me when you were upset or hurting. It was only yesterday you held me tight. Rib crackingly tight. For no other reason than that you felt like it. Only yesterday would you share every discovery. Every happiness. Every fear. Every dream. Good or Bad. Every new step. Each fall.

Was it only yesterday you kissed me goodnight for the last time. Telling me gently, but firmly. It wasn't necessary any longer. My heart missed a beat. It isn't? Where is that written? Show me. I wish to silently protest. I'm not ready. Not yet.

I think it was only yesterday when I listened furtively for your each sleeping breath. One to follow after another. So then I too, could breathe.

It was only yesterday you tied your shoes. You buttoned your shirt. You zipped up your coat. First times. By yourself. Beaming with pride. You. Me.

This week you have been on work experience. You've been surprised by the joy and the satisfaction you felt. A class of six year olds called you Mister Watson. Three little giggling girls told you through trembling hands they loved you. A boy asked you if you could be best friends. Life learning. Experience. It has begun.

It was only yesterday I stood paralysed and cold. My eyes following your every step. Every fall. Trip and tumble. On a frozen concrete playground. I stood. On duty. Seemingly, ignoring each other. Balancing the thin line. Secretly comforted by each others presence.

Only yesterday you played in your band for a parents 50th Birthday. I watched you try to hide the emotional squirms and flinches. You asked if we were going. I knew we could not. It is your time. (shhh! I can catch you on youtube)

Your wide dimpled smile sits comfortably in your malleable face. Daily it appears to morph towards manhood. Giraffe like you saunter. Finding you way. Over six foot you tower over me. Man child.

Next week you go away with your history class to WW1 Battlefields in Europe. To the Somme & Ypres. Then a few days later you leave again. For the Duke of Edinburgh award trials. Overnight. Four lads. On the Lakeland fells. Alone. Now I squirm and flinch. My skin itches. I waken suddenly from my thin sleep. My mind is pacing. Across the ceiling. Back and forth. Your bed is empty. Your room is still. My hands sweat and I blink back tears. I try to swallow the fear. My throat tightens. My breath catches deep in my heart.

How do I let go? This is the hard part. The part I have kept boxed away. How not to see them. Nor touch them. Not to reach out every day. I will dehydrate. I will shrink. Visibly smaller. I am less. Lost. To thirst for the smell of them. To breathe them in. Let them go. I know. I must begin. Or else they will tug and pull and rip themselves from me. I am told they will return.

I will sit on the periphery of their lives. On the edge of my own. Watching. Wanting. Waiting. For morsels and cake crumbs. I will drink deep from the well of memory.

She is seventeen. He is almost fifteen. How fast it goes.

And it was only yesterday...

(this post first appeared on Fat frumpy and fiftys blog)

It is 6.55 am and we dropped off the tall boy an hour ago. I just texted him to ask if he is there yet!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

I confess... Living with Teen Terrorists is a nightmare!

Teens are terrorists who have moved into your home, and who are camping out, (in hiding from the Security Services, of course), in an upstairs room you used to see the inside of once upon a time... Back when their room was decorated with Thomas the Tank Engine, or Disney Princesses... Do you remember?

Teen Terrorists are secretive, surly, non-communicative, except with other teen terrorists whom they text and Twitter with, if not on MSN, interminably...

They eat you out of house and home, they subvert your funds for their activities, demand money with menaces, and are bigger and stronger than you, and then they sometimes behave as if you have never loved them, and then they move out!

The Teenagers Pictures, Images and Photos

My man-child is turning into Paris Hilton, he parties so much - I swear!

And surly? I should have made it his middle name...

cheezburger Pictures, Images and Photos

Raising Teen Terrorists is probably something none of us would expect... We do all the right things, read all the right-on parenting tomes that exist, we follow the midwives' and health visitor's advice as if it were bashed into bibles...

We try not to do what our mothers did...

We try to do what our mothers did, when it worked for us... And ultimately, in raising Teen Terrorists we are alone, unutterably, scarily, frighteningly alone...

My own lanky, spawny get is very much a part of me, and yet inexorably separate, individual. Very much 'Himself', in fact... My Other Half, GJ, and I, we sometimes call him, 'Himself', or 'His Grizzship...' Perhaps recognising our subservient presence in his life, our need to pay homage and worship at his feet.

Nothing would ever keep me from this child of my womb. I would be prepared to protect him with my dying breath.

His own sweet, milk-perfumed scents and easy ways gave me succour as he grew, and I drew on them for strength.

And then, not overnight, but in leaps and bounds, inch by inch, minute by minute, he became a Teen Terrorist.

Where did the sweet, loving baby go? And in its place, this interloper, this changeling, this squalling, talling, teen-man who can make my blood pressure go from normal to dangerously high in seconds... Who has made my bank balance scarily low... And who makes me question myself and my ever-inadequate parenting every day in life...

And yet I still love him, as much if not more than I loved the smiling, silent tot whom I cradled and crooned...

What advice do you have for us now, for we are new to raising teens and tweens, my bloggy Dr Spocks...

Teenagers Pictures, Images and Photos

Post of the day
Post of the Day winner. Thank you David. Awarded by David 'authorblog' McMahon.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Are you very afraid?

Well are you? Not sure that it is safe? Not even in your own home? Then you MUST be the parent of a teenager. Are the teenagers still asleep? Or not been seen since they took that plate full of slathered toast up to their room, with only a grunt and a sneer in your direction?

Well I promise you it is safe here.

Here is the place where you will find like minded women. Men too actually. Parents who are looking for a piece of sanctuary. A safe haven. Or a safe house would be better. A place to chat and cogitate. A place to compare notes/teenagers. A place to laugh loudly. Without fear of mocking eyes, pointing to the heavens. Here is a place to compare war wounds and plan that next defensive manoeuvre. Here is feedback. Here is sanity.