Are you ready for this?

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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Tempting fate.( edited to add something new)

Every time...every SINGLE time I say anything of any positive importance, without fail something happens ( almost immediately) to smack me right back down. I have become beyond superstitious and there are a few things that will never , ever leave my head, never pass my lips or find themselves in the form of written word because I know, absolutely KNOW that whatever I have said or written will happen. My sister and I used to laugh and smack ourselves if we ever uttered such a phrase as " ooh, glad I haven't got baggy knees" or " ewwww look at her wrinkles" because as sure as eggs, give it a week or three and we'd have the very affliction we had gloated about not having or scoffed at someone elses' misfortune at having.
In my life there have been several scenarios that I have wondered aloud about or perhaps uttered that I could never cope with, even been so bold as to state that you will never find me in that situation....I will tell you that in every single case I have had to prove myself and be humbled.
I said that if my children were hurt I would spend my life in pursuit of whoever hurt them and I would make whoever did it pay. I didn't. I used my energy healing my children.

I always said that if my husband were to have an affair I would kick him out and never look back. I didn't, I tried for 2 years to get him back and lost every ounce of self respect in the futile ( and thankfully so) effort.

I said that there was no excuse or reason for a women to have an affair with a married man, shame on her if she knew he was married and not walk away.
I knew, I didn't walk away.
When my first husband left and he made me feel like crap I knew that if I could just speak to my first love, just hear his voice, I would be OK, I didn't want anything more than to just feel something other than rejection and pain. I knew he was married and thought that I would just talk to him and that would be that. Wrong. He talked back, he still loved me, he made me feel lovable and safe and forget that I was useless and ugly. He listened to me when I cried about my boys and their terror, he listened to me when I spoke about my tiny girl and the new things she was doing. He sent money to support my children because their father is useless and selfish and put himself first.
I listened when he cried about not having children of his own, I let him howl when his dad died and he had to be the strength for his family and not let his guard down at home.
None of it was about sex or ego, in fact as we lived hundreds of miles away from each other it really wasn't about sex but he was married and I took from his wife the intimacy that was hers, I encouraged deceit and lies and disharmony in his marriage, I am glad that he didn't leave his wife and I am happy that he was honest enough to tell me that while he was able to make her happy he had no right to assume his desires were more important than her peace of mind and happiness. I Am glad I told him to go and be a good husband to his wife.

I knew that if a man ever hit me I would have no hesitation on walking away...I didn't. I excused bad behaviour and I am weak enough to continue to do so as nothing is ever black and white is it?

I knew I would never deal with a gay child, hoped and prayed I would never have to try and deal with it, thought I would feel such shame that I would never show my face. I didn't, I don't. I am sad, you know that but I feel no shame and I hope my son never does either.

Yesterday, yes only yesterday, I wrote about how much I liked Howard. Today I don't. Not even a bit.
I can't tell you what happened to H when he was a child....because it isn't my story to tell and I don't know the details, only a few shady murmerings from people who know more. I know his mother left when he was 12. I know his dad was less than sympathetic and there were times he was afraid. He has told me that he has been able to forgive his parents for their mistakes because he understood that they are human and not capable of perfection.
I know he is deeply affected by slamming doors, ridiculously affected by it, I don't, however, know why.
I do know that what ever went on in his life has damaged him. I understand that but what I am not willing to condone is anything that will have the very same effect on my children.
This morning, as has happened in the past, he lost his temper. Horrible sight but for me, not frightening. For my children though, it is terrifying and I have to find some way to convey to him that this is the case. I watched 3 little boys stand in a line with eyes as big as saucers outside a door while they saw their dad hit my daughter. I am ashamed to write this, I am ashamed enough to write it though, the very purpose of this blog is to enable me to say what I feel and today I feel such resentment and such rage that I am as still and as quiet as the deepest river.
I have told him that when he rids his face of the pious 'woe is me' look, the hard done by , righteous, holier than thou face had better turn to a repentant humble one if he expects me to soften enough to even begin to discuss with him this situation further.
I made sure that he saw and heard me ask the boys if what they saw him do was good or right and he saw them say no.
His answer was that of a true abuser " you and Sophie shouldn't push me to it" What had we done? She was packing and asked for a holdall....20 minutes before we were due to leave for the station ....I told her that she has to be more organised and not wait til the last minute.....she began to answer back ( though not in any way insolent) and all hell broke loose. I mean hell......there is nothing closer to hell or more pleasing to satan than a family in turmoil, than a wife against her husband or children disillusioned with their father.
Sophie is safe, she is at Dan's house for a week and is under no illusions that I in any way understand or condone what happened here today. She knows that I will deal with it and also knows that when she is in the wrong I will deal with her.
I am so sick and tired of having to be reasonable, mature, understanding, sympathetic, strong and compassionate every second of my life.
I envy others the ability to rage, smash things, curl up in a corner and let the shit pass them by. I have inwardly begged to go insane enough to just be shut in a room and revel in oblivion.

Daily, I am astounded by this person that 'gets on and does' that talks reasonably and sensibly, that shops and cooks and drives, deals with bills and overdraughts, plans holidays, attends appointments with doctors, speech therapists, teachers, benefits agencies, letting agencies, banks, juggles scarecely enough money so that it just about covers what we need. This person who smiles and laughs and jokes and answers " fine thankyou" to any questions about my well being.
I wrote to H this morning, he is going to church and professes to be trying to be a better man (.....hmmmmm failed badly this morning) and as yet is totally reluctant to even admit that he is wrong.....he is fond of church doctrine lately and so I found something fitting and sent it to him, he listens to other people ..wonder if he will read and take heed of this

When you married me you KNEW I had children, you CHOSE to raise them and LOVE them. You CHOSE to be an example to them, you CHOSE to set an example, to deal with the trials....which I will remind you at least I warned you about, you knew every problem Sophie had, you CHOSE to accept them and help.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.
We warn that individuals who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

Said it better than I could.
So, today I suppose I am admitting that by singing his praises I tempted fate, brought the demons out to try and see if they could have me eat my words......the answer to that is yes, it seems.
You know I'm not up in arms about him physically hurting Sophie, because actually, he never has, but today she said " Mum, I always think that if anyone tried to kidnap me, or hurt me, I would be able to fight them off, when he goes for me, everything in me just crumples, I feel pathetic and I can't stop him" and that is what I am so angry about, that is what everyone should mind about, one person having the power to intimidate another to the point of helplessness. Whether he thinks he is reprimanding a child or not, he ( and no-body else either) has the right to make another person feel belittled or afraid, what can he think anyone will learn except hatred and contempt?
I asked him this afternoon ( stone face or not) if at anytime when he was growing up and witnessing the things his dad did, if he ever felt fear, if at any one time when he saw his dad hit anyone, if he ever looked on or listened in and thought " poor dad, he must be at the end of his rope" or if he ever thought " ah, he's doing just the right thing, she deserved that" I then told him that I would put money on him feeling great fear and feeling not an ounce of respect for his dad. I then asked him if he wanted his sons to feel any of the emotions he felt way back then. He hasn't answered me of course, but there was a break in the stone face.

Well, took all day and what a tense and miseerable day it has been but we got there. This evening I saw more emotion from H than I have ever seen ( did he cry? I think, almost, he did) He said that he had taken all day to think and admitted that for much of the day he has felt as much anger at me as I have felt for him, he then said that the more he thought, the more disappointed he felt that he has ,not ever realised before, that there may have been a time when he promised Sophie that although he wouldn't be her biological father that he would at some stage be able to be her dad and said " what if I did, what if I promised I would be what she needed and now I have behaved like this?" I have never heard him say that he thought he should be anything to her ( and I must say that he hadn't read my e.mail at this point) and that he has felt that I have pushed him to one side and stopped him being her dad.
Maybe I have done this, I know that I am so sensitive to her being let down by anyone in a father's role that I step in and stop it happening ( or try to) before she is hurt by anyone else.
She was 10 weeks when her father left, tiny baby girl. He has been a let down and a disappontment to her ever since. When she was 11 months she woke up during a visit from Gary ( my first love/ affair) I brought her down thinking that as such a baby she wouldn't understand what was happening. She took one look, held out her arms and said " ats my daddy" and although I only saw him perhaps once or twice a year and she saw him the same amount of times she insisted that he was daddy.
He loved it , she loved it and it thrilled me that she had someone she loved who loved her. When she was 3 I knew that I couldn't allow it to go on anymore and that's when we said goodbye. She was 15 when she asked me why he had just left her. She said when she was 3 " hmmm that's 2 daddies that didn't want me" when I explained that he couldn't come and see her anymore. I thought I had explained as simply as I could that it wasn't her he was leaving...but all those years she held onto the idea that she was so unloveable that not only one daddy but two had walked away. the damage we can do to our children whilst thinking of ourselves is terrifying.
I was able to explain to H tonight that she has been so defiant and such hard work because she is terrified of another dad leaving, if he goes, if he hates her, she wants to be sure that she can tell herself why....the reason she continues to get over the fights they have is because she has a grudging respect for the fact that he Is still here, that he HASN'T walked out when she hasn't been a sweet baby or an appealing toddler...she has been for the most part a revolting adolescent and he is still here.
I am in love with all my children, everyone of them has something that is unique to them and makes me adore them. Something about Sophie and the very fact that we have had such a fight for everything we have makes me fiercely protective of her. It has taken me so long to feel such love for her , after all the years of feeling worn out and battled out over her, that I am so new to this gentle feeling toward her that I am afraid when anything happens that maybe threatens it.
I love my husband, I love my daughter, I am infuriated by both of them and exhausted by being stuck in the middle. My girl is right on the edge of finding her own life, I want to enjoy this time with her, I am no longer threatened by her temper, I don't feel anything but slightly amused by her teen tantrums....when I feel pressured to constantly reprimand her or nag her by H, all it does is make me resent him.

She is his one and only chance to be a dad to a daughter and he is at risk of blowing it, she isn't blameless but she is the matter that she is in a woman's body, emotionally, she is a little girl and she needs someone to be her daddy so she can grow up and be a woman. H seemed to understand that tonight and so I hope that he can take on the challenge before it is too late. If he does this he will have a daughter for life and I will gain more respect for him that I will be capable of expressing.
On that note I am leaving you for a week. It's family holiday time and we are off to build sandcastles, eat chips on the beach and make memories. I'm immensely relieved that I am able to leave on a higher note than this morning.

Poor me..or am I lucky?

Oh poor me! I have the flu thing that has hit my whole family...of course they are all well now thank goodness! My head throbs, my body aches ( rather curiously, my bum cheeks ache the most?!) my ears are pulsing and hurt so much and to top it all good old aunt flo is here!
We had the house inspection today ..actually H did, it is the one thing that I absolutely walk away from, I will clean, paint, scrub and fluff but I'll be darned if I am going to wander around my home behind an estate / letting agent, with my palms sweating wondering if he thinks I am clean enough. Arseholes to that missus. Of course when I get home ( from the smallest zoo in the west today, sweet little place that takes 30 minutes to walk 'round twice) I need to know every syllable uttered by the letting agent....

"hey how did it go"
" yeah, good"
" so, was he pleased with how we keep the house?"
" oh yeah"
" what did he say?"
"what do you want me to say?"
( are you getting the gist of where/ how this is going?!)
"well, I want to hear what he said about it all"
" oh. he said it was good"

That all makes the three weeks of painting, papering, gardening, worrying, worth it doesn't it? Are you all simply eaten away with jealousy at my being married to a man so poetical as this?
when I first met H ( well I say met, I met him through the internet, how scary is that?!) I didn't have my own computer so all my messages went to my parents house ( gets scarier doesn't it!?)
I got a call one day to say that there was a new my giddy excitement I pleaded with my sister to read it to me........
" I could just go for an English Rose right now"
WHOOHOO HE WANTED ME!! What sweet words, awww love him...... I dreamed of sweet whispered nothings ( which actually is what I get now I think about it!!) such romance and I knew that when I heard his american accent and he said such sweet things to me I would swoon with great british femininity!
2 days later I got the printed e.mail......
" I could just go for an English ROAST right now".............. says it all doesn't it?! A man of few words my husband.
I am assured that a sharp smack on my ever expanding backside means he loves me. His idea of a perfect suprise gift to his heavily pregnant ,40 year old wife,( aka mamma hippo) is to leave a jar of anti wrinkle cream capsules perched on top of his dad's bathroom cabinet ( purchased from the dollar store of course, thus proving that he is both thoughtful AND thrifty)
I am, I have to say, coming round to his way of thinking somewhat, because at least he lives what he believes, he knows I love him when he gets roast lamb for dinner ( I have delivered 3 sons to my husband, 2 quite naturally, one with an epidural purely to see what it would be like.....not so much as a furrowed emotional brow did I see ....I have seen his eyes fill with tears when a delicious lamb roast was picked to the bone!!)
He was almost overcome with joy this week when I told him how much I liked him " there ya go...see? see? that's what matters!" I told him this when I had come home from a round of mind numbingly boring chores that had taken me all day to find the most perfectly clean house and home made burritos, when he did the dishes afterwards I just had to tell him that I like him as much as I love him. He is, quite honestly, a complex and infuriatingly obsessive man with a fabulous sense of humour, so much loyalty and devotion it is almost too much to comprehend and I trust him with my life.
I am learning that although roses and jewellery would be truly fabulous ( don't forget my ring, still right there in the jewellers next to the bank....I haven't!!) to have someone truly with me in raising these little men, to hear him say " what did mommy say? " "or " maybe we can check with mommy and see if she says that's a good plan" to the boys, meaning that my opinion counts and that he knows we are in this together. Watching him with 3 little boys all working together and his endless patience while he lets them do things themselves even though it means he will have to mop, wipe, brush and clean afterwards.....that has to be a bigger statement doesn't it? I am thrilled that this time I get to raise my children together with their daddy. I love him and even more importantly I like him...and he is glad about that, can't be bad can it?
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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

What a day today...we are super spring cleaning, cupboards, garden, garage, you name it, it's getting turned out, cleaned, thrown out or packed up, if it stays still it's painted or scrubbed...fantastic. I turned out my wardrobe and found my teeny tiny baby clothes that just couldn't be given away, one particular favourite had the sleeves rolled up where it had obviously been too big for tiny Elijah. A teeny-weeny cardigan worn by Jordan and Isaac when I brought them home from hospital. 2 cotton blankets that swaddled Eli. I swear I felt my heart actually weep a bit as I put them away knowing I will never again use them for a baby I have grown and given birth to.
I am just so completely brilliant at the baby making thing. I conceive frighteningly easily, carry well and shoot them out at such an alarming speed that I have three times caught the medical people completely unawares. I will blow my own trumpet and say that the fruits of my loins are particularly well put together too. *sigh* and no more will I do what I do so well. I shall, however be a spectacular granny / nana/ grandma though never a nanny because it is possible to hire a nanny , it is also possible to milk a nanny ( goat) so I shall refuse that title thankyou very much.
I have whitewashed my front steps today, looks very clean and inviting.....I have begun what I set out to do, I am making my home my dream. Hoorah!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The search for ???

Sometimes I seem as if I am hovering above reality trying to work it all out! I never cease to be amazed at the speed of peoples' lives and the endless quest for.....what? I have noticed that the least happy people are those who are in a never ending search for it. It appears that for some the prime goal in life is to find that one person, or one 'thing' that will make them happy. How exhausting and how sad not to know that almost always the ingredients for absolute joy are right where we happen to be. Also, that it is actually just up to US to make our happiness and we then find that other people can share in it and perhaps increase it.
I mentioned before about my near obsession for the house next door, I find myself holding my breath if it seems there could be a buyer, never mind a buyer, even if someone looks around it ( and happily for my covetous self, only one person has ever viewed it with my knowledge) I gaze at it, I look it up on the estate agents website and I dream. Until today; I came home from the school run and saw my husband and my littlest boy working hard on a fence to trap afore mentioned littlest boy in the perfectly adequate back garden and stop him carreering off down the road like a jack rabbit the very second my attention is drawn elsewhere.
Off on a tangent for a minute...last week I chased the 22 month old houdini ( who was being chased by the 3 year old accomplice) back up the road and into the garden, I was then approached by my neighbour who, probably in his late 70's, owns 3 old mercedes cars that he spends a huge amount of time rearranging in his drive,
" Ah....hello" said he with pipe gripped tightly between his teeth " Glad you caught the jack rabbits, ( yes that's where I got the description from) my goodness they rip orf down that road with the wind behind them don't they? I say....I worry that I shall one day just feel a bump as I reverse out my drive, I shouldn't be able to see them you see, you understand that do you? such little fellows" ( I so wish I could somehow share with you just how grand the old fellow's accent is, gravelly of course but couldn't be more black and white filmish if it tried, I just know he uses words like Cad and Dash)
Well I agreed and hoped to point out that on many occassion I am to be seen charging orf down the road after the little fellows but try as I might I can't ( as yet) keep the buggers in the garden.
" Ah, now then, I wonder....I have one of those old clothes lines you know, go round in circles..rotary that's the one, one of those and a couple of those dog leads that get longer, you know the ones..that's right, how about it? Just say the word!" ( fab idea, just not sure I'd get away with it)
So, today I saw the fence being built and the garden is looking a bit, actually a lot, 'lush' as Sophie would say, beautiful as I would say. The inside isn't bad, and is getting better slowly, as I begin to believe we might actually live here long enough to make it feel like ours. PING!! Penny dropped / switch flipped.....what is wrong with me? Why not make where I AM the place I dream about?
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Short of a lottery win, a relative I don't know about dying and leaving a stash of cash to me ( would have to be one I don't know about because the ones I DO know don't have a pot to piddle in either ) or a mystery benefactor feeling pity and sending me the door isn't ever going to be mine. This house, though not mine, is my home, we live here and probably will for some time so why, in the name of all thats mortageable, am I wasting energy and emotion hankering after the unobtainable?
I have decorated our one and only toilet ( next door's got THREE!) and made it pretty pleasant to sit down in ( apart from the pine toilet seat, that replaced the see through dolphin and seashell one, that matched the badly ragged, blue walls, without fail, even if I sit down very,very carefully and make every effort to get my substantial bottom smack bang central, that sucker clunks hard to the left, no amount of tightening works, I find myself holding my breath as I lower myself down and sure enough within seconds "clunk...WHOOOP..stupid thing!" will be heard. Apart from that though, it's very pleasant and I have the ability to work the same kind of wonders on the rest of the house, so I am going to do just that. If Sod's law comes into force and we find that just as we get it perfect we have to move, then so what ? We'll start all over again won't we?!
I'm seeing what's under my let's see if I can make it smell like roses.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Sunday, the day of rest.

And today has been very peaceful for me. I am filled with joy at the sight of my little men dressed like daddy in shirt and tie as they set off for church and love to see them come home with pictures, smiles, twisted ties and shirts untucked, Eli somehow never has shoes on ( shan't even think about the fact that might me he is being allowed to be less than reverent for 2 reasons, a) if I don't go I have no say in whether he is allowed to run riot or not and b) he is a mere 21 months old. I suspect the Lord revels in the sight of clambering babies with no shoes on, feeling at home in His house.
When the righteous return I make a point of having a proper sunday roast waiting, today was particularly enjoyable in that Jordan won it in a raffle at work, so, huge pork roast and most of the trimmings ( darn it ran out of apple sauce) courtesy of someone else tasted extra sweet.
My mind is delightfully relaxed and so today, I shall say no more than I am happy to count my blessings.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Aren't these things great? I am becoming a blog addict.....not just writing mine but reading other peoples'.
I am astounded at just how frank people are, I am stunned by the huge variety of topics and irritated by the ones that are nothing but blatent advertising.
Honestly, I have found myself reading about such personal details in peoples' lives and am loving it all in an alarmingly voyeuristic way. I remember back in the day, being highly amused at the incredible ease strangers would begin to discuss their bowel habits ( honestly I have been told about the dreaded constipation in the most bizarre places by total strangers) but this blog business knocks all that into a top hat!
I find myself tutting at the appalling grammar and spelling of the youth of today and admit that I have yet to tarry longer than a sentence or two before getting a headache and hitting the 'next blog' button.
I read about a fellow Englishwoman who is living a remarkably colourful existance and I have even read a blog written by a cat.
Simply marvellous, I am in danger of having to write about my divorce though as H is being somewhat ignored while I live others' lives right along with them ( In truth I suspect he hasn't even missed me as I bought him an MP3 player for christmas and many's the time I have been telling my innermost thoughts while he is listening to some obscure download or other) I did even tell him that he is to feel perfectly free to give me the wink should he be feeling the least bit passionate as he walks past me on his way to bed ( actually he'd be best giving me shove I doubt I'd notice a wink......oh I'm sorry, I'm shrieking aloud here because I just noticed the most appropriate typo, I typed an 'a' instead of an 'i' in wink!!) ...there now I've done it...telling you all personal details you can probably well live without! I shall be telling you about my bowels any day I bet you!

The miracle of modern I am, several hours later having put children to bed, driven a teenage son with an unexpected night off into town ( in my pyjamas no less......who'd have thought I could be so daring?!?)
I haven't ever been much of a nightclubber myself, I did have a very brief perid when I was a nursing student where I would persuade my fellow student nurses from Mount Gould Orthopaedic hospital to forget revising and come 'down town'. Not sure why I did that really, as dancing has always struck me as an absurd thing to do. I always imagine that there is no music and am agog at how ridiculous people look, which makes me feel ridiculous too and then I become pathetically wooden and do some kind of stomping twitch that I am convinced makes me look like I'm on day release from somewhere that ought to know better than to let me loose among the public. I'm sure it was a ruse to avoid revising and in fact it worked very well indeed.
I love people....I love to see the things we do, like taking Jordan out this evening..heavens, me? out at 9.30pm on a saturday night? The sights you see.
It's a different world out there, hoards of testosterone pumped young men in tight t-shirts not noticing the rain ( alcohol I presume, as it's plishing it down out there tonight) and girlies in white with copius amounts of skin showing, not noticing the biting wind that is making the rain come down sideways ( vanity I presume, as it is truly worthy of a substantial cardie at the very least out there) tottering on strappy sandals all gravitating towards the nightclubs and pubs where they hope to get together and meet Mr/s Right. Oh the folly of youth.
There are so many advantages to being 42, mother of 6, overweight and past get to sit at home on a saturday night and have your husband, who loves the very wobble of you, pat you on the back as he walks past on his way to the bedroom and utter that irresistable line....... "how are your energy levels?" I think that's his equivalent of a wink.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Just feel like saying that there is nothing like being involved in some give and take!
Auntie Margeret used to say " cast your bread upon the waters and it'll come back buttered" I love that is too long since I have had the wherewithall to give anything much and at times that can get me down, I need to remember though, that very often the best gifts are the little ones that cost next to nothing.
I remember one day in the middle of summer my sister Julie and I walking along a beautiful part of Plymouth and eating an ice lolly, hmmmm it was a new one, opal fruits ( now starburst, I think) and was so we finished I had the feeling that a friend of mine would love them. It seemed absurd but told Julie that we had to buy some and take them to this friend. We did just that and when she opened the door and saw what we had she got teary and told us that her husband was away with work, she was in mid chemo for breast cancer and her whole mouth was full of painful sores and ulcers....she had turned her house upside down for something that would soothe her mouth and quench her thrist, living too far from the shops she was miserable not having anything to eat or drink that would taste and feel good. She said that these lollies were the answer to her prayers. Lesson learned, never give in to that feeling that something is too small or seems too absurd...if you feel something strongly enough, go with it, you can't go too far wrong!
Oh my, here's another tale that doesn't make me look like an administering angel!!
One year into being a single parent, 3 children under 5...we got to Easter weekend and I wanted to go out...I prepared the 3 under 5's and we caught the bus to the Barbican, beautiful harbour with cobbled streets, fabulous shops and lots to see. Probably a mistake, Sophie was a year old, in the pushchair, Jordan 3, Dan 5....Jordan, love him, is one of life's touchers, can't see anything and not poke it, pick it up, put it down, turn it 'round. Hasn't changed even at 17, I still feel the urge to tell him to put his hands in his pockets if we go into a shop!
Well, here we are at the Barbican, walking the cobbled streets, window shopping, taking in the smell of the seaside and fish and chips.
Oh, I know that the indoor flea market isn't a good idea with the kids ,but bribery is a marvellous tool and I tell them that if they just let me walk around for 10 minutes we will head for the park and the fun stuff right afterwards.
Picture this olde worlde indoor market, tons of stalls, tiny alleyways, me, pushcair, 2 boys , 1 each side and Jordan and his octopus arms..
CRASH!! It had to happen didn't it? And somehow I wouldn't have felt quite so bad if it had been an attractive ornament that the slippery fingered Jordan had found irresistable but truly it was remarkable in it's ugliness, a bubble effect glass vase with plastic flower in it, and of course right next to the sign that said " pretty to look at, lovely to hold, but if you break it consider it sold" If my wits had been about me I would have argued the point because the sign so obviosuly went against all trading standards...anyhoo, here I was the day before Easter, defrosting turkey in the fridge and barely enough money for some vegetables and every penny of it went to the stall holder with the best luck in the world ( don't want to be boring about it but honest to Betsie the only way she was ever going to get money for that monstrosity was if some innocent person with the WORST luck in the world broke it)
I had internal melt down, just one of those things that seem the end of the world and I handed over the money and left....ever seen those cartoons where someone or something is dragged along at such speed they are horizontal? That was Dan and Jordan who, sensing this might not be the time to complain or run away, held onto the stripey blue pushchair with impressive strength and tenacity. Naturally, my flight wasn't done in silence, it was accompanied by the kind of tirade that we women do so well.
" You had to touch it didn't you, DIDN'T YOU? now what? that was all the money I had in the world and it's gone on some ugly vase that wasn't worth 50p..... why did you touch it...why didn't you have your arms folded like I asked we've got nothing, nothing and I don't know what I will do......." up the hill, over the road, on and on, tears pouring down my face, Jordan sobbing but daring not to interrupt.....then I felt a gentle tug on my sleeve, I stopped and looked around and there was an unremarkable lady of about 50ish, can't remember what she looked like really but I will remember her words for eternity, she handed me a £5 note and said " I saw what happened and I just can't bear it, please let me give you back the money you had to pay.....he's such a little boy and he didn't mean it, please let me help you" and she was gone.
I have rarely felt more humble than right there and then. £5 ...nothing really is it? For the loss of £5 I risked dimming Jordan's spirit, didn't give a thought to how he must have felt when that hideous glass vase slipped out of his fingers onto that concrete floor....hadn't imagined that anyone would be watching or care enough to step in and help out.
I learned that by keeping our eyes and ears open we can grasp so many opportunites to be an angel. Angels aren't always dressed in white and hardly ever have wings..... I love the scripure that says " Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" ( Hebrews 13: 2)
May we all encounter angels and wear the wings ourselves as often as chance allows!
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Friday, May 20, 2005

Let them eat cake.

Have you ever stopped dead still in your tracks and seen yourself through the eyes of another? I did that today...and had to laugh ( isn't it just great when you can laugh at yourself? I think I'm quite good at it I have to say) Seth is dealing with his food phobia in such an impressive way, I think his beginning the party scene has made him realise thathis friends eat so many different foods that he perhaps would like to join them. Bless his face, he is so afraid and I haven't honestly ever tried to understand his fears before, today he asked to go to the shop and choose something that he has never tried before. This week alone he has tried SIX new foods, we asked him to do nothing more than touch the food and he has surpassed our request and actually put tiny morsels in his mouth.
He tried spagetti with SAUCE..huge deal, mixing food is a terrifying prospect for Seth, messy food is a definate to actually stick his finger in spagetti sauce and then lick his finger was a marathon achieved.
He tried White triangle cheese..only ever has yellow cheese ever passed his he ate TWO dairylea triangles.....SUPERSTAR!
He tried and demolished some white chocolate cream biscuits ....cream biscuits.....can you imagine how difficult that was? He will eat plain biscuits...don't even show him ones with chocolate or cream in...2 foods mixed....too scary!
He tried a cheese slice, didn't like it but he tried it, good boy.
Strawberry milkshake made at home oh AND banana milkshake. Mc donald's strawberry milkshake only in the past.
Seeing his face when he tries and likes the new food is a treat indeed.
Today when we walked around the shop he tried to back track and choose food that he always eats saying ( very cleverly) "but I haven't ever tried THAT packet!!"
I found myself standing next to the chocolate biscuits saying " Seth..these are very should try them" he was looking longingly at the Kellogg's cornflakes, no sugar of course and I was standing ther saying " no, I know you like those and you've had them lots of times and I want you to try these chocolate biscuits please" and out of the corner of my eye I saw an older lady looking at me with the greatest look of mouthed gobsmacking disbelief! I truly had to explain that Seth was afraid of food and that he was trying new foods so that when he was with his friends he could enjoy different things...if we start with foods that he is almost guaranteed to like he will get braver and more willing to try more and more new things. Phew! she seemed to understand immediately and off we went but all day it has given me such giggles to imagine what I must have looked like, a tiny little boy in his school uniform and specs obviously very healthy and happy with me, hugely overweight, all but begging him to chow down on some totally junk filled food. HA!
Sweet little boy, I really put myself in his head today and imagined a french man with a huge plate of lightly boiled and seasoned snails telling me just how delicious they are....right them yourself then!! That's how Seth feels when offered cake, nothing will tempt him, he can't even touch it, he chooses a cake every birthday and is thrilled to see everyone ELSE eat it but shudders at the very thought or mention of tasting it! How brave my boy is to have battled against this fear SIX times in one week...for every 5 new tastes he tries he gets a pound and he can buy whatever he truly loves, a pack of 5 animal bars today, delicious chocolate bars that are his favourite and they were all his, he was allowed to eat them ALL.
At dinner time tonight for the very first time in his life he had THREE foods on one plate, tomatoes, his favourite, cucumber his friend and spanish rice, he touched the rice, he smelled the rice and then he tasted it, he allowed it on his plate while he ate his cucumber and tomatoes and then he brought his plate to me and told me that he couldn't eat it. No crying no panicking and no screaming that he couldn't eat food if it had all been on the same plate.
This week, Seth is my hero.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Does God have a sense of humour?

A resounding YES comes from my house! What a day it has been dear car, 14 years old and still serving well, has been without a handle on the side door for months, since my ex husband who is part neanderthal pulled the blasted thing so hard it came off in his hand, every trip with the boys since then has meant opening the front door and reaching around to open the side door...then strapping 3 boys in their car seats and repeating the process at the other end of the journey. Ahhh Kevin's name has been mud ever since and many times ( which actually he would probably be grateful for because lets face it, Kevin is hardly a name to be proud of especially when you hail from Birmingham and have the accent to go with it, so Mud is an improvement I should say...or do I just associate the name Kevin with all that's dimwitted? )
Anyway, refusing to pay the ridiculous prices I have been quoted for a replacement I have been nigh on obsessed with my pursuit of a second hand bargain. HOORAH!!! Bless you man on e.bay ...I won a handle for a mere £8.70 including P&P, arrived this very morning and fitted by my husband who is a giddy marvel at all things handy and even manages every time to have a few pieces left over, 3 nuts and a bolt today, I think.
Not only that but following my oil change ( somewhat tardy and very much needed) the oil change light refused to go out, every outing since october has had me explaining to passengers, that I don't need an oil change just need to get the light turned off. Imagine my delight yesterday when sitting at traffic lights I noticed a little button beside which were the words "oil change" Oooh what could that mean? I wondered and reaching back to grab a balloon on a stick ( always good to have one handy) I poked the stick part through the hole and HEY PRESTO- No light telling me to change my oil! Whoopdeblinkindoo, I couldn't be more pleased if my car was a new one ( liar, someone send me a new people carrier and see if I'm happier, bet I would be as long as it's not lime green-- I saw one of those last week and felt very superior in my nice silver grey one, albeit it so old, misplaced closet snob is what I am!) So, here I am with my new handle, no oil light and felt that in honour of such a momentous occassion I would vacuum my car, yes, vacuum it, not sweep the cheerios and crunched up hula hoops out with the ice scraper with a brush attached and hope the neighbours don't see, actually use a vacuum cleaner. ( I must tell you about my vacuum one day..note to self)

Lordie lordie the queen's not my cousin! I was just so throroughly proud of my car I could scarcely bear to leave it but Isaac had to go to nursery and had snot all over his face, sit him in and run inside to grab some wet wipes.....hmmmmm Sophie is home, why? School isn't finished for 3 hours...she began to tell me and it sounded so totally ridiculous that I just knew if I even began to reply I would be late, so..out the door. WHERE IS MY CAR?!?!? My shiny car with no crumbs. no oil light...a handle on the side door and MY ISAAC! ( not listed in order of importance, naturally) I felt like I was a slow motion part of a horror movie and was rooted to the spot even when I saw my car...down the hill, over the road, on top of a tree,yes a TREE a real one, knocked down, flattened and under my car! Terrified Isaac in the front seat with beloved Lellow Ba ( yellow blanket) stuffed in his mouth.
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Only a teenager could find that a hilarious sight, right then, at that moment and trust me to have 2 of mine next to me taking in the sight...that's what spurred me on to move and get to my child ( rather bizarrely taking my handbag with me?!?) He was fine, miracle of miracles, he hadn't a scratch on him, he had missed 2 houses, a 10 ft drop, a lovely shiny new car and because the wheels were locked in a curve he had somehow just hit the tree, also because the whole thing had happened in reverse he had just been thrown backwards into the seat.
We couldn't move the car though, the tree had been uprooted and the roots were jammed right under the axle, couldn't reverse, couldn't go forward. Oh how the lady on the phone at the recovery centre loved me, as did the man who was sent to rescue us....they said that it beats a flat battery and they shall be thinking about us all day, I shouldn't wonder if our ears burn tonight as we are discussed in the pub or over dinner...especially as I had to report to the police, the highways authority ( who thankfully own the tree not the neighbour who has taken a completely unreasonable dislike to us as we park where he used to park) my insurance company and grandma.
All is well though, as the tree is replanted, the car isn't cracked or bent anywhere but the bumper ( how lovely that at least one part of a car has a name that is simple and descriptive, unlike the crankshaft; now what do you suppose that does? It's name certainly doesn't tell us does it?)
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Now I shall have to begin a new search for a new ( to me) bumper....never a dull moment is there?
I can hear the angels hooting with laughter at me today, ha ha, here we go again! ( thankyou for keeping my Isaac safe though you cheeky angels you!)

Picture this!

Today, at school and nursery it was picture day. I so remember the pictures days from when Daniel, Jordan and Sophie were at school and the hours spent making sure uniforms were perfect and hair was tidy, until I forgot one year and Sophie came home with a photo that just made my day! It was SO Sophie, hair all over her face, crooked sweatshirt and a slightly grubby was by FAR my most favourite school picture ever.
Today I wasn't sure if Isaac was having his picture taken but we had Seth's appointment with the blue clouded background marked in the diary so he had a specially vigorous face wash and hair comb ( but I must say I made sure I did it as H has a tendancy towards a somewhat Hitlerite 'do' ) off we went......home time and both boys were thrilled to say the picture man had been.
" Did you smile Seth? "
" how splendid, and did you have your picture taken BEFORE lunch or after lunch?" "after lunch" right then, I am can be pretty sure I am correct in my assumption that we are in for a photo that we will gaze at fondly for many years judging by the crust around his nostrils ( when will that EVER dry up it's been WEEKS!) and the kit kat remnants around his mouth!
" ME too" said my Isaac " me too"
" how exciting Isaac...did you smile?"
" HA HA HA -- Me Jooolee" and he showed us what his Julie had done to make sure he smiled, just the re-enactment of her tongue sticking and cross eyed faces had him completely convulsed , so again I suspect a treat is in store. Marvellous! That's Fathers' day for grandpa and papa sorted then!

Much progress from both Seth and Isaac lately, Seth has suddenly discovered letters and the whole point of reading, 4 years and 9 months and he gets cool is that? He is excited by the discovery and is quick ( in true Seth fashion) to point out our every mistake " Hey, why do you keep calling him IZUK? If it's I-S-A-A-C it should be eyssuck and you keep saying Izuk...but there's no Z in his name is there?" smartarse! ( wait til he works out it should actually be eyesark!!)

My Isaac is learning everything Seth is learning but more importantly he is much braver at nursery, at last they are seeing the delicious boy we know, funny and brave and loving...of course he is still himself and when we are out and people talk to him ( and they do, all the time) he is embarrassing in the extreme in that he absolutely will not look at them, won't answer them and even turns his back...the look on his face is classic it screams " yeah? AND? you think I give a **** ?!" I stand and pretend I haven't noticed but sort of wish I could say " he's not rude, he's autistic" but he's autistic, not stupid, so that's out !

Dear Elijah....funny baby of mine ( will he have that tag his whole life poor little sod, when his shoes are the same size as Jordan's will I still say' my baby'?) he has the greatest facial expressions and is just divine to be around and he loves geewafts, I hope he never learns to say Giraffe, I shall punch, quite hard, anyone who tries to get him to say it any other way than geewaft...hooray for little people I say.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

so..what works ?

I need, after my outpouring of misery the other day, to make it plain that my whole life is not taken up with sadness. I am, so often able to see immense joy in many things around me and hooray they are the simplest of things that make my spirits soar.
Today I wanted to pick up some plants...lawks a mercy hang on tight.... she might be getting the gardening thing! Mum warned me that sometime around 30 I would begin to see beauty in nature and feel a longing to watch things I admit it , in this I am retarded but in a very sluggish and almost childlike way the awakening has begun.
H is prone to think of things and be totally gung ho about them and then forget that he was the one to start a trend or fad! He needed, around january, to buy seeds for the purpose of having a marvellous learning experience with the I am no Percy Thrower but I'm pretty sure that not much is going to sprout in January but never the less, some seeds were bought ( and a veritable nursery supply too I might add, I could almost see a home farm in the distance supplying friends and family with juicy produce fresh from our garden)
Fast track to the end of march when we had a very touching evening with papa and daddy helping 2 little boys plant some seeds. It was, for my mum and I, almost tear jerkingly moving to be bystanders in the experiment, both Dad and H are true aspergers men and Seth and Isaac both have the same tendancies but with the joyful and blissful exuberance of childhood.....just picture 2 very 'rigid' men trying to plant straight rows of seeds with 2 little boys who both have very set ways of thinking how things should be done. If ever there was an example of patience that had to be it!
" oh oh..NO PLEASE put that seed HERE, should be in straight lines....Oh but the soil is going all over the ...oh you ARE good boys aren't you doing a beautiful job..." Whilst watching the lip biting and knuckle clenching I had to feel admiration for these 2 men who were determined to have a great time with their sons / grandsons.....common sense told both mum and I to stay as far away as possible though!!
So now we had several trays of seeds and where to put them ? Hmmmm of course no-one had thought THAT far ahead and so they went where everything with no home goes..out in the laundry / toy room. Thankyou gramma for knowing how painful that would be for ME and thankyou gramma for bringing around a mini greenhouse...which H erected outside and put the seeds in..never to go near it again!
Now, I am not a fluffy person, never overtaken with emotion at the sight of a cutsie wutsie puppy, I am perfectly able to look at it and see steaming pooh on my carpet and chewed table legs, Kittens are sweet but I can see flea bites.....babies almost get me but I have had 6 and have learned that they big and answer back much longer than they are wobbly headed little smoochies who smell divine! But I simply cannot see living things the seeds became my project, I transplanted them into little pots and watered them well and by golly they GREW and grew and I would mention how they were growing and say how they should probably be planted outside now...oh well, I found some fabulous tomato and runner bean plants for 40p outside the corner shop. ( and they are already planted as I caught H in a digging mood and lo and behold we're in business!
The journey to buy the plants was spectacular, as distracted as I am on many occassions it is impossible for me to drive in this part of the country and not notice just how beautiful it is, as hurried as I may be, I never feel cross stuck behind a herd of cows on the way to milking with udders almost scraping the tarmac ( almost been there before I had my reduction, so much sympathy is given to said cows no matter how long it takes them to swing their way to the milking shed!)
I am forever stunned at the simple beauty by which I am surrounded ......just a glimpse of such treasure on a clear bright day is enough to lift my soul.

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Thankyou for natures own anti depressant!

Monday, May 16, 2005

a sight to make my heart skip.

I woke up this morning to see Elijah's tiny size 6 shoes right next to Jordan's enormous size 13 just made my heart skip to see the difference and know that both pairs of feet grew inside ME! I am so eternally grateful that I have had these 6 children, with all of their differences and every one of their personalities I grow and I feel that I am me because of them.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Aliens within.

I think my most favourite part about having a blog is that it is entirely mine. It's purpose is to be able to somehow take the feelings that are inside and get them out. The thoughts I express are mine and therefore can't be wrong, they just are what they are. In writing them in a blog I feel that if there is a chance, no matter how small that someone may read them, it is as if I have told what is on my heart...a problem shared etc. The very best thing is knowing that I can do this and not feel any guilt about having dumped my sadness onto anyone without their permission and then expecting them to jump and make it all better for me. I know that the very things that make me saddest are unchangeable, but they still make me sad.
I make no apologies for this entry, I'm not trying to change the world, change anything, I am just going to pour out some feelings that threaten to overwhelm me.
I have a sadness in me that is, to me, an uninvited alien, at times, usually when I least expect it, it squirms it's way into my gut and I recognise it....and then begins the battle. I feel that familiar feeling of unrest and I tell it to leave. Sometimes it settles and gives up...for a while. Othertimes it squirms and it twists and it grips.......and I know that this time it will win and somehow I will have to find a quiet place and let it have it's day.
When my boys were abducted and I began to know what had happened I was sad and of course would wish that it wasn't true, wish that it hadn't happened and then realise that it WAS true and I could sink and lose all hope of a good future for my boys, so I accepted the fact and I fought it and we won. Happy ending, we like those.
When I began to suspect that Dan was gay, the thought would sweep my mind so fleetingly that it scarcely had time to make an impact, as he grew older I could see more signs and was able to dismiss them, how absurd, my big, handsome boy with his deep voice and irresistable charm......PAH! Stupid me.
Then my boy, my gentle, kind, loving best friend became a stranger, the anger and the misery was so contrary to the boy I had always known it was impossible to ignore that there was a huge battle going on in this boys heart and mind. Still, with me, he was the epitome of respect, the very essence of compassion and understanding, but it seemed as though he loathed himself.
He moved back to England with his dad and I would have happy conversations with him and he would say how much better he felt...but from others I would hear a different tale, stories of him going out and beating people up, breaking a man's nose for no apparant reason, aggressive and beyond miserable, withdrawn and hopeless. Then I knew. My son was fighting himself, ever my pride and joy he was battling against something that he believed would cause me to hate him.
The details of his coming out probably aren't important apart from to say that his dad ( on my advice) asked him if he was gay and he said yes, then he withdrew even more. He refused my calls and he stopped calling me. It took a few weeks to make contact and eventually I caught him and he was so angry, so defensive and all but yelled that he knew I would hate him and why didn't I just say it and be done with it.
There is nothing that could make me hate my son, not this boy that has held my heart since the very second I saw him. I am so glad that he believes me when I tell him I love him. It took a while but we are as close, perhaps even closer, as before.
I am astounded that I could have made this young man.
The alien won't leave me alone. When I have spent time with Daniel and have breathed in the very presence of him, when I have seen his face and assured myself that he is strong and well and I revel in the pure joy he now has, then it's time for the alien to do it's worst.
My head and my mind knows all the right things, it knows he is my boy, it knows he is the same person, it knows nothing has changed......but my heart doesn't seem to hear anything my head tells it. When my boy has gone my heart cries. I have this hideous moan inside that truly feels that if I gave voice to it , it would break me. I wail inside me that I don't want it to be true, that I would give my all to have it not be that my son is gay.
He has been true to himself and he has been strong and honest and I will admire him for that until the day I die.
I believe that he was made this way, I believe that God made us all the way we are. I have been taught my whole life that we have trials that are sent to us in order to make us strong and perhaps even to help us help others. I think that I can honestly say that I have faced some monstrous trials and have done my upmost to face them head on and make the very best of whatever situation I have found myself in. This though is something I can DO nothing about, it is just how it is. My son is gay and he is in love with another man. And, maybe shame on me, I hate it. I want it not to be. I want to wake up and discover I dreamt it.
Why my son? Why me? Why us? Why can't I see this boy of mine marry and have little people just like him, squeaky voiced, squiffy eyed little boys who want to give santa a present to make sure that he doesn't get forgotten?
Why should I have to be strong again, fight against prejudice and intolerance? Why can't I just get to be one of those gloriously ignorant people that needn't think about it because it doesn't affect me?
There is not one area in my life that is worry free. I worry about my children ( and with good reason, not just a natural motherly thing for me) I worry about my home, I endlessly worry about money ( or lack of) there isn't anything I can say " oh at least THAT'S ok"
Oh bugger.....not much else to say is there?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Whistle while you work.....

...usually to stop yourself swearing at somebody who should know better when they say something so gobsmackingly idiotic it beggars belief!!
Shall I go on? I wonder......yeah alright! I just had one of those days that feel like running up an escalator that is going down. Not that I am supersticious but it Is friday the 13th today, definately one I should have just stayed in bed for. I woke up late, at 8.30am , we leave the house at 8.15 to get Seth to school so not a good start, poorly me, I have the flu thing that has rendered the whole family incapable of doing anything but whining or sleeping, adults and children alike.....not me though, nope, 8.30 wake up with sledgehammer head and fireball throat and some kind of hot thing poking my right ear.......poor me, sure to get ooodles of sympathy from each and every recovering family member who has been on the receiving end of my ministering sympathy all week ( for 3 weeks) NO!! Sulking from H, who is very keen on routine in his aspergers kind of way, that is as long as it's me doing the routine......whining from Seth who doesn't want school and wants long trousers, not shorts for school, whining from make that wailing from Isaac who doesn't want clothes at all but wants to some with mummy ....and thankyou my baby for not whining but could you lower the volume of the MUMMA!!! MUM!!! MUMMA?!?! PLEASE?
Thump de thump goes the head while H slams around muttering that Seth's packed lunch should be done ( of course he's been up for 2 1/2 hours but is still weak from being so ill so couldn't have put a banana in a box!!) And all the while Sophie is telling me about her dream last night.
Sophie's dreams aren't like anyone else's dreams..they are full length epic type movies in such minute detail that I lose the will to live as soon asI hear the words" Mum I had a dream...." I got as far as hearing how much the size 10, pink t-shirt that cost £2 in the shop with the sticking door that she went to with Katie was and begged for mercy....
The day carried on like that really, with H being offended by my very presence and feeling slighted that in between 2 boys visit to the doctor, school runs, party shopping with a 4 year old who thought Alex really should have at least 37 presents and 3 cards, making rhubarb and apple crumble before the fruit went rotten along with the pears and whatever that mushy green thing is that's stuck to the side of the fruit bowl ( and then, selfish me, leaving the dishes in the sink) he had to make his own dinner, just for himself though, as I had fed the 3 boys while they were in the bath that I had run and put them in, of course he wouldn't have minded if he had known in advance that he was going to have to cook for himself ( thus informing me that not only is it my job to DO everything for everyone, with a smile on my face and a hymn on my lips probably, but also I should be thinking for them all as well) have we not had a party invite on the desk for 10 days and been counting the days down? Have we not discussed how the party is 6.8 miles away ( good old mapquest!!) making it obvious that I will need to drive there at 5pm and stay til 7.30?
I am beginning to be more vocal about the sulking and silent 'punishments' meted out when I fail to be less than perfect and although not yet able to say exactly what I am thinking ( not entirely sure if this is a fault or a remarkable achievement) I am able to put the brakes on and point out that it isn't a case of him walking in the door after a hard day's work and facing a mountain of housework and chaos but more a case of him being here, just as I am and every bit as capable of seeing what needs to be done and doing it. ( bloody annoying when he sees what needs to be done and points out if I HAVEN'T done it!)
I took Sophie with me on the party run, always seems funny to get ridiculously lost when you are with someone else and as much as I love mapquest and use them extensively to get my directions, I have yet to actually GET to my destination using them, I swear they plot these routes right up to the last 2 roads and then bugger it all up in the most impressive way and I picture the office at Mapquest HQ filled with jolly plotters just busting a gut as they visualise us poor simpletons with absolutely no sense of direction whatsoever driving up one way streets the wrong way weeping in frustration; ( and actually I should say here, that there is every chance, in fact a probability, that it is my reading and following of the maps rather than the actual map that is faulty!) these are always such bonding moments with Sophie, I think she just revels in seeing her usually competant and organised mother completely at the mercy of her fabulous sense of direction.
Dearest Seth, his first party and no idea what was in store, just as we arrived he said " actually, inside, I think I feel a really little bit angry"
" oh you think it's angry or a bit worried because you're not sure what what to expect?"
we decided that as soon as he saw his friends from school and saw where they were going to have such fun he would be just fine and indeed he was, so thrilled to hand over the party bag and say " open it it's a football and a snake" ( could there possibly BE a finer gift when you're 5?) and eyes as big as saucers as they spotted the soft play area.
Sophie and I had fish and chips in the car and she talked ( non stop actually) about nothing very much ( but thankfully not about the dream she had last night!) saved by the bell on her mobile phone, I read a magazine and listened in on a scintilating chat with someone called Dave who is 17 but doesn't fancy her and even if he did she doesn't fancy him, so that's OK then.
When I got home, with my red faced ice cream filled 4 year old who got TWO party bags and an action man watch, it was to see that Elijah was asleep in a vest and pair of big boys pants and Isaac was happy having had an evening with daddy.
I found some pictures that H had taken ( wow he NEVER take pictures) and somehow all is well, my boys are happy, the crumble was a bit yummy but not screaming at me to finish it...... not such a bad one after all.
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Friday, May 13, 2005

I needed that!

What a gulping great lung full of fresh air today has been. It started beautifully after a full nights sleep, a rarity in my life, I then took Seth to school and explained to his teacher that Dan was arriving at 9.30 and she said that it would be great to take Dan into school and let Seth show him around. I did just this and Seth , my sparrow legged little school boy was doing P.E in oversized blue shorts and green regulation t-shirt....waiting his turn to leap over a gym horse he saw his beloved big brother and my heart took it's first picture of the day. Oh is there anything like seeing one child fill with joy at the sight of another? From the moment he was born there has been a bond between these boys and it stays no matter what distance they have between them.
The sun has been shining and the sky clear for a few days now and it just is balm to my soul. I watched my boys play in the garden and saw my 2 huge sons playing with my 2 littlest, holding them high in the air and even throwing them to each other and it was impossible to see who was having the most fun, little boys laughing in sheer delight and excitement and big boys unable not to join in.
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Sophie leaping onto Dan's back and roaring with laughter at his complaints about how much she weighs...Dan and Jordan's hysterical patter with each other and the resulting bellows of mirth.
Shopping with my eldest son who asked me if I had enough money, if there was anything I needed. This house felt bursting with all the best emotions today. Days like this are more satisfying and joyous and more soothing to my heart than any earthly treasure I could ever imagine.
I have pictures galore in my album and my heart. Today was a great day.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

All my eggs....

Tomorrow, I will have all my eggs in basket! Daniel is coming to see us. I just can't find words to describe how it feels to have all my 6 children together under my roof. Riches untold. I look at them all and just marvel that I did it....I made these people. Amazing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Vanity .......

I sit here at 9.45 pm with the less than subtle of amonia surrounding my weary self....waiting for my tired and wiry grey hair to transform into shining lightest brown ..... yep it's that time again..slap on the old 2 for £6 do it yourself hair colour and become what, I probably should admit, I am no more.
I wonder when the time will come when I shall feel that to be grey will be dignified rather than sad? I found my first clump of grey hair above my right eyebrow ( on my head of course, heaven forbid the facial hair problem had started that young!) at 19, just a week or two after grandpa Collins died suddenly after chopping wood for the old folks in the Norfolk village where he lived with nana, poor nana Collins, plagued by arthritis and ill health and rather enjoying it along with the long suffering of grandpa who was told on a regular basis, I suspect, that he would miss her when she was gone. How cross she was when he went to bed and just died, without so much as a suggestion that he was feeling in the least bit poorly.
So, I found my streak of grey hair and wasn't overly disturbed by it at all, rather attractive in a way, I thought, so I left it alone and didn't think about it at all. Not much progression until I was 26 when the husband left and I was ill, my boys were hurt and I was alone with the weight of the world on my shoulders, I noticed the grey and so became one of the cover it and pretend it's not there brigade.
Somehow, under all that dye, the silver ( so much kinder than grey don't you think?) has taken over.....I am sure that if I were to not colour it I would be totally silver ( actually, white, I think) 42, mother of 6...expected perhaps but vanity just won't let me admit it or show it. I am completely and utterly terrified of being mistaken for the boys' grannie! Actually it did happen once and I was horrified, at a car boot sale a woman looked at Elijah who had grasped hold of a book and said " Oh why don't you ask nanny if she will buy it for you" NANNY? NANNY!?!?! Huh! I all but threw that blasted book at her and walked away as fast as my poor aching body would allow.....'find H-- find H' I chanted in order to stop myself howling aloud at the thought that I must look like a grandma......HANG ON!! HANG ON though..she said Nanny, Oh of course, she must have thought that my beautiful baby was from some upper class family and I was his carer...some young slip of a girl hired to take care of a posh baby while mummy and daddy high fly it all over the world......yeah right, well it made ME feel better when I told myself that anyway!
I found H and God love him ,without even trying, he made me feel better because ( and I swear this is true) , I could scarcely look him in the eye, whilst telling him my story.... and staring at his feet, I couldn't help but notice he had come out in his slippers......oh dear, do our children have any hope of being able to hold their heads up high among their peers , with a grey headed old mum and a bald headed slipper wearing ( in public) dad???

Oh, its May 10th....wasn't I meant to become rich yesterday? Blinking woman and her e.mailed horoscope, was planning on having a salon colour when that important sum of money arrived unexpectedly, oh well, I'm off to rinse and be shiny and light brown....ta ta grey for a week or two.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

An Englishman's home is his castle.

I wonder what that means? Many sayings we trot out and probably don't give too much thought to their meanings...this one, however, is dear to my heart.
I am a home bird, I love being at home, everything that interests me is connected to home, my husband, my children, arty farty crafty stuff that beautifies and restores the home. You'll perhpas notice that I say home, not house. I don't think I have a particular house in mind, I am sure that, should I see it, I would know my perfect house but I think that it is possible to make a home almost anywhere you find yourself, if, that is, that wherever you find yourself, belongs to you.

I have lived ( in my adult life) in no less than 16 homes, ranging from student nurse accomodation to rented flats, houses, condo's, in-laws name it, I've done it. As long as my name is on the rent book I have made it a home and even when the house was my father in law's I did try and make it feel like my home.
In planning my future at the grand age of 16 or so I knew that wherever I lived it would have to be clean, pleasant to look at and safe. The rest I barely imagined. My overwhelming memory of growing up was that there was a tangible feeling of security when I walked in through the front door, through bullying nightmares at school to heart break from boys it never mattered what the cause of my woe may be, it was minimised when I got home ( although I will admit that the heartbreak ones had to have their fair share of door slamming and wailing or they wouldn't have been worth the time ).
I wanted that for my children, I needed that for my children....I wanted them to be able to come home from school, throw the back pack on the floor ( funny how I forget that was part of the picture now it IS part of my life!!) and exhale. I don't think we've got that.
I am unsettled, I feel I have been picked up, flung around and dropped in the past 5 years. Before I met H and we got married I pretty much had what I had wished for. I had a home that was a happy place to be, was admired for it's appearance and comfort, it was safe and we loved it. I had worked hard to build it up and make it the way it was. I walked away from all of it and went to the states to marry H and I will never regret that for a moment but I am sad that somewhere along the way, with my furniture and 'stuff' I lost the 'feeling' that we had. We have a home now, which in itself is a blessing, having stumbled from pillar to post and felt wretched along the way whilst in America,we are now pretty settled in a pleasant bungalow.
Why then do I feel so dissatisfied? Why do I feel as though any moment we could be uprooted and shoved on again? Why, I wonder, for the first time in my life do I positively crave a home of my own, really my own that is so firmly rooted in my heart that no-one and nothing can shift me? I say me but you know that I mean we. My family.
I still have no dillusions of grandeur, in fact that object of my near obsession is right next door, a relatively humble house with a converted loft, 4 bedrooms and TWO bathrooms...... oh sweet joy. It's empty you know, has been for 8 months and in my heart I know that it's because it's waiting for us. It NEEDS us as much as we need it. It needs us to fill it and love it and is longing for me to stroke it's kitchen work tops and stare out of it's windows with a feeling of gratification and serenity.
I find myself ( perhaps inadmirably) resenting people who have workstops to stroke, who have a garage and driveway and the abosolute freedom to hang pictures without worrying about whether the landlord will snatch money from their deposit when they have to leave. I am weary of looking after other peoples' houses. I am sick of wondering if one day we will have to up and move again and scrub and clean and wipe all traces of ourselves from someone elses' house.
I take care of these houses and I feel physically ill when inspection time comes around ...I also feel justifiable ( I think) indignation that it is ok for these people to walk into our home ( yes, I know, their house) and look it up and down and judge us on how we are living. I understand it, but I hate it.
I long for a door that I can close and open only to those I CHOOSE. A door that my children will know is ALWAYS open to them, I want to live in a home for 30 years and make memories, put down roots, make it smell like mine....funny how smells just make a memory, mark my babies heights on the doorframe and look lovingly at the marks when they are grown. I want my children to know the smell of their home and when they are adults will walk in when they visit and take the deepest breath and know they are home.
My sadness is that I don't know how or if this will ever be mine, am I destined to move from someone else's house to someone else's house and end my days in an unfamiliar home of a different kind? When I feel envy that others have what I crave I do manage to stop myself and remind me that these people have worked for what they have......and me? Well, my focus has been family, single parenthood for 10 years and now more babies that need me here with them. There is not one ounce of resentment toward me children, I wanted them, I longed for them and I am beyond grateful for having them. I have never thought too hard or deeply about material possessions, never minded until now, about this house deal.
I think I am beginning to feel old age isn't something that happens only to other people and in realising this I have been smacked in the face with the realisation that the fairies aren't going to make it all just 'happen' and it is harder and harder to accept that this is my 'lot'.
DO you think I can change how things are? Is there a magical answer out there that will make my dream a reality? Just a safe house, with enough room that I can live in for 30 years ( or more) that my children can picture when they are grown and in the thick of their own lives and dreams and especially when they are experiencing pangs of longing themselves. A garden that I can plant things in knowing that I will see them grown and established, that I will enjoy in a year, maybe 5 and remember the day I planted them.
I ache for memories that can take the place of the sad ones I have. I am ridding my heart of the pain and I am fortifying it for the work it has ahead of it with my little men and their eccentricities, my Isaac, who I'm told will need security and routine a bit more than the rest of us...what greater gift could I give him than a home that he can feel is his no matter how old he is?
I am an English woman dreaming of her Castle, with it's draw bridge and moat to keep out the baddies that seek to enter where they are not welcome.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Oh tired me.....I have been in hospital with Scaley Seth all night, poor little man, covered in itchy flakey skin, snot so profuse I am almost impressed by it, I thought he had meningitis...the doctors thought it was Kawasaki impressive! However after blood tests he has a viral infection and nothing frightening.....home sweet home. Ahhhhhh.
I love the N.H.S. too tired to be too political or elaborate much but the sheer joy of being able to walk in to the doctor and be taken care of, no forms, no worries about bills or co-pays. Great Britain...not called that for nothing I always say! It did pass fleetingly though my mind last night as we were surrounded by pediatricians almost falling over themselves in the excitement and promise of having a rare condition in their midst, feeling that almost paralysing calm that is natures way of preparing you for some horrific in the world do parents cope when they are dealing with this and actually receive the dreaded news that something truly IS wrong with their beloved child and on top of all that have to worry about how much it is going to cost? Thankyou matter to me if the rooms aren't like hotel suites, my child was cared for, treated and made well and now we're home, it's done, no bills due. Hooray.
My poor mind is a bit weary today, a night spent, fully dressed, on a plastic sheeted 'put you up' in an unfamiliar room with a 4 year old with drip needles in his arm and a tendancy to grind his teeth ( ewwwww) not to mention the pillows in plastic covers that ballooned when I put my head on them (and then just as I got comfy of course the top on shot off the bed altogether!) is not condusive to waxing lyrical I'm afraid, suffice to say that I am blissfully grateful to have a little boy who will be well soon.
Poor little lizard boy with his sandpaper skin and peeling toes, not to mention that crusty red nose and weeping eyes, true beauty for me, a mother, to gaze upon.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Judge not!

Well did I learn a lesson last night?! I was tired and had spent the day charging around getting absolutely nowhere fast! I love those kinds of days when you look up and it's dinner time, bath time, bedtime....(oooh, perhaps some kind of problem there ? Wishing my life away even) and suddenly it WAS dinner time darn it and not even an idea never mind a nutritional and culinary delight awaiting my family...Fish and chips it is then! The boys had already been fed and so I hopped in the car ( did I heck! I actually 'oofed' my way in, got to love a high up mini-van / people carrier and aching limbs) and off I set. Half way there I could see in the perfectly safe distance a relatively young man carrying a baby with a toddler toddling right behind him ( how clever of whoever thought to call toddlers by that name as it's so fitting a term for their little stamping kind of walk) no worries, they were quick and I was so far away I didn't even need to slow down and they were off the road and at the other side.....WHOA though, out of nowhere came a scarey kind of girl ( well woman I suppose, definitely NOT a lady) she thundered across the road with baby bottle in hand and flip flops ( not that the flip flops make an iota of difference to the story but somehow it feels necessary for me to include the fact) slapping....large girl/woman/ not lady and somewhat intimidating......"OY! You just ran out in the f*****g road you DICK!"
I cringed into my fabulously best English self and and ( I really do this you know, I'm so not making it up) in my snootiest English accent though " Oh how blessed am I that my family just doesn't do that...why do people speak to the very ones they profess to love with such disrespect" I thought back just an hour when H had said to Sophie " Soph, please think before you speak to the boys about what you say......I wish you wouldn't call them sexy. they don't need that kind of language" and knew that the minute I got home with Cod and chips and a steaming steak and kidney pie and chips I would kiss his frumpy old poe face and bless him for being so nice. He would smile and when I told him my tale he would bless me for being so completely refined and we would bask in our perfect parenting all evening.
MMMMMM chips smell SO good when you get them from the chip shop, vinegar and paper and lets get home and get on with it.......up the road, round the bend and here I am back at home and oh look, my 2 sweet boys playing in the early evening sunshine, out in the front garden, newly mown and weeded, with splendid baskets and pots all newly filled and planted, just waiting to turn my garden into a cacophony of colour and joy......bless their little faces, so happy just crouching down and .........AND WHAT?!??!?
" WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?! I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING..... THEY ARE MY FLOWERS...OH OH OH...RIGHT GET IN...MOVE IT. MOVE! ....OH MY POTS! May as well just live in a bloody tip, have the garden like a sodding building site! I KNOW you knew that was naughty! DID YOU? DID YOU? "
Serene smug mood scattered as surely as my beautiful planters......I muttered and stomped and dished the now slightly soggy dinner up and then couldn't eat it because I was so full of humble pie.
Oh well, lesson learned, the girl/ woman/ maybe even a lady I had judged so scathingly might well have had a pig of a day and the relatively young man might well have been the cause of it. Minding my own business and working on my own life, I suppose, might be a good idea.

Squirm monster! I am, ready to face and name the demons. I think.
What I won't be doing is details, oh they are there, branded in my mind....miraculously so in fact because I made my boys a promise. When they were so afraid, so sad, so incredibly and utterly damaged by the monster ( that's what I call him, no man or animal could possibly inflict the pain the monster caused) and they had been so cruelly and totally convinced by him that to tell would mean we ( the daddy and I) would hate them, I told them that they could tell me anything, ANYTHING and I would love them, there was nothing I could hear that would change how I loved them and they believed me ( Thankyou dear Lord).

How unfair was that to have spent their whole lives loving them , gaining trust, forging a bond you feel is sure to be have it smashed and ruined in--- how long? How long did he have my sons? What sort of question is that that I can't answer? In however long he had them he had convinced the, my boys, that THEY were bad, THEY were doing wrong and if they told..we would send them away, hate them, throw them out. For that, I would like to face the monster and make him hurt just a fraction of how I hurt, for that alone.
They escaped you see, from the monster, and while they were gone they hadn't been missed, now I knew that I would have missed them if they had been gone long enough for this much damage to be done and I asked Daniel, when I knew it was true, when I saw in my son's eyes that what the police were telling me had happened had really and hideously happened. " Dan, where was daddy when the man had you?" " oh, he was looking after us"
"where was mummy?" " out with Gaye" ( Oh sweet relief, it wasn't me.....I hadn't been the one after all, small relief-- but sweet enough for me).
This is where my robotic abilities came in to play. My boys believed me, while Dan was running in the doctor's empty waiting room ( opened especially for me and my 4 year old boy) and was jumping from one chair to the next, he asked me if I meant it, that I would still love him even if he had been really really bad. He believed me and he began to tell me what had his sweet little squeaky voice, while his skinny legs jumped and leapt and he looked at the wall and he yelled at the window and I was calm and I told him how incredible he was, what a good boy he was to tell me his 'secrets' I loved him so much, I was so proud of him and we told the police lady and we told the doctor and she checked him and told him what a good boy he was and how brave he was too. My boy saw that he COULD tell me anything, that I would listen and would think and then we would talk about how great He was and how very very bad the man was because big people should never ever do these things to little boys or little girls and if anything ever happened that made him afraid and sad he could shout and yell and tell whoever he wanted and they would always tell him what a good boy he is.
So being a robot worked...imagine how hard it was to begin details remember, because there are sick people out there and there is no way I will ever give any sick person any kind of fuel to indulge in their depravity, while the majority might read and be horrified there might be just one more monster who might get their because we don't have monsters in our house and because no purpose can be served by voicing the sordid details, they can stay where they are.

When I told my boys that they could tell me anything... I also told them that they could get out anything that was in their heads...spit it out of their mouths and I would catch it and keep it in MY head and I wouldn't let it out, if they let it go, if they gave it to me, I would shut it away and they could fill the space with good stuff, little boy stuff.
I explained that as a mummy I would know how to get rid of it so it couldn't hurt them anymore and I would be so proud of them if they could let me do that. they believed me, isn't that just the best thing? Two little boys who had been hurt by a monster who thought he had done a good job, thought he had grabbed and ruined that perfection and snatched the innocence...well squirm monster, because you can't beat ME! You didn't get MY did your thing but guess what! I did MINE and I'm good at it.

I made my children see that there was nothing I couldn't do and they believed me, they trusted me. There will never be a greater gift than when my boys showed me that they trusted me...but it was only me....they wouldn't speak to another soul, just me. So......they told me. Everything. in babies words and pure innocence I heard what the monster had done. Now children aren't mini adults, you can't lay them on a couch and say "what happened sweetie?" they tell you what happened when it pops into their heads and they spit it out and then they stop...until the next time.
4 months. It took 4 months to hear every detail. Pretty much every day something new would come out....watching a childrens' show about a little boy who went to the park.... " Oh! Oh! PLEASE get your daddy.....oh don't be in the park without your daddy........oh mummy when I was in the park without my daddy........" Can you get the picture?
Of course there was the appointments, endless ones, social workers and psychologists and doctors...and me. I heard, I stored, I told and I dealt.

There were times when those things I heard from my little boys were so hard to hear, when they seared their evil way from my babies mouths and into my soul that I would wail in my heart... but not a sound would escape from my mouth because I had promised and a mother must keep her promise, so I smiled....and I told those boys how strong they were and how sad I was that they had had to go through that but it was fine because now I had the bad stuff in my grown up head and I would deal with it and they didn't ever need to worry about it anymore, but if for some reason they did and some of it was too scary to let go of, they could come back and tell me again and I would try harder to take it away. And the telling of how big people should never do to little people etc etc.

Sometimes, I would feel that if I couldn't get rid of some of this evil I would be consumed by it and stupidly I would try and share some of it, when my boys were asleep and I was alone I would call someone and try to talk about it....but some things aren't meant to be shared and some things are so terrible that people just can't hear it and so I stopped trying and I swallowed it all......simply amazing what the mind can do and what the heart can handle. We are miracles, I am in no doubt about often have I heard that old saying that God doesn't give us what we can't handle? I feel differently about this on different days. If I tell you what I feel today I will read it next week and scoff! In any case, God didn't give me this trial....He didn't stop it because of free agency and the monster used his to hurt my boys. What God did is help me heal my boys . This isn't up for debate, this is my journal and in my journal this is the truth. I know it.

I know now why I am able to write about some of the things that I feel, especially about this part of my heart and mind and that is because I am healing too. My boys are grown and I have been holding my breath to see if they were going to be OK and I see that they are. They are magnificent. They are happy. They are good people. You can have no idea what that means to be able to say that and to know, to absolutely know that I DID IT!

I have battled with such guilt and such overwhelming fear about my sons and here, right now, I feel an emotion and overwhelming sense of exhilaration because my heart is healing over this particular pain. Somewhere, if I think hard enough and concentrate deeply enough I suspect that there is enormous pride inside me somewhere for this thing I did. I think, in this instance, perhaps pride has come after the fall....I have managed to drag my sons from the depth of misery where the monster hoped they would stay and we are basking in the light.....get back into the deepest misery monster, because we didn't bring you with us.....we kicked you in the face and we laughed when you fell.

Friday, May 06, 2005

HA de HA HA...( absurd title for a bit of a sad day's blog)

What a day today...I feel as though I have lived a week in just this day. I have loved today, I woke up feeling great and with the most glorious sun shining it was hard to be anything but cheerful.
Today there is a general election and H has been working 9 hours a day canvassing for the UKIP party..this is his baby and apart from having enjoyed his being busy and happy and revelling in the time I have had to do my thing and not worry about whether H is happy or bored or feeling stuck at home, I'm not going to talk about his election at all. What I will say is that today, probably for the first time, I enjoyed and appreciated being able to vote. Not in a banner and chained to the railings kind of way ( although I will admit to feeling gratitude that others have felt that strongly) but in a fluffy kind of "aren't I lucky to live in a country where we can choose and have a say" way.
On one of the boards I go to ( Ok live on, I am hopelessly drawn to it) there was a debate about religion yesterday. Usually I steer clear because I find I get horribly defensive and even angry at times and this of course this means I have fallen headlong into the very trap set for much do the protesters love it when someone who proclaims to love Christ show that they are in fact human and let rip? Stubborn me, I SO hate to let some people get what they want! However, yesterday, I couldn't stay out of this debate because all the things that have always been so dear to me were being ripped apart by someone who had extensive knowledge of the wrong facts....ugh...teeny truths that had been somehow twisted and made to sound so bizarre, so creepy and SO incorrect. I'm by no means going to go into details of who said what, who replied how -- the most startling thing to me was how strongly I still KNOW that the things I have been taught and studied, believed in and trusted in are still so important to me.
In defending the things that have always been dear to me, I remembered why they are dear to me, I felt the strength of my convictions creep back and I wasn't afraid.
Why would I be afraid? Who can tell for sure except that to know, is to do, isn't it? Faith without works is dead.
So where do I go from here? Hmmmm, might have to think harder on that but how marvellous that the person who was so desperate to show me and others who were defending the church the error of our ways actually achieved the exact opposite HA HA de HA HA!! I still have the issues with the churche's stance on gays and that will still take some serious searching to be anywhere close to feeling at peace with it, if I can, but I can't express just how peaceful it is to realise that because I have one problem doesn't mean that I have NOTHING left to believe in, progress indeed.

My Isaac......I had an appointemnt today with his speech therapist without him today. She wanted to get some more detailed history of our family. We started off with the normal kind of history, his birth details, general health etc and then we got down to the nitty gritty. Oh dear. How difficult it is to have to tell strangers things that have been so enormous, so life changing, heart sit on an old school chair in a somewhat blank and heartless room with a woman who I know has my Isaac's very best interests at heart and tell her in robot fashion exactly what this glorious family has been through.
Do I sound blasphemous if I say " My God, my God, why hast though forsaken me?" I don't mean to , I swear I don't. How absurd to be hit so hard by just the telling of my life but every time I have to tell another soul some of the details, every time I have to sit and reel off the catastrophies and tragedies as if I am telling the plot of a film, it is as if I am hearing it for the first time, as those words fall out of my mouth so effortlessly and I sound so calm and so sane, in my head and in my heart I am SCREAMING. In my head I tell you, all I can hear is this mad woman screeeching " DEAR GOD! Can you believe this? Can you imagine what that felt like? Ohhh that hurt so much when I went through that!" I want to lie on the floor and just weep and beg whoever I am telling to see that inside I am in such pain and feel so helpless and such guilt and to not only see, but to know what to do to stop it hurting so much.
But I don't, and they don't, and they tell me I am marvellous and some wonder aloud how I managed and I shrug my shoulders as if it has been no effort at all.

I'm not insane you know. How many of us can lay claim to knowing that we're truly and honestly sane? I can, I've been told. I have been to therapists and I have been to doctors and I have been assessed by mental health teams and I was diagnosed. Sane. Heaven help the mad ones then is all I can say......even I, in my miserable state, saw the humour ( albeit a tad twisted) when my mental health nurse who had spent hours listening to my woes turned to me and said.......
"Helen, you can imagine that it isn't often I get to tell people they aren't mad but you really aren't. Your life really IS crap! ( HA HA HA HA HAAAAA!!! she guffawed in an almost convincingly insane manner for someone so stable) what you are feeling is perfectly justifiable sadness for situations beyond your control that other people have caused, were you not to feel the way you do, you'd be mad!"
Right then, nowhere to go after that was there? I found somewhere very quickly however, it was a splendid bakery where I celebrated my sanity with a nice cake and pondered on what to do from there on in.
I wonder then, if I am not mad and there aren't any nice tablets that I can take to make all the nasty things go away, if I will ever move on? I suppose I would if it didn't feel as though every time I almost see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel some bugger doesn't come along and poke me in the eye.

I wonder how to go about getting this out of my head and into writing. Can you believe that even after the innumerable times I have told my tale to innumerable people I have never, ever written them down? I have a theory that in writing it, it will all become real.....absurd isn't it because it IS real but seeing it in black and white, as they say, will somehow make it permanant. It'll be out there to go back to and might fester like a rotting wound. If I say it, I can deny it. If I write it it's true. See?

Ugh, the whole point of this blog is for me to be real. No need to be "fine thankyou". I can be brutal and I can be angry. I can be funny ( and I can, actually, can't I? I laugh at myself a little too often- considering I am so sane)
I could be rude if I didn't worry that my mum might be shocked, although who is she to talk? I've heard her be a bit cheeky herself at times. I can darn well be who and what I like here ...damn well if I feel like it.
So why I am I having such a dreadful case of writers stutter? Habit I suppose....and what do they say about habits? Great things to be lets give it a go. I am all on my own until very late as H is counting votes and being political ( I have to say it..does anyone else find it even a tiny bit ironic that my glorious dark skinned, American / mexican husband is so passionate about a political party whose main agenda is to reduce immigration into England? ) Oh alright I know I'm procrastinating............
Maybe I shall start the way I have always done it, like a robot, I shall type as I have always spoken about this stuff and probably what will happen is, ( I hope) my heart will take over and it'll get itself out and written, maybe I will even work out what I feel as I go along.
My sadness is mainly about my children and my home.
I have 6 children, very nice ones, exceptionally beautiful ones actually....and so far, 5 of them have had exceptional obstacles...dear Elijah, it's all on you baby boy, you get to be my one and only 'OK' kid....not too much pressure on a little chap is it??
My son, my Daniel....he was 3 years and 10 months when his dad left. Sat on a couch and watched the daddy leave ...never said a word until the house was devoid of daddy stuff and then he said " Oh...that's sad, I'll look after you now mummy"
Jordan, his daddy's boy. Loved his dad from the moment he clapped his blurry new born eyes on him, a divine baby and so placid ... he came alive when his daddy walked in the room, he was 22 months old when his beloved walked out.
Sophie, chubbly, smiley, baby girl with white blond hair and blue eyes....daddy leapt and cheered on march the 11th 1989 when 'his' girl was born, she was 10 weeks old when he said that perhaps he wasn't ready to be a dad and he had to think of himself now and he left.
Sad time, but looking back, I see now this was the very greatest thing he could have done for this family, as I see what he has done with his life I am relieved that I am no longer a part of it, there isn't so much as a twinge of sadness in me that he is gone.
We lived in a beautiful house ( belonging to the army) in a gentle country town, remote location and a nice place to live....I know nice is a bland word but it is a perfect word to describe where we were, nice.
Surrounded by fields and country lanes, the military built a fabulous park right outside our door, right outside, I could lift the boys over the fence and they were in the park. I did that most days, put them in the park and they played while I sat with my tiny girl and watched, or stood at the kitchen window and watched......did I ever NOT watch them? Did I take my eyes off them? Did I forget they were there and do important things like vacuum or iron clothes ....I can't remember, I feel so sure that I wouldn't, would I?
I had hospital appointments because I was so ill...I forgot to say that I had had a huge operation 2 weeks before the husband left, complications of course and I had a gaping wound across my stomach, 10 cms deep and who knows how wide that hole was ( here's an indictaion of how bad things will get soon if this kind of stuff is a detail I almost forget to mention!!) my baby had to go of course, because I wasn't to lift in case the hole split, so she was with my lovely mum and dad and I had my boys with me. So, wasn't I lucky that the husband would sit with the boys if I had a hospital appointment, I would go on a bus and have the wound re-opened or packed and he would watch the boys...or not....maybe put them out to play in the park and do what? I care not. Not now.
I remember one day that I went to my appointment and my friend came with me, then we went shopping and I remember that I had fun. I know I laughed...was it that day do you think? Was I laughing while my sons were being so hurt, so frightened? Oh I hope not.
I remember one day sitting in the sun while the boys played and they were playing behind a grassy friend and I were enjoying the peace ( oh I feel sick even saying that) I called my boys and they came, eventually. Daniel first.....where was Jordan? JORDAN!!!! Awww here he is, bless him. Howling, he did that a lot.....face like a frog with the biggest mouth and the loudest wail.....I would kiss that howling face because it was just so bloody cute! Jordan? where are your shoes my baby? Droopy shorts, just out of nappies, bare legs and no to get a picture of this.....picture taken in heart and with camera, heart picture now somehow screwed up and I think, in the pit of my stomach now and camera picture burned because it may not have been sweet after all, I sent him back for his shoes and he went, he brought back his shoes and I took him in. Is that the day it happened? Did I, on that day, send my boy back to where he had been so abused and so damaged?
I can't remember stuff that matters, when did Jordan start screaming at night, every night? When did those terrors start when he screamed in his sleep for daddy to get him? I can't remember when they started , if I could remember, I would know what day it had happened.

I know when I found out it had happened. It was in august 1999. I can even remember the smell in the air at 5 in the evening when I began to find out.

At great risk of a cliff hanger type emotion should anyone read this today I am going to stop for now because my big kids have come home and if I continue, now, I will have to put the shutter up, be the robot and that defeats the purpose of the blog ( for me) . If I can't wail when I write about what makes me so pitifully sad, then where is the release?
So, tomorrow, perhaps.....I will do it, tell it and exorcise it.