"You've got a boy friend" Says Small Sprog to Tall Girl in a nah nah nan nah nah voice.
We were sitting in the car wondering if a trip to the park was a good idea, or if it would rain any minute. He had chosen this moment to tease his sister. She was a sitting duck!
"No I didn't"
"Yes you did!"
"No I didn't, I said I fancied someone" She said, giving in because she knew she couldn't bluff it, knowing he would embarrass her in front of me anyway.
"Whats his name then" I ask her, joining in the fun.
"Not Telling you"
"Well, what does he look like"
Silence. She is a very private person. I will never truly know her.
"What colour is his hair?" I laugh.
"I don't know!"
"What do you mean, you don't know?!" I giggle, though I guess that comes later. "Is he in your year?" I continue, knowing I will get more information that way than if I ask if he's in her class.
"What's his name?"
"Not telling you" Ah! I had reached the end of what she was willing to tell me.
"Would I know him if you told me?"
"Does he fancy you?"I hazard
"How can you tell?" She looks at me in amazement
"Well, does he steal stuff from your pencil case and hit you with his ruler?"
"He does then"!
I loved being that age!!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
It's been a tough week for me this week, very long and a little empty, so today Small Sprog and Tall Girl and I all went to visit Mum. Up the M5 we dashed. The wind was blowing so hard we travelled almost effortlessly in my small car and seemed to get there in super quick time!
On the way home though, after a battle about whose turn it was to sit in the front seat, Small Sprog made a deep sigh and declared he was bored! We had only just passed the first junction.
"Well", I said as an Eddie Stobbart lorry drove by in the opposite direction "We could play a game"
I explained that the game went like this: All the Eddie lorries have girls names on the front, each lorry a unique name. When you saw one in the distance, you had to shout out a girls name, and as you passed the lorry someone had the job of looking behind and reading the name out. If you guessed it right you won the game.
Small Sprog was delighted, even his sister looked interested. So we started looking for Eddies lorries. Loads of them passed on the northbound carriageway, making reading the names tricky unless I swerved dangerously into the outside lane at just the right moment! The lack of them didn't dampen our spirits though and we drove on, cursing all the Eddies that were travelling north. "We're bound to overtake one soon" I said as the excitement rose in the car!
We got three quarters of the way home and still no Eddie. "Shall I drive through the Services and see if we can spot one there?" I said. "Yes!" was the swift reply. So there I am, in my very small car, negotiating the lorry parking bay at our local service station only 15 minutes from home. "There's bound to be one here somewhere" I shout above the excitement, and can you believe it, there were none!
As we took our exit off the M5 Small Sprog said "That was quick!"
"Yes" I said
"And fun" He smiled
"It was wasn't it"
"Where can we go tomorrow to see one?"
"I'll have to think of somewhere" I laughed.
Such a silly game, and we didn't really even get to play it properly. What do you do to pass the time on a long journey?
Posted by Suburbia at Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I know I've written this before but it always catches me unawares. Over the last two weeks I have been without my children. I have not spent a huge amount of time alone in my house, but the small amount that I have spent here has been lovely. I have felt very 'at home' and not at all alone.
Tonight Tall Girl and Small Sprog are back. Their noise has filled the house and I have become a Mummy once again. Returning with them, of course, is Husband.
As soon as they are home I feel a huge sense of loneliness, a horrible dark place in my heart that feels as cold as stone. How can I be so lonely when the house is so full? The empty hours and days stretch out ahead of me. I should feel glad to see my children, I am glad, but I feel horribly constrained and all the fun and laughter seems to have seeped away. I hate this feeling, it has haunted me before at other times in my life, it always takes a great effort of will to stop myself from physically running away, and though I recognise it now and know it will pass, it doesn't make it any easier.
After dinner I ask Tall Girl if she wants to go for a walk. She does, and so we walk together and talk. It makes me feel calmer. She is bright as a button and full of news. She is mine again.
When we get home I tuck Small Sprog into bed and he hugs me tightly.
My children are home, but I still feel incomplete.
Posted by Suburbia at Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Well, the children are home on Sunday night and my single life will be over. I have adjusted to it, scarily without much trouble at all, though I appreciate that is mostly because I have had such a wonderful time with my Significant Other and filled the end of this week with visits to friends.
I have also had brain space. Time to consider, time to regroup and ponder.
Holidays took on a different shape when I was with Husband. I can see the pattern now, though it formed over time and became part of the 'routine'. People ask you, before you go away, "Are you looking forward to your holiday? Are you excited?" I would always say yes, just to be polite but in reality I can't remember feeling that excitement, not for a very long time.
Had I forgotten how to get excited? Perhaps there was not much to be excited about. Sometimes time away with children can be just as hard work as being at home. All the same chores, just in a different place especially when they were little. I didn't get excited, in fact I didn't get anything. I went through the motions, packing and planning, clothes and food, games and essentials, all the things that made the holiday a success for everyone. But what about me? Did I forget to enjoy myself? Was there any enjoyment? Perhaps I forgot to pack the fun?
The morning of the departure of the family holiday was always stressful. Time constraints prevailed, even if we were only going the 3 hour journey to Cornwall by car, Husband had to be on the road at a certain time, a time chosen by him. There was much huffing and puffing if the rest of us dragged our heels. The car was packed to the gunnel's, the house emptied, or so it seemed! Weeks of lists and precooking (to save work whilst there so I could enjoy myself) came to fruition, off we would go.
There was no anticipation, there was no sense of fun, there was no excitement, just a feeling of exhaustion and the knowledge that life would continue, just the same, in another location.
Then there was what to do whilst we were away, day trips and the like. My "I'd like to go to..." was often ignored, "I'm not doing that" or "Well, we're certainly not going there" would be Husbands retort. In the end I think I forgot to say what I wanted to do at all. I was scared, not frightened, but scared that I would loose myself, forget what I liked, what I wanted to do, who I was - is that what it is to be a Mother? Sometimes I do have a wish to see something or go somewhere, and to have that wish dashed hurt me, it hurt inside, a very real pain and I held it against him, silently.
Did the children have fun? I hope so. What will they remember? Their own normality I think, for none of us knew any different, at the time. This was how it was, the holiday thing, I thought, this is how it is for everyone. But no, it clearly isn't. People get excited about their holidays, look forward to them, they "Have a Lovely Time!"
I know what was missing now. It is not what you take, it is not in the planning or the lists, it is not in the timing or the weather. Not entirely. It is the company you keep. To love someone, to care for them and enjoy their company, to be cared for, that is what it's all about. The fun is attached to that, a bit like Buy One Get One Free! It's a part of the whole, all there to be enjoyed.
When you return to work after a holiday it is customary for people to ask you if you had a nice time, someone always does. Over the last years I have always gone through the motions of saying "Yes, thank you." But not this time, this time I experienced the excitement, the enjoyment and the fun. I can say, in all honesty when they ask me, "Yes, I had a fantastic holiday, thank you".
(Thank You x)
Posted by Suburbia at Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I spoke to Tall Girl for ages on the phone tonight. We laughed and giggled and made plans for next week when they are home again. All seemed well with the world.
At the beginning of the holidays I felt as though I was loosing her, just a little. She was mean and sulky! She spoke to me with 'attitude', and although I didn't let her get away with it, I felt a little sad. She was, and is, hormonal and at the beginning of the holidays, she was tired. I know she feels sorry for her Dad and she can see I am 'coping'. Sometimes I think she 'blames' me.
And then there's Husband, who, after having very little to do with her over the years, now treats her as an equal, chatting to her for what seems like hours when he returns home in the evening, telling her all about his day, secretively holding conversations behind closed doors.
At times I have felt shut out from her world. I have felt her grow apart from me.
I remember growing away from my Mum. Not so my Step Father, as we were never close, but I do remember years of turmoil with my Mother. I have stolen myself. I know it may happen, I know it is a way for children to pull away and start to make a separate identity for themselves. She has far more ammunition now than she would have had the family stayed together.
Tomorrow I am having lunch with a long lost friend. We have not met for over 10 years and I am very excited. When we first met (she is a little older than me and had her family very young) she had three under fives at home and I was young free and almost single! I often used to call in during the daytime, apparently it kept her sane!
Next weekend her daughter is getting married. The daughter that left her mother and the family home, to go and live with her absent father during her teens. My friend reminded me of this during a phone call this week. I had forgotten.
My lovely friend reassured me, we may loose them for a while but they are with us forever. This weekend she is going to her daughters hen night and soon her wedding. They are fabulous friends. She did not loose her daughter.
I was comforted. I do not want to loose mine.
Posted by Suburbia at Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
It's a beautiful sunny day today. My children are on holiday by the sea and I am in touch with them daily. They seem to be having fun, which is good isn't it? I'm trying not to think of it as them having fun without me, and anyway, I am also enjoying my time here very much, you can't have it both ways.
It seems that they are body boarding and crabbing most days (not at the same time obviously.) But while they are away, I can't help worrying about them; are they safe in the water? Will Small Sprog overstretch his crab line and fall in? Are they completely covered in sun cream? Are they
being 'good'? Then there is the underlying, but ever present thought - are they missing me?
Do I want to be missed? My parting words to Tall Girl were, "Have a lovely time, live for the moment, don't think about what is missing, enjoy what you have". I have only recently learnt this myself, after many years of living in the past and regretting or wanting what has been. When she was on holiday with me recently she was sad because she missed her dad. Hence the conversation above. So do I want to be missed? Do I want them to feel sad? No, I don't. But do I want to be missed?
Perhaps. . . . Just a little.
This was the view from our bedroom window in Scotland last week. Beautiful isn't it?
Posted by Suburbia at Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Today I am home. It is 11 long days since I have been here and those 11 days have been beautiful days, full of fun, laughter and delight. There have been too many lovely things to write about here, so below are just a few highlights:
Travelling 1100 miles in good company
Being cared for
Bathing by candle light
Tea and cake
Being a tourist
Being brought tea and biscuits in bed in the morning
Watching shooting stars at 2am
Eating breakfast outside in the sunshine
Being in Scotland first!
Meeting a lovely blogger on the way home
Did I mention food?!
Anyway, back down to earth now and trying to fill my week with fun things before the children come home on Sunday. Trouble is, I'm blogging instead! Well, that's fun isn't it?
What have you all been up to?
Posted by Suburbia at Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
When I was a teenager, full of angst no doubt, I often wrote letters that were never to be sent. Writing them felt like a kind of therapy, once written, I always felt a little better. Sadly I have lost all the scribblings through the years, perhaps for the better though I guess! Over the last 18 months I suppose my blog has become another way of detailing how I feel, though not everything can be written, even here, yet it has been cathartic none the less.
However, about 2 years ago, before I started this blog, before my life changed so dramatically, I did feel the need to write a 'never to be delivered' letter, and I have kept it safe ever since. When I read it I feel justified in all my actions now. As I reread it I know that there was nowhere else to go, my path was mapped out even as I wrote it, although I guess if I had sent it to it's intended recipient then things may have turned out very differently. Perhaps earlier counselling may have turned the relationship around, but in reality, it had been dead for years. To bring a dying heart back to life, surely you only have minutes, seconds even, before the blood stops pumping and the life drains away? Too long and there is no hope.
Here is the letter, nothing added, nothing taken away, I hope you don't mind me sharing, it is very personal, but this is my diary after all.
I know you don't want to 'talk'. I know you don't like confrontation, although that's not what I mean by 'talk'. However, I need to know how to plan the future. We appear to be going nowhere on auto pilot, it sucks the life out of me.
I can remember, years ago, way before children, we both said how a relationship without closeness and good sex was something we would rather be without. Well, here we are. I know you stopped finding me attractive when I was pregnant, it is understandable. I hoped that, as our children got older, we would have more time to be together, and that things may get better but it doesn't seem to have happened that way.
I have got used to not being 'wanted'. It's hard, and I cry at night sometimes when I think of it. The worst thing is that I'm only 43. I still have loads of years left- a passionless dessert. I never thought that this would be what life had planned.
And I mention all this because, all that is missing between us is part of that which is needed to give life a 'warm glow'. That warm glow seems to be so lacking in our relationship. No one to blame, but what to do?
PS. I was inspired to write this post after reading Mum plus two, who also writes letters which are never to be delivered.
Back in about a weeks time........
Posted by Suburbia at Saturday, August 08, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
When I woke this morning I realised this was the day I have been looking forward to and dreading for weeks! (read posts below for further detail!) Sometimes I think the double life that I lead will split me in two as I juggle happiness and loss all at the same time.
However the children have driven me nuts so far this morning, so parting may not be such a sweet sorrow!!! And I am SO looking forward to spending an uninterrupted week with my 'significant other'. Yay for holidays!
Posted by Suburbia at Friday, August 07, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Today is my last full day with Tall Girl and Small Sprog for two whole weeks. It will be strange. Tonight we are having one of their favourite dinners, the last I will share with them for all that time. Let's hope it doesn't feel like the last supper!
I have to say there have been times this week, when Friday evening couldn't come quick enough! Tall Girl really has shown her teenager potential a couple of times recently. Small Sprog though, continues to be his cuddly self and I have soaked up all he can give in order to stock up for the coming weeks.
However, I have become accustomed to living a separate life of late. This weekend I will fall willingly into my Oasis, and on Monday we are off to Scotland for a few days. It will be fun. I am excited. Today I am Mummy, tomorrow night I will be someone else entirely.
Posted by Suburbia at Thursday, August 06, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
When dear Saz suggested I write something for her Teen Blog I declined, mostly because my two lovelies are 9 and 12 years old. Not quite teens, no, not even nearly teens. I have a whole year to go yet. Tall Girl will be thirteen next November, no need to worry surely? She is still all sweetness and light, that's not about to end yet is it? Or is it? Hmm, think again!
It is the school holidays. We have just had a week away. Now you may think a weeks holiday with another family which contained your best friend would be a joyous occasion? Think again.
My oldest lovely has become hormonal (poor thing) and it is showing (poor me!!) What has happened? Where has she gone? Her beautiful hair has become grease ridden and lanky and her mood is worse!
The last straw was on our final day. Everyone gathered around the breakfast table, in various states of dress, some still in PJ's, others fully dressed, and some -who will be nameless- unwashed! All the children were full of chatter, except, except....... my pre-teen. There she was, PJ bottoms and a hoodie on, hood up, partly screening her scowling face! She sat mute, bottom lip almost touching the table.
And what dreadful thing could have happened to have brought on this disturbing behaviour I hear you ask?
There was no Marmite!
She spent several hours after that scrunched up on a sofa with her hood still up and her Nintendo DS bleeping and playing tuneless elevator music.
There is so much to look forward to in the school holidays. Oh Joy!
PS This post will be published on 7th August at Mad Manic Mamas if you haven't had a look yet, you don't know what you have missed!
Posted by Suburbia at Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Just home tonight and it's been a great week. Seems like we've been away for ages.
My lovely friend, who came along with her children, is just like a sister to me and we have had a very relaxing time, when we weren't cajoling the children to do stuff! We ate well, walked miles and laughed lots.
Driving home was a strange feeling though. All the time we were away I completely forgot Husband and how things are here. However as we drove closer to home, reality crept in and I began to remember that life is not as it should be.
I have become very attached to Small Sprog this week. I don't want to contemplate his next holiday, which will be spent away from me. Still, it has been fabulous to be free and be together just us three. Time will tell the rest of the story.
Posted by Suburbia at Saturday, August 01, 2009