Tall Girl came home from school on the bus tonight. She has been at her Dads over the last few nights, so I was really looking forward to seeing her. She knocked on the door, rather than using her key, so I galloped down the hall, towards the door, in a rather undignified and excitable fashion! (I have to admit to being quite excited about Christmas this year) I opened the door with a big grin and saw... A grumpy Teenager!
All my hopes were dashed, words spilled out of her mouth and tears fell from her eyes. "My breathing's bad, I feel sick- I went to the nurse and she wouldn't send me home - told me to have a drink- and a net ball hit me on the head- it really hurt-and I felt all shivery - didn't eat my dinner..." etc etc etc and this is all before crossing the threshold! I sigh. My hypochondriac daughter. There was I thinking all was right with the world.
I let her in and feel her brow, no temperature. I sit her down and give her a drink and something to eat. We talk. She tells it all to me over again, but more coherently. I listen and nod. She worries a lot. She worries about worrying. These symptoms, apart from a netball landing on her head, are a regular occurrence when she is in this state of mind and the more she worries the worse the symptoms get. Even the school nurse is getting wise to her, which is thankful because I used to get a lot of calls to go and pick her up when there was nothing really wrong.
We talk about more ranging subjects. I sit a large packet of Tortilla chips beside her and she digs in. The worry subsides, the symptoms go. She is herself again, for now. I breath a sigh of relief.
She talks about spending New Year with her Dad, and how they have so much to do, he may not be able to take her to her regular physio appointment. She needs to attend her regular appointment. 'I'm really looking forward to New Year' She says, calmer now. And as I listen to these words I am telling myself that that does not mean she is not looking forward to Christmas with me. Does it? It is just words. I hope. I know that she is stressing about Christmas and how it will be different this year. She is the negative to my positive. I feel drained.
Small Sprog, on the other hand is a boy. He is not yet a teen and things seem very simple in comparison. Tonight he has a friend home from school. I have just been into the sitting room to see what they're up to. They have the bowl of 'obligatory' Christmas nuts and the implement to crack them with the carpet. All over the carpet. They are shelling them. Everywhere! I think I may need to hoover later! Is it the technicalities of nut cracking that make it such an interesting pastime for small boys or are men just obsessed with their nuts?!
Anyway, I'm off to let the cat out before he shreds the front door. Give me strength to keep it together for the festive season. Please!