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!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Reluctant Rhino

Once upon a time, there was a Rhino, a girl Rhino with very thick skin and a tender heart.
Poor Rhino, shall we call her Pamela?
Somehow Pamela felt dreary and sad and whilst grateful for the many marvellous things in her life, the rambunctious baby rhinos, the sulking somewhat lazy teenage rhinos and the long suffering blame it all on papa Rhino, she still couldn't see the jolly factors in her day.
"Oh Rhino doctor, what can I do? Is there a secret yet smashing rhino remedy that will soften my skin and toughen my heart? "
" No Pamela Rhinocerous, I'm afraid the only thing I can recommend is a stomp around the neighbourhood, put on your new walking shoes and stomp until your thick skin glows and your tender heart pounds."

"Darned Rhino doctor, mean Rhino doctor" said Pamela, who then made the mistake of telling Papa Rhino who smiled and squealed with delight ( yes, papa rhinos can squeal under very special circumstances, Pamela was suprised, however, to hear the squeal in the kitchen in broad daylight .)
Ho hum, Pamela grumbled to herself, I suppose now the other Blog writing Rhinos have gathered and pledged stomping sisterhood it is required that I give this a go.
"Oh NO"..she said somewhat unconvincingly, when the skies thundered and lightening flashed. " perhaps I shan't be able to stomp today after all, maybe tomorrow"
But then the heavenly Rhino felt humorous and wiped away the rain and storms and sent some lovely blue sky......
"oooh mama rhino" said baby Rhino " Can me come if I put clodhopping big brothers boots on?"
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"no my baby, this is something I need to do all by myself, I have to stop being afraid of rhino hunters and scarey people and stomp up some hills all on my own" spluttered Pamela, who hates to admit that she is so frightened of being outside on her own, for even though she is big and tough looking and has thick skin, she has a tender heart that has seen too much sorrow and learnt that the big world outside is a scarey place to be.
Deep breath Pamela.....tie those laces and head out on your adventure.

Image hosted by She headed out of her door, whispering to herself that she needn't go far, just have a fast trot around the houses...up the little lane that leads to the world beyond the door.
Image hosted by "hmmm" thought Pamela " I haven't been down this road before, it looks pretty, lets turn right and head this way.

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Oh it's so peaceful in the evening and's a treat to be able to walk quickly ( ish) without having to keep stopping and wait for those skittish babies who love to run the other way.
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Oooof, bit puffed out walking SO fast but how nice that the heart is thumping because it is being worked and not because it is afraid or sad.....Pamela is a nosey rhino and she notices that she can see in the windows of the little houses as she stomps on by, stomp, wheeze, oof, clump...ooooh nice curtains.....thump, huff, drip....that garden needs some work.....she stopped to look at the quaint Red post box because when Pamela lived in a far away land she missed red post boxes and didn't think the grey mail boxes were quite the same...Image hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by The sky was still blue but Pamela's lungs were by now making a strained kind of hoofing sound and they felt quite stretched, unaccustomed as they were to such vigorous bellowing Pamela threw herself into one final spurt of determination and headed for home. The final stretch was UPHILL..yes, UPHILL. Hoorah. The reluctant Rhino had done it, faced the world without the protection of papa Rhino or the metal box thing on pushchair to hide behind, nobody and nothing but herself, her thick skin and her tender heart that sang, just a little bit.
Pamela enjoyed her adventure but is quick to say that although she will be obedient and will stomp til her heart sings louder, she would still probably enjoy a safe sort of hide away somewhere. Never mind Pamela. Tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Confessions. Rated 18 due to references of gratuitous violence and swearing. But no sex, none, hardly ever. Damn.

I have been misusing my blog. Remember when I started how I said it was for the purpose of unburdening my soul? I forgot that. I have been carried away by the attention and comments I get by being funny or touching or cheerful or whatever and haven't been spitting out the crappy stuff that is still there.
Last night, having spent a lovely day together and a good part of the evening I sat here to write my blog and catch up on my favourite ones and somehow made H bad tempered.
I have come to learn that the men in H's family, are, to put it bluntly, in the words of Bridget Jones, 'emotional fuckwits'. ( herewith referred to as E.F)Honestly, never before have I ever come across such hopelessly useless emotional people. To call them disfunctional would be kind.

Short note to lovely, feeling and emotional sister in law here, who sometimes reads my blog. Kara..none of this is aimed at you, I feel more in tune with you than ever I did when we were in the same country....I hope the references I make to your brothers and dad today don't hurt you in anyway....but they are completely crap at anything emotional aren't they?!?!?

So then, I have learned, though not fully accepted, that H is a waste of time in the emotional support category, 0 out of 10 unless you count a pat on the back and hasty retreat to anywhere he won't have to deal with tears or declarations of undying love.
Hmmm, what then, to do? Many women, I suppose, would start playing 'buy me a rose' by good old Kenny Rogers and read Mills and Boon novels.
Some would nurture and love and need for alcohol, lovely mind numbing trances for the cost of a bottle of booze.
Some would find a man who could and would be willing to provide that which is missing, you know, some excitement, steamy sex, some softly crooned words and some plain old attention of the girly gentle kind.
Bollocks to that. I don't have the energy or the inclination to get into that malarcky.
I have found my answer....the internet. My blog....tell it to the faceless people, get it out and how marvellous, I even get comments, feedback and assurance that my feelings are valid. I get positive feedback to the things I say. Does it get better than that? I suspect not. I don't even have to brush my hair or clean my teeth. No hangover either. Bingo.
Would it then, be sensible to assume, that the E.F would breathe a sigh of relief that he was off the hook? One would assume that to be the case wouldn't one?
apparently not. With the realisation that as I had done nothing but sit at the computer last night in between happy moments and the 'can I smack his po-faced head into a wall please?' sulking of the man I am married to....I deduced that he minds me spending time on here. Tough shit. He can sulk and for the first time ever, he is getting it back.
( note added at later time...he is like a rather sweet puppy who doesn't know what he is meant to do in order to make the kind lady who feeds him smile again.....almost feel sorry for him but he is out with all 3 boys feeling a bit lonely and overwhelmed with all 3 I should imagine, so I will bury my pity until later when they get back and my peace is over, until then I shall stay firm in my giving as I get.)
Here, my lovelies, my emotional supporting square of flat screen darling, is some of what he doesn't get to hear.
Did I say I wasn't worried about my eyes? I did, didn't I?
I lied.
I forgot that I can tell my blog the truth..don't have to put on the face that the real people in my life get. No need to smile and say " oh it's fine, I won't go blind, it's not bad at all...don't worry about me I'm a tough one"
I am worried because horrible shit does happen to me, it really does. I can feel those pigments clumping, I swear I can, I can feel my retinas crinkling and turning into crunchy brown things that won't let me see nice things or my kids or chocolate.
Whilst appearing normal on the outside ( I often compare myself to an armadillo, hard and crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside) my insides are in such a turmoil that I am actually reaching bursting point.
Be still my heart. No really. Stop it. Stop pounding so hard you make my throat hurt.....I have those awful palpitations that actually hurt, OW! I have an appointment today with my G.P because my heart has been pounding so hard I thought there must be a problem. My lips and bottom half of my face is numb almost half the day...hmm some kind of terrible malady I imagined. Until last night, when for reasons beyond me, H did the silent treatment thing.
Why? WHY? What did I do? Oh, leave him alone, watch T.V....ow ow ow OW painful chest, can't breathe.....numb face ( oh that's because you're not breathing you stupid cow...breathe, it's necessary to life, go on, you can do it!)
Aha. panic friend, the thing that tells me I am still living despite every attempt to shut out anything that might remind me that I'm living and actually that's quite hard.

I hate sulking, I really hate sulking, silent treatment is abuse, no other word for it..if you give out the silent treatment without even explaining WHY you're doing it , it is worse than abuse, it is out and out sadism. My incredibly immature reaction to said abuse and silent treatment is to slam about and cry...which then makes me so mad at myself that I cry even more and then hold my breath and then.......what I want to do is abuse right back , only with my fists, feet, hard and unforgivable physical objects and anything that might give a satisfying THWACK .
Sensible me then, that understands that might be going a bit far and would demote me from my lofty pedestal of superiority and make me as bloody maddening and inferior as the silent treatment giving E.F.
I will now launch myself into the excuse my beloved E.F has that almost exonerate him from all blame. He never, ever uses these excuses, I have just picked them up as I've gone along and allowed them to be validated.
The parents.
H's parents, in the words of his sister are broken people...or did she call them something else and then said that the result of their parenting is their broken children?? Can't remember.
The mother. I know we're meant to dislike mothers in law, its a world wide joke but mine isn't a joke. She is very real. Walked out on her husband and children when the children were varying ages of needing a mother. I'm sure she didn't have much fun as wife to father in law but as far as I can gather didn't have such a terrible time that she had no option but to get out and get her kids later. Only she didn't get them later, she has been particularly crap as a mother.
She doesn't know the ages of her grandchildren ( these 3 anyway) actually in the few times we have seen her she hasn't actually known their names. It took maybe 2 years before she mastered the fact that 2 of them were called Seth and Isaac, the fact that she couldn't work out which was which seemed irelevant. The first time she came to visit after Seth's birth, when he was a few weeks old, H went to hand the baby to her and she recoiled and said " Oh he's too heavy for me" he weighed a hefty 11lbs..he only weighs 29 lbs now, he is a sparrow. Not one to give in too easily H waited til she sat down and handed Seth to her. She sat him on the dining room table ( at arms length naturally) and spoke over the top of his head, NOT ONCE did she look at him.
She had come with Kara and Jose ( nice sister in law and her handsome husband) and their puppy 'Drake' Nice puppy, sweet puppy, so beautiful that grandma Nancy felt compelled to take 2 full rolls of film of puppy ...without turning the camera on her new grandson even once. E.F. excuse number 1 gets a distinction in her grade as an excuse.
(Oh and let's not forget the christmas card signed "to Howie from Mrs T " except she did write the full name there just so he would be sure who it was from.)
She just walked out on marriage number 4 ( actually #'s 3 and 4 were to the same man, why not bugger up the same man's life twice?)
2. The father. I love this man, he is divine and loving ( don't ask him to say it though, sweet heavens the sky might fall down) it's a pat on the back and money if you need it. Not nearly as good an excuse as the mother but actually responsible for the nurturing of the E.F. side of H as he is the master of the don't talk about it syndrome.
If we don't say it, it ain't happening.
Family motto, one that screws up more minds than the hardest of drugs, but gosh darn it, why change the habits of a lifetime?!
Do you think they will gang up and hate me when I step in and smash this family tradition into a gazillion pieces because with my dying breath I swear I will tell my boys that they can cry and weep and sob and let the whole world know they are sad? Guess what generations of H's menfolk.... BIG BOYS DO CRY! And so do women and you can love them and hug them, you can tell them to let it all out because you know it will make them feel better and stop them having headaches and pounding hearts and stomachs that bleed.

MUCH LATER IN THE DAY after talking to my doctor......

"Take up thy bed and walk" she said. "Helen, there isn't a drug I can give you to help. you need time to yourself and some good things, why don't you try walking, really walking...I promise it will make you feel better, exercise is the best drug"
Oh...but I wanted real drugs, nice floaty kind of drugs that will make me feel happy and carefree. I don't think I want to thunder my heavy legs up and down hills panting like an overheated big thing ( wanted to write Rhino but not sure if they pant)
She also suggested that I treat myself to a good waterproof jacket so I can thunder in all weathers......WHOOHOO! That'd be a treat wouldn't it? Go for a stomp in the pissing down rain. Marginally better than the heat though I suppose, as hair plastered to head would be because of rain not sweat which is never an attractive sight, especially on an overweight 43 year old mother of 6. Especially when accompanied by a staunch frowning expression of deep resentment at having to get her only highs in life from walking, bloody hell they'd have to be some pretty great endorphines to make me think it was worth it!
Isn't life grand when you have so much to look forward to, failing sight and walking in the rain for your kicks. Ahhhhh bring it on, I have it all! At least she didn't suggest skipping....Image hosted by

Monday, August 29, 2005

Sometimes, I expect much too often, we take for granted the most incredible and simple things.
Rebekah's story has pulled me up by my boot laces and made me look at the things I take for granted, even daring to be annoyed by some of them. With 6 children there is inevitably noise, mess, frustration and an incredible shortage of patience.
Today we went to the beach, it was a beautiful beach and one we haven't visited before. We parked and walked across the road and saw a huge expanse of sand and sea. FABULOUS!! This was a great place to be and I was immediately grateful to be there, especially with 3 little boys and a husband who ( despite being raised in Southern California..or perhaps because of it) isn't very keen on the beach day out.
Here we were and the icing on the cake was that we were going to meeting up with a crowd of other very nice bank holidaying people with lots of other children and a picnic. More fabulous. Aha, not very sure where on this huge expance of beach we were meeting, not to worry, we would just walk and look and see them, wouldn't we? It all started off so beautifully and we joined in the crawling through the desert games and the oh what fun to run the opposite way games, we cheered at the walking on walls and jumping off walls and getting back up on the bloody walls so we could jump off them again to crawl through more sodding desert ( am I writing about the waterless sandy places or pudding? Those spellings always catch me out!) It took us about 45 minutes to walk about 30 steps ( actually we walked about 589 steps because kids under 8 are physically unable to walk in a straight line, in one direction for more than 4 paces,) it is beyond annoying when the fun wears off for parents that the fun NEVER wears off for kids and with 3, 5 and under..well you can picture it.
Anyway, we never did meet up with the others until we were walking back to the car ( isn't that always the way?) but it hadn't mattered because when we actually DID find a great place to sit we had fun, piles of it, my heart took pictures and so did my old digital camera that I love.

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And we drove home happy and tired and gritty, we ate ice-cream and dribbled it all over the car seats and no-one cared.
I am grateful today for the smallest things, the things that others would sell their soul for and today I appreciated one particular thing that I have always taken for granted and barely given a thought to.
This week I had an eye test and was told that I have the beginnings of a disease called Retinitis pigmentosa. My sister has it and it runs in families, no-one else has it apart from her and now me. Her sight is very poor and she is 16 years younger than me, she never mentions the fact that she can barely see, she falls over everything because she can't see to the side of her and she can't see anything on the floor so she walks into furniture, trips over anthing by her feet and she never, ever complains.
I've known for a few days that I have this and , honestly I don't seem to be worried as I have learned that life throws crap and you deal with it, it's not fun dealing with it and I hold my hands up and say that I am not one to sing hymns and praise the Lord when a new and terrifying thing lands in my lap but I can say that I deal well. I do what needs doing and I am aware that I am not alone while I do what I do.
I think, maybe the news sank in today, because there was so much to see. I am so grateful that I saw everything I saw, that cheeky goofy grin on Eli's face when he was playing peek a boo. The laugh on H's face when he was catching waves with Seth, the enormous eyes on stalks in Isaac's face when he saw a procession of loud motorbikes ( "oh me LUFF moteybites") I've always loved to soak in a good view.....noise is something I have trouble with, so bizarre then that it's my sight that could go. Ironic isn't it? I remembered to enjoy the small stuff...and guess what, I did.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

If I could have one......

.......Vain wish, it would be to have lovely thick, shiny, slippy floppy dark hair, the sort that I could scrape my fingers through just as they do on a Pantene advert and have it slip back into glorious place, instead of thick old curly, do what it wants and don't even bother trying anything new type hair. As for scraping my fingers through..Ow, OW ...Bloody ouch! Knots and tangles and enough to make me swear just by combing it. No romantic moments of lovers running fingers through shiny locks...a couple of attempts followed by ouch owing and embarrassed snorting.

.......Materialistic wish, a new car, well a car that is new enough to smell new and to have seats that don't have stains on that you can play guess the shape with. One that is quiet and sort of purrs when running rather than an orchestra of rattles and thumps that become familiar and evoke panic when absent. "what's that noise?" " which noise?" "that kind of thump thump noise that isn't usually's a bit louder than the whirring sound but quieter than the humming / whistling sounds that are always there" " Oh, can't hear it above the kids...."

.......Dreamy wish, that we could always have the weather as it is now, warm, sunny and a great breeze. Windows open weather, let the sun in and the summer air in and dry the washing on the line weather.
In mere weeks I know we will forget that we had this weather, we'll be at the supermarket buying stew vegetables and lisetening to old men complaining that we never had a summer this year. We'll be running to and fro through sideways rain and wind that makes your ears feel as though they are being sliced with rusty razor blades. I love sunshine. I love it.

.......Compassionate wish, it would be that people would just BE more compassionate, just get their hearts opened a bit and see how much nicer life is when we are kind to each other instead of looking out for number one and stomping all over humanity to get what we think we need and deserve.

......Ridiculous wish, it would be that there wouldn't be bad smells. Ewww why do we need horrible smells? I will never see why vomit has to smell like that.
Life should smell like clothes washed in Spring breeze surf and Yellow Lenor softener and then dried outside. It shouldn't have smells like poo and rotten cabbage, ever, for any reason.

.....Selfish wish, oh that would be to be able to drop everything whenever I am tired and be able to take a nap. Never have to slog away at stuff like ironing or school runs or washing dishes , that all that would wait patiently unti I wasn't tired and felt like doing it.

....unselfish wish, that everyone could do the same. ( unless I am taking a nap in which case, wait til I get up you selfish buggers and look after life for me til I get up..whoops, not so unselfish after all !)

.....Miracle wish. Oh if I could have a miracle it would be that Rebekah would be well. That her mommy and daddy would wake up and see that this sweet face is healed, that this baby can laugh and yell and shout and be 3, that they could see her have a fantastic 3 year old tantrum and laugh with sheer joy because their baby is well.
That the time we all pray for is here, that Rebekah is healed and well and her parents can take time to see that more than one miracle has happened because as well as being better, this little girl, in her 3 years has made more people see God, turned more hearts to Him in prayer than anyone other one person I can name right now. That when the time comes for Rebekah to be with God ( and may that be so far away that we older people aren't around to see it) He will welcome this child into His arms and tell her that He never left her, that he held her hand and her heart as she battled through this terrible time and turned so many people to Him. Image hosted by
I could live without all the other wishes if I could have the miracle one. In prayer, miracles can, and do, happen, may many continue to pray for this miracle and may we see it soon. God Bless Rebekah, I'm sure He is holding you heart and your hand.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Of all the things I miss the most....

....and you know the rest.
I am seriously losing what little worthwhile mind I had left, much of my working grey matter was sucked from me by my offspring, in utero, as well as my beauty, they snagged my memory and intelligence and have left me with little beauty and it would appear, no mind worth having.
I forget where I live on a regular basis, when asked, on a good day I will mumble "up that hill" on a bad day I will stutter and sweat and say .." oh, um, hmmmmm..."
I know where I live because I have auto pilot in my car and somehow I end up back there when I have been shopping and bought all the things I don't need, forgotten everything I DO need and left my bank card with the kind lady on the till, or in the bank machine or anywhere but in my purse where it should be.
Ha! I came up with a cunning plan, don't take the card with you unless you know for sure you will need it. Tired of never being quite sure how much I have spent, or when I spent it, or where I spent it, weary of remembering too late that I DID spend it and then having rent or cheques ( don't you think the English spelling of cheque is sort of grand looking? I like that) Boing boinging all over the place and then being charged for the embarrassment of said bouncing of stuff that really should be paid on the right day, I decided, only yesterday, that I would put my card in my lock box ( yes I have one now, great thing, I have seen that now my money is locked up it doesn't get lost, (it never got stolen because no-one ever took it, who would do such a thing?)so, in went the card with my hidden stash of cash for important things that I will probably forget to buy when I go shopping next, enough cash to buy the things I don't need for the day and off we go.
Lovely day following bear tracks and catching crocodiles at Stover country park, swans and ducks fed, bridges stomped over, pooh sticks thrown in rivers and home again, home again jiggedy jig.
" what shall we have for dinner ? How about Thai green curry? Mmmmmm, yum, better get some coconut milk then"
Leave kids and H in car while rush around Tescos and pick up coconut milk, better get rice too, actually, I'll get 3 bags of rice as we use such a lot, oooh soy sauce is on sale AND toilet paper,hmmmmm might not have enough money I'll maybe have to pay for this with my card.
OH NO! No card, I've lost my card! Oh no, bank holiday on monday, busy tomorrow morning, better get right to the bank now and tell them I lost my card, hate losing card, always losing card, damn. AM stupid stupid woman, why can't I hold onto that card?
Ahhhh is OK. bank is still open, H and boys left in car while I run in and tell them I lost my card, actually think I left it IN bank yesterday when I paid in some money....yes I KNOW I left it in bank, phew they will have it, won't have to cancel and wait days and days for new one.
Explained to helpful lady about card and she went in search of it, SHE FOUND IT..phew quick balance....shit. machine swallowed card. STUPID MACHINE!! Lady says that in that case card must be cancelled and new one ordered..10 days til new one will arrive due to bank holiday on monday ( which is only one day, normally 5 days to wait, so no idea why the wait is doubled but who cares really?)
Somehow, not sure why this whole fiasco made me burst into ridiculous tears the miinute I got into the car, poor H, he is just about able to cope with reasonable and explicable floods of weeping but sudden snot cries of " I am so TIRED, I am so STUPID, I used to not forget things didn't I? ( very wise silence from H here ) I know I laugh about forgetting where I live but actually it is really very alarming when it happens" I love H....he so obviously loves stupid and forgetful me and says he won't mind a bit if things get so bad I call him "thingy" and he will quite enjoy eating fish fingers boiled in grape juice should that ever happen, he even says he will cut my toenails if I can't be trusted with scissors, which is a sign of true love because I know I won't ever be able to make myself cut his. A reassuring pat on the back and sent for a lovely nap when we get home.
Just put this money in my lock box first..... HA HA HA HA HA....."LOOK H! it's my BANK CARD! How did it get in here? And what did they give me at the bank that was swallowed so immediately and finally at the ATM?!?" How bizarre? How did that card get in there?
PING!!! Light on, glimmer of memory ( after all it was a good 18 hours ago that I put the bloody thing in there) Oh I am so mad that it isn't sad anymore. It is incredibly and hysterically funny, blogworthy even, wouldn't you say?
I have just had a call from Paul at the bank to say that the card they found and gave me was one I lost in April ( a huge and impressive 4 months ago and there was I thinking I lost them all the time!!) but not to worry as the card that really IS lost has been cancelled and a new one ordered. I thought he deserved, as he was so sweet, to know that my card was safe and well in the bosom of my lock box, where I had put it so I wouldn't lose it, it did make his day but not as much as telling me that no matter how safe it may be it is actually totally useless!

Oh we are so proud!

Sophie's exam results are here. Hoorah! The culmination of all her years of education, in black and white for all to see. Shall I share ? Shall I?


Leisure and tourism; G ..there, off to a great start, did you know it is possible to get lower than an F? F for fail, meaning nothing lady, you screwed up and did nothing right? Yep, we have a G for leisure and tourism, the subject where you have fun and stuff and learn about leisure, she knows about leisure, its 11 am and she is still sleeping, how did she not get an A in leisure? Puzzling but not as puzzling as what the G stands for..what could it mean G for guffaw? How funny is that you can get lower than an F? or G for Good Grief how hard did you work and not working in order to get a G ?

Religious studies. F. not suprising really and somehow I am unable to joke about it. Perhaps I should pray.

English. ( "Mum, what's a noun?" gave me some preparation for this not being a good result) E...WHOOHOO! Not a fail. a result, of sorts. Way to go Sophie!! WHOOHOO!

Science. E. Another not fail....where shall we go for dinner?

Mathematics. E. Ahhh she is my child, from my loins she sprung and here we have the evidence, she is crap at maths.....come to mummy my child and let me bond with you. I hold you not responsible for being crap at maths, nasty Maths, it is all my fault but don't worry my child, as long as you can count change for when you begin your career in Mac Donalds you won't ever need it.

There must be something out there for Sophie to do though because having just spoken to my mum I learn just how the nose was pierced. With a safety pin ..yes, A SAFETY PIN! It's OK though because Emma sterilised the safety pin first in the flame of her lighter. ( ohhhhoooooohooooo, I was actually being funny when I said it was probably done in a smokey room with MTV on, many a true word said in jest it seems!)No need to deaden the nose, just get that safety pin and push really slowly and then JAB it! She's a tough 'un that's for sure.
The thing of which I AM proud is this..she read her results and was totally calm and then ( forgive me if I can't remember what the exact words were) she told me how actually the E's were pretty good because.....I don't remember what the because was as I was just so fuzzily and gloriously proud of the way my child can see the good in a truly horrendous situation, she will, I suspect, go far. God love her, she is one of a kind!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

me AM!

" Elijah.....come and sit down.."
"me AM!"
"well, actually you're not but I know you will be soon, hurry!"
"mummy, me AM!"
All day, whatever we say to him he tells us he is or "me AM!" in the most teenage sounding, exasperated voice.
Parrots; it's been said throughout history that little children are like parrots and indeed they are, which is splendid if they are living amongst poets and whispering people.
Mine aren't, they are near teenagers all the time.
Interesting how no-one admits to swearing in this house, I used to, but not anymore, I am too afraid of my parrots letting me down.
Shame the teenage people who don't swear in this house aren't equally afraid of being caught out!
"Futtin' eck"
I beg your pardon Isaac?
"Futtin' eck, me said Futting 'eck, me not said futtin' ell. Me can say futtin 'eck?"
"No Isaac you can't say that and if and when I hear Jordan or Sophie saying it they will be in serious trouble, because they can't say it either. No-one should say that and I do not want to hear you say it again."

Hey let's call Daniel and sing happy birthday, ready? .. two...THREE.....
"HA HA HA HA HA I sang Crappy birthday, Jordan sang that on MY birthday it's funny isn't it?!"
Children are also like parrots because idiot people think it's hysterical to teach a parrot to swear and say stupid things....teenagers think it is beyond hysteria to teach cute little people with big eyes and an inabilty to discern the best time and place to perform, to swear and sing rude songs ( oh, actually have to hold my hands up to that one as I thought I was the funniest person alive when I was 5 and would sing "yum yum pigs bum, apple tart and chewing gum" Seth thinks he is super cool too)
There is something almost sweet about a gorgeous little thing saying "futtin 'eck"...just the once, but when that little radar goes on and the glint appears in the enormous brown eyes, because autistic or not he recognises the almost undetectable tremor of fear in his mother's face and stores away the precious knowledge that this is a really, REALLY weighty piece of ammo and you just know that he is going to say it as clear as a bell and even, for the first time, manage to pronounce a CK as a CK and not double T.....and it will be at speech therapy, or in church ( during a prayer of course ) or in gramma's face when she leans down to tell him she loves him.
Oh futtin 'eck...I'll let you know when he lets it rip!

The last one, my first.

Are you weary of birth stories yet?
Last one my friends, hang on tight and I will try to keep it interesting.
My first baby, first birth....28 hours and not a bit of fun. Although looking back, even then I can see that I was one of the more fun ones to watch, I am pretty sure that the nurses who stuck by me throughout this marathon event were entertained and amused.
Twenty years ago. TWENTY! I am the mother of a man of 20. Yeegads, I can't be sure when I stopped being 20 myself, how am I suddenly the mother of someone who is the same age I was when I married for the first time?
Induced of course, apart from delightful and easy going Jordan, all my babies have needed to be forcefully evicted from the womb, where they were fed anything they fancied in enormous quantities, where they were talked to, sang to, patted and adored until they were rudely and in no uncertain terms shown the door via my cervix with the aid of artificial means courtsey of , in Daniel's case anyway, the national health.
Oh how excited was I as I walked into the labour and delivery ward of Freedom Fields Hospital in Plymouth. August 24th 1985. Such hopes of special moments and sure of ensuring the adoration and eternal gratitude of my young and handsome husband, with no idea what was about to happen to my ignorant and innocent body!
I had visions of bearable but heroic pain and a slight glow on my brow as I perspired gently in the endeavor to bring into this world our first born child.
Hahahhhhhhaahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa. It started off very well with contractions that were regular and mildly uncomfortable and ended 28 hours later with the birth of my perfect, crinkly old faced man baby, who had eyes that bore into my soul and told me he knew my very innermost secrets.
What happened in between would be, for anyone other than me probably so dull it hardly bears telling, I can tell one or two things that were worth remembering. One was that at some point around hour 20 I hung onto the young and handsome husband and told him with such heart rending sincerity that he had to understand that I would never be able to have sex again. It was of the most vital importance to me that he understood and believed me that as there was no form of birth control 100% reliable I didn't feel it was worth any kind of risk to ever have to go through that torment again and would he please show me that he understood and agreed that we would be companions and friend but never ever again would we have sex? That would be OK wouldn't it? He was such a liar! So much for his promises!
Another fact that stands out vividly is that the delivery room was a circus, I do know I agreed to some students attending and so, was paraded in all my legs apart glory, by a steady stream of people in white coats, some of them were gloved up and got to know me intimately, some did no more than stand in between my legs and try to look as though they were looking at an art exhibition, none of them did anything to get that baby out of there any quicker than he intended to get out thankyou.
I endured being the side show for way longer than I should have and at hour 26, having been pushing for 2 hours without moving that head an inch, with not a smidgen of patience left in me, the doors swung wide open ( again) and the cleaner walked in, she walked past the bottom of my bed, grabbed some paper towels from a cupboard, walked back past the bed, only this time she stopped, looked at my swollen and so far unproductive and babyless vagina and walked out.
"RIGHT! THAT IS IT! if one more person looks at my fanny ( N.B in England the fanny is most definately NOT the bum, imagine my mirth when hearing the term 'fanny pack' for the first time whilst living in L.A) without having some kind of medical degree and a certificate to prove it, I'm going home-- and that includes you you thoughtless bastard ( directed at the young and handsome husband) stand by that door and stop anyone else coming in. "
Kind midwife posted someone not blood related to the child who didn't want out on the door and we began another 2 hours of pushing.
Did I say "we" ? I can't believe I said " we" as if anyone else in that room did a darned thing. I pushed, I did, for another 2 hours while they had pleasant conversations about holidays and tennis as if the fact that I was pushing my eyeballs into infinity and bursting blood vessels in my neck was nothing more than a mild inconvenience to them all. They even passed boiled sweets over my aching thighs ( one foot on midwife's hip, one on handsome and bloody selfish young husband's)
"ooooh, come on Helen, push harder, I can see hair" ( at the beginning of this marathon I had said that I didn't mind if the baby was a boy or girl but I really, really needed it to have hair and not be 15 lbs. )
2 hours later and for the 17th time.. " oh it's coming, I can see HAIR"
"Great, then get hold of it and pull the f*****g thing out then"
4 hours later
" it comes's got HAIR"
I DON'T CARE IF IT HASN'T GOT A HEAD, JUST GET THE THING OUT OF ME! Oh and by the way this baby isn't coming out of where I read it should come out of, it is definately coming out of my bum.
" no it's not, it just feels as if it's coming out of your bottom, it's not though"
"Listen to me, I know the difference between my arse and my vagina and this kid is splitting my bum open...GET IT OUT!"
10 minutes before birth..."Helen, this baby isn't coming, we will need to use forceps to help him"
" oh no you're not......."
" We'll give you 10 minutes to try again and then we'll use forceps"
Sometimes you just need that little extra boy was born, 3.14pm August 25th 1985, my sweet 7lb 7oz boy with his dark hair and his legs and everything right where it should be....there probably has never been such a wizened little scrap of funniness ever born but he was by far the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. He didn't cry, he was given to me and he and I stared into each others eyes and I knew I would fight to the death for this boy.
Twenty years. That is a really, really long time and it has flown by in a blink of an eye. Dan and I have been through the torments of hell. In his life he has faced fear and pain beyond any that amother can imagine. I wish there has been something I could have done to stop all of it, to prevent any of it. When I looked at my first boy I wanted nothing but glory and joy for him. I believe he will have it, I know he deserves it and even though he is now a man, I am still his mother.
It is harder now, to have to allow him to live his life and not be the greatest force in it, than it ever was to be responsible for him. Nothing I ever did for him was hard, it is an honour to be the mother of this son.
Happy birthday Dan.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Great heaving gulps .....

...of relief here today, at last some news that means we can relax a bit and some of the 3 tons of worry on my shoulders is lifted. I actually have been physically heaving at the relief for the past hour. Some days it IS possible to weep with joy.
The love of money is the root of all evil, but not having enough of it isthe devil itself! Hooray for having just enough, that'll do me anyday ( or today at least!)

Only in America.

"MUM!" said Sophie. "What's a noun?"
"It's a naming word"
"What's an active verb?" ( no idea what she was doing on the computer but it sounds a bit hopeful and unlikely to be something I should be checking out, except for the sheer wonderment value that whatever it is didn't involve lyrics to songs that otherwise seem to have no lyrics, or checking out cute people on the face to face thing that scares me witless)
"Its a 'doing' word that is actually doing kicks as opposed to kick. Get it?"
"what's an adjective?" ( lawks a mercy, what IS she doing on that thing?)
"It's a word that describes a noun, like the purple ball"
"so what's a plural noun"
"Sophie, I am pretty sure that if you thought about it, you could work that out"
"oh just tell me, I don't want to work it out"
"Sophie it is the plural of a noun, remarkably enough, like ballS, rather than ball"
"MUM! what's......."
"SOPHIE, STOP! Didn't you get taught any of this stuff in school" I asked, a tad nervous about her exam results due in tomorrow.
"Only in America"

Does that seem a bit weird to anyone else?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

NO!!! I made that!

Of all the things to get my knickers in a twist about I have discovered that it's the littler things that drive me crazy! Like my kids getting things pierced and tattooed.
Sophie has been yicketty jackerting about getting her nose pierced for months
" nope. "
" because I'm not paying for it and you won't get a job, also because you have a pretty face that took me 9 months to make and I hate the thought of you looking like a hard faced mare with a stud in her nose"
Hoorah for idleness, I thought, too lazy to get a job so she'll have to be satisfied with the 2 holes God gave her in her nose for a while....wrong, she has let her even harder faced friend pierce her nose in her smokey old front room while one eye was on MTV I expect !
I'm not even asking HOW she pierced it or what she used to pierce it, in fact, I have very determindley not even looked at it because the very thought makes me so bloody furious I could vomit. I don't have a friend in the world I would let near my face with a needle, is she more mad than I think she is? Or does she have better friends than me?
Common sense tells me that in actual fact this is such a small and insignificant detail in her life that it hardly deserves more than a snort of derision but common sense doesn't always figure does it? nature takes over so this newest little " I'll show her and do what I like" trick is eating away at my brain and twisting my guts. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!! I'm fantastically fantastic though because I look like a calm and laid back mother on the outside, bored, oh so bored my teenage rebelliousness, bring it on.
Dan pierced too many parts of his body to mention ( although everyone of them has now been removed as he said he woke up one morning and felt a bit stupid for having done it!) and he has ( I think) 2 tattoos, Jordan has a tattoo across his belly...his beloved football team ( of all things!)
I took 27 months to make those bodies, I did a particularly good job of it. I have spent years gazing at the absolute perfection and beauty of their bodies and faces , I will admit to having been shamelessly vain about how gorgeous they are and it makes me madder than a bloody hornet that they keep sticking holes in themselves and getting themselves eternally coloured in.
It is like a chef spending hours and hours making a meal of such divine perfection and then having to watch while his creation is smothered in ketchup.
Ungrateful sods.

Monday, August 22, 2005

She's a what?!?

On august 21st 2000 I went into hospital for a scan and a non stress test to see if all was well with my 39 week pregnancy with Phoebe Ygnacia ( family name on H's side rather glad we never used it now!!) ...awwwww after an 11 year gap I was having another baby girl, 5 ultra sounds and 5 tellings that my baby was healthy and a little girl, pictures in the scrapbook of her sweet little developing body and even a close up of those little girlie parts to prove to all and sundry, whether interested or not, that she was on her way.
" So, Mrs W. are you ready to have this baby?"
" I most certainly am......we have the biggest wardrobe of pretty clothes, her room is ready, she has a name, nothing left to do but push her out"
" Oh....were you told the sex of your baby?"
" Oh yes.. 5 times"
"what hospital did you have the scans that told you the sex of your baby?"
"well, 3 different hospitals, the last one was right here 6 weeks ago. Has my baby grown a penis since then? Ha ha you look sort of puzzled!"
"hmmmmmm, well..."
" you can tell me you know, I would much rather know now than when the baby is out"
"well, actually, yes she has, your baby is most definitely a boy... look, no doubt about it, here is his scrotum and there's the penis"

Oh how we laughed. NOT. I felt absolutely and completely floored. Not at all because we were having a boy, I love boys, can't ever have too many little boys if you ask me but where is my GIRL? My Phoebe, who I had pictured and dreamed about and dressed in that sweet little cherry outfit in my mind a 100 times and whose gramma in England had spent weeks making divine little cardi's with flower buttons for? ARGH, induction set for the following morning and now what? A baby boy with not a stitch of clothing ( why is it so hard to find neutral colored baby clothes in the U.S? even the onsies had either flowers or sailboats on) and not even an idea of a name.
I went home and somehow bubbled and hiccuped the dilemma to H who thought the whole thing was hysterical. I sat on Phoebe's floor and packed every little pink and frilly thing in bin bag until we were left with 3 outfits that would fit what's his name when he was 18 months and a blue wash cloth.
His name seemed to become my obsession, he HAD to have a name before he was born and right through the induction the next day ( and ouch that hurt, after 11 years it was every bit as painful as Dan's birth) I worried H's ears off about names. The hospital had a baby name book and we read through it the whole time ( except for the last 30 minutes) of my labour.
"what about Jeffrey, with a J"
No answer to that one is there.
When it became obvious that this baby was about to be born with no name I asked again what H thought about Seth.
" Seth? I never heard that name before"
" well, I mentioned it last night but you may have been reeling about the no girl thing..what does it say in the baby book?"
" It says Seth was Adam's third son"
"Hey! He's MY 3rd son, what does Ammon mean?"
" It means faithful and righteous"
" I love that, do you love that? Seth Ammon, sounds strong and I love it"

So, with that and the sudden and very strong urge to go home we stopped talking about names and I sat on the very edge of the bed practicing cow sounds while H went to find somebody, anybody to help me.
Ow, ouch, please let me go home, I've changed my mind, it didn't hurt 10 minutes ago but now it hurts, really, really hurts ,please get me drugs, an epidural, nice lady please get me an epidural ........GET ME THE MAN WITH THE NEEDLE LADY, I SERIOUSLY AM HATING THIS! NNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!
" Sweetie, that noise you're making sounds kind of serious and I know you were just at 4 and we've paged the anesthesiologist ( that is one seriously big mouthful, what the ?!?!? is that name? He's an anaesthetist here which is still a gob full but got to be a bit easier to get right) but just let me check you again"
Long story short, no time for anything to ease this hideous pain and the boy child was about to spring from my loins forthwith.
Can I ask where doctors go when they know their patients are in labour? Do they have some sadistic version of hide and seek that they play? Why is it that these people do so many years of training but still don't know that when a baby's head is sitting right where it hurts most there is no way, with all the will in the world ( and I have yet to meet a woman who has any desire whatsoever to fight that urge to yell 'BASTARD' and push with every ounce of her might) you are going to be able to lie back and hold it in until they have stopped playing 'chicken' and get where they should be?
On a side note, should anybody reading this be working on any kind of childbirth projects, writing a book on aids to successful birthing, may I suggest that it be noted that the yelling of the word BASTARD is by far the most effective and satisfying form of pain relief? In my 5 unmedicated births, that word has quite involuntarily bellowed it's way out of my very soul at exactly the same moment my child has burst out of my womb. Marvellous, especially when directed at the man responsible for that exquisite moment of almost murderous pain as head leaves body. The father.
So, my ancient chinese doctor arrived just in the very nick of time to assist my boy baby into the world.
I think he chose obstetrics as a joke. He was very thorough and very horrible. I enjoyed not one of my pre natal appointments with him and he wasn't one of the lovely pally let me hug you doctors I had watched so excitedly on discovery health. He was professional, that's it. In the panic of the speed with which the baby was coming it was somehow forgotten that I was a person, or even that I was there at all, it would seem, I found myself flat on my back with the bed tipped so that my feet were at least 2 feet higher than my head.
" Oh, excuse me...I don't think I can push this baby out UPHILL!"
I don't think I will bore you with the rest of the details I'll just say that Seth arrived less than 10 minutes after the doctor, the first words I heard when he was born were " hey, nice head. Big one though" ( as if I'd needed telling!)
And so life with the Seth meister began. He is beyond bright, funny, sweet and nerdy and as Dan has been heard to say many, many times since Seth's arrival, " how on earth did we ever think we were happy before Seth was born?"
Happy 5th birthday my Seth Ammon.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I want to be wanted.

How's that for a selfish title? Just wait 'til you read the content it'll show you just how self centered I can be when I put my mind to it!
So, it's been a while since I went to church, nearly 2 years probably and longer than that since I went heart and soul.
I had always been one of the up the front people, you can probably tell from my blog that I am not the type of person to shrink in the background in places where I feel at ease. I detest new places and meeting new people and my very innards cringe when forced to walk up to a stranger and introduce myself but I can easily stand in front of hundreds of people and talk...give me a platform and I'll hog the limelight for as long as you'll have me. I love it, such power in making people laugh and cry and listen and think. I have taught and spoken and shared my inner most thoughts and feelings with many and loved every moment. Difficult then, when the doubts and questions began in my heart and mind , for me to suddenly sit in the background and take it in, pray and ponder and see if I could rectify those feelings I had.
I couldn't go to church and at the same time find the answers. So, I stopped- and discovered that the sky didn't fall in, great disasters didn't befall me ( although they had while I was fighting the good fight) I still feel loved by my Heavenly father and I still love Him. Hmmmm not what I had previously thought would happen if I didn't show my love every sunday by going to church. Interesting.
So, nearly 2 years on and still I feel OK with doing what I do, feeling how I feel. I will admit that there are times when I have missed that surity, that feeling of belonging and security.
I haven't faced a bit of judgement from anyone at church, no-one tells me that I doomed or headed for the eternal emptiness and anyway, I'm pretty sure that no-one else thinks that either. In fact, I have been pretty much left alone to do what I need to do, one or two visits from the bishop who cares ( I think he really does) although he doesn't understand a bit any of the feelings I have, after all, he is probably only 5 or 6 years older than Dan and is married with 4 kids, so how could he possibly understand how it feels to have a mormon heart and a gay son?
In fact I am very close to being at peace with the merging of my mormon heart and my mother of a gay son's heart...the answers have been slow in coming but they are coming and at last I am beginning to feel that in some things we just have to have faith that the Lord knows all, he loves us and if I, a mere mortal, can see my son and do nothing but glory in how perfectly splendid and great he can God, who made him, do anything but love him even more? If homosexuality is a great sin then at some stage God will lovingly take my son into his arms and will explain why Dan was made gay and why his life was thus shaped in a way that put him in an impossible situation. I suspect, however, that He will be so busy catching up with my boy that his sexuality will be little more than a fleeting mention, if mentioned at all.
So then, the past few weeks I have felt a certain disquiet when dropping off my suited and booted gorgeous male people. My husband who smells divine and looks too splendid and my little mini him boys in their dark trousers and white shirts and ties, trot off to learn of God ( my loving, compassionate God, we don't know anything about that God who hates certain groups of humanity....who'd want to worhip that God?!) and somehow, darn it, I have felt a bit on the outside.....shouldn't I be in my floaty skirt going inside too? Why am I still keeping myself apart? shhhhh, it has to be said that the overwhelming reason these days is my complete love of those 3 hours all for me, rushing back here to crawl into my peaceful bed without any thundering great feet jumping about and launching themselves off the couch, no-one knocking at the door saying " hoo hoo MUMMY!" no screaming or yelling, just me, my book and the cool fan's breeze. Hard to let go of that for a 3 hour stint of chasing little boys up church hallways and sitting through ( yikes hope I don't get smitten here ) some truly dull dronings about subjects we have heard all about before. Sorry, I will say that there are many many times I have been rivetted and my heart has been stirred into wondering what more I can learn but truth be told, most people aren't really too good at the entertaining part of public speaking, especially when it involves God, I can't wait for the day when we stand in front of Him and he asks " where was your sense of humour people?!" I'm pretty sure he will point out the aardvark ( and also the penis, I mean to say who can look at a willy and not know God likes a laugh?!) and ask why we didn't see straight away that He has the hugest sense of fun and is heartily disappointed that more of us didn't bring in the laughter into His house.
So, my heart is beginning to return to where it belongs and I can see a time when my family will be at church together and begin to heal it's spiritual self. A husband who prays and supports and sets a glorious example, without ever asking why I don't join him, who takes 3 hyper little heathens with him for 3 hours every sunday because his heart tells him it is the right way to teach them, a husband like that deserves a wife who will sit next to him and hold his hand while dragging the 2 year old, under bench crawler, out with the other one.
So, last week as I sat outside waiting for my holy ones to exit the chapel I had a visit from someone who I admire hugely, a softly spoken, gentle and funny mother of thirteen who still finds the time ( never mind the enthusiasm and energy) to be responsible for the women in our ward, here in our town.
" I miss you" I said to her, because I do, I love being even in the same room as her because she is so peaceful to be with and so wise.
" Helen, I need you" she replied " For the last 2 weeks I have been thinking about you and there is something that needs you to do it."
Oh.......flipperty gibbet and fluff under the bed, ( ha! See Isaac? 2 x'F' Words and you can say them both!) if there were any words in the English language ( or any language come to that I just probably wouldn't understand them if they were in another language apart from french and at a push German, but I digress) that will guarantee a cold rush to my heart and a prickly sweat to my forehead it would have to be those..... " I need you"
If H were to bellow them in the heat of passion I might just be able to answer " I need you too big boy but quit the chat and do your stuff", (although on reflection I should encourage him to talk to me as his post heart attack advice was that he should indulge in any activity as long as he could still speak while doing it) but to hear those words at any other time is pretty much guaranteed to have me running for the hills and not singing a Julie Andrew's special.
Is there anything I need less than someone or something else needing me? A resounding NO is the answer to that one matey.
Want me, like me, miss me, love me, enjoy me, think about me, wonder about me, even talk about me, but please, oh PLEASE don't need me. I am all needed out and sucked dry by need... nothing left here to share except my wit and essence which will be given freely on an ' as I have it to spare' basis. Sorry.
I just want to be wanted.

Just a quick P.S. Maybe I am slow on the uptake, but have you ever clicked on the things you list in your favourites? Fave movies, books etc? You will rather cleverly be taken to other bloggers who have listed the same things....I seem to have a lot in common with 72 year old men with diabetes. Should I be worried?!? Just glad it's not a dating service I suppose.

Friday, August 19, 2005

That's what I call a cure!

It's a miracle...I am cured, no headache, slightly spongey brain with a kind of spaced out feeling but no pain....oh sweet joy life is worth living again. I will share with you the miracle that swept my brain swelling, meninges bubbling, oh please let me curl up and die headache but don't be thinking you can shoot off to Walgreens, Boots or even walmart and pick some up.
Bizarre as it may sound, through the whole 4 day nightmare of feeling as if my befuddled brain was about to burst it's way through my touch sensitive scalp, somehow I was aware that slightly south of the pain was a feeling that didn't hurt but actually promised to be quite pleasant if I could have made my uncooperative mouth work well enough to convey to H that his body was needed ... I knew what the feeling was but was so wracked with thumping agony it was too ridiculous to give way to.......sorry H, I have a headache, what drugs have you got?
Last night, having taken some aspirin, dihydrocodiene, tylenol and ibuprofen and beginning to feel rather floaty in a pounding head but who cares kind of way.....H came to tell me he was heading to bed and gave me the gentlest of face strokes and said " how ya doin'? ( I love his somehow kind of Texan y'all accent, even though he was raised in L.A the 2 years he spent in Texas left behind a bit of a sexy drawl) you look as if you might be feelin' a bit better"
Ahhh , he has the nicest hands, he is gentle and so undemanding....stroke my face some more husband, I said, in fact let me just lie down with you and .......... WHEY HEY!! Blimey, healing hands ( or something, might not have been his hands that delivered the absolute cure all) GONE! Not a trace of that evil head pain, nothing, better, healed.......therefore proving, I suppose, the doctors diagnosis of the headache being stress related. I got me relaxed and it was fun!
So, sorry girls, for any of you pleading headaches as a reason to not get down and dirty with the husband after a long day of being a mum / wife/ breadwinner...... I have to tell you that it's a bloody miracle, throw out the asprin and get your man busy....I'm thinking I might have to subscribe to some more of that cure just in case the headache might come back!

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Pink shirt!!

Oh what a day, can you believe that I STILL have the headache from hell? I am rattling with the useless and ineffective drugs I have taken and felt just about as low and miserable as could be today.
Until the doorbell rang about 3pm. It was Ben, Jordan's friend, he's been absent lately and so we were thrilled to see him, 3 little boys running to the door and welcoming him, as the excitement died down a bit, we heard the belly laugh from Isaac, he has the most delicious and irresistable laugh and he was going at it. It seemed the whole house stood still and looked at him as his face ws stretched and his mouth was just split wide with mirth.
The cause of his joy? " Ha! Ben! PINK SHIRT!" This of course had Jordan and Sophie joining in " yeah, Ben, nice pink shirt...what are you trying to say?"
" Huh! I am more of a man for being able to wear a pink shirt thankyou" ( and it was a particularly good and trendy pink shirt, I'm not entirely sure where Isaac's sexist little thought came from!)
" Ben! Pink SHIRT!" guffaw, chuckle, point splutter.
"Isaac, I am a tough man and I wear pink shirts"
Even through my sledgehammering, hot poker through the brain type pain, I was able to soak up and delight in a light hearted and fun filled exchange between these little boys and almost grown men ( well in theory, at 18 they are grown men but I watched them playing swingball like 6 year olds so I'm not entirely convinced ) I love it that these little people are so accepted and loved and included by teenagers who we are told don't have time for anyone but themselves, they are so adored and are endlessly introduced to friends, work colleagues, neighbours. To see my little boys walking down the street with my grown sons is like balm to my soul, to sit back and just listen to the conversations they have is sheer joy to me.
Thanks Ben...nice pink shirt!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Party on down!

Quick note before the party news, I went to the DR and told her everything and got the full work over....nothing sinister, purely me, because I don't show when I am worried or stressed my body does freaky things and makes me shut down. If I am dizzy and hurt there is little I can do but lie down or sit still. Nothing but the fact that I have stuff to worry about and can't see a way out at the moment. REst, she said...oh if only!!'s our day!

Ahhh, it's done, we are partied and magicked and boogied out, the boys are happy, we all had fun and here is the proof.....

Image hosted by he made these kids laugh until they almost puked....Image hosted by he made power ranger swords and dogs and guns with balloons.....

Image hosted by he had them dancing in the aisles... a whole ton of the mothers stayed too so they got to dance ( thank heavens for camera duty, say I!!)

Image hosted by they had music while they ate.....he had the kids enthralled......but......the big kids........

Image hosted by HA!!! such excitement from Dan, Jordan and Sam!

Then it was time for the cakes...Batman and Madagascar.....and " Happy Birthday! "Seth loved Isaac even loved it! ( kind of looks like H is manhandling him in this picture, he was actually just sliding him back on the chair so he was in front of the cake!!)

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But for me....the most exciting part..the most thrilling part and the most memorable and goosepimpling part was the quiz.......would you take a look who went out the front and ANSWERED A QUESTION!! The question " name me a 4 legged animal" The answer...." A Yepoard" ( Leopard) loud and clear, right into the microphone!!

Image hosted by WHOOHOO GO ISAAC!!! Look at how stunned even Seth is!
The party was a success. Hoorah for Jordan !

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hanging in there.

I was thinking that because I have stopped harping on about how great it feels to be treating myself in a kinder and more thoughtful way, it could be easy to think that I am back on the stuff til I gag road. Not so. Finances haven't allowed the splendid salmon and shrimp treats but I am still just about eating well and there is still a slow but steady change in my feelings and shape. I am still gloriously stunned when I go to get dressed and find that clothes are a tiny bit looser or more comfortable and whilst I would love it if I could report huge changes in my appearance, it is, for now, just good to be able to say that I am honestly having a life change, this doesn't feel like a diet that will be over one day. Hooray!
I've had a weird day today, still kind of out of it and got to sleep a bit trying to catch up and get some strength, the right side of my face kind of caved tonight, my eye sunk in and looked totally bizarre, I think it was a migraine supreme which is, I hope, on it's way out!
Tomorrow is the joint party for the SethMeister and my Isaac......Jordan has booked a magician, they are having the party at his work place with the play den and all kinds of treats. Isaac has chosen a batman cake ( what a suprise!!) and Seth has a Madagascar cake. I hope this headache has gone by then, I can't even begin to imagine how it will be with 24 children and a migraine!!
Dan is coming down and so I will, oh glory be, have all my eggs in one basket tomorrow, expect to be drowned in pictures and shameless bragging!
I'm off without even trying to be witty or entertaining, many apologies, my sponge like brain just can't do it today!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

For Stephen

Image hosted by Some green, some cool shade, some water and some countryside.......

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The She Devil.

Thats....ME! Saints alive I am mad this week. No particular reason that I can put my finger on ( and anyway if I could find it I would much rather put my fist on it, how would putting a finger on it make me feel in the least bit better?)
I'm still kind of poorly with a revolting ulcerated throat, not a bit of energy ( except to yell, it would seem) and rubbery bones.....I imagine I must look a bit drunk most of the time as I find myself lurching to the side when actually all I want to do is stand straight ( liar that I am , I want to be lying down, very quietly) but I don't think being poorly is making me irritable.
Noise. I hate it. From dripping taps ( why can't anyone turn the damn shower off properly anyway) to teenagers music...( At the risk of sounding like my nana who I could have throttled if ever she was staying on' top of the pops 'night) ..that's NOT music, is it, that they listen to? My nan used to lament about the fact that our songs had no story to them but Lordie, if Sophie's stuff has a story I hope I never hear it because I swear to Gordon that it would be a tale about some miserable sod with no ear for a tune and no home to go to because it's all kind of yelled out monotone der de der blah blah with the only words clear enough to be actually understood beginning with 'F' and how long does it last? I try to be a bit hip and tell myself to grit my teeth as it surely must be over soon but it never is...please tell me it's just one long drone by the same person ( who can tell if it's man or woman, mutant probably,) because if there are more than one of them churning out the same stuff there is some huge problem out there that no-one has thought about and it really ought to be thought about and dealt with.
Then we have the 'mum'. " yes?" 'MUM' "YES?" . 'MUM' "WHAT?!?!?!?!?" I think that rather than just breathe out, my kids breathe in and on the exhale comes the word MUM. They don't want me, don't need anything but just have the inexpicable need to say the word. I bellowed
" WHAT?!" in Woolworths last week because I had answered "yes" at least 5 times to the monotonous repetition of "mum" without being told what the request /need / desire was only AFTER I had bellowed in frustration that I realised I hadn't brought any of my kids out with me! On a par with the excited yelling of "ooh TRAIN" only to remember that you're with a 20 year old not a 3 year old, and yes, I've done that too.
I was in an interview last week ( not an important one thank the Lord) when I was asked if I lived in the town " no, but not far away" as I answered, I quickly offered up a silent prayer that I wouldn't be asked where I lived.....ha! Too bad! " Where abouts do you live?"
Do you know what I had to answer, because my poor, frazelled 'mummed' to death brain had completely let go of the name of where I live? " Up that hill" I swear I am not lying, not even exaggerating for the sake of a good read. " Up that hill" Funny in itself without even knowing that the town we live in has at least 5 million hills in it. Bless his face though, he let it go and didn't ask which hill, probably in case I dragged him to a window to show him roughly which hill I live up.
It's the noise. You know when you've been to a nightclub and you come out into the night air and your ears are ringing? Mine do that when the boys go to bed..until Sophie and Jordan get in, they've usually had about 4 hours to relax and rest up and are just beginning to feel normal and then in come the unable to whisper or close doors quietly, teenagers.....I am touched in a very tired way that my children love to tell me everything and even at 6' 5" get that kind of jiggedy excitement when recounting a tale, but at midnight after a day that began at 6 and won't end again until 2-3am it's nigh on impossible to react with equal enthusiasm to a story about Andy who was the manager of ( hmm what was the name of that nightclub? nope, it's gone) and of whom everyone is in awe and who has got a mean punch ....or to skip with glee or horror at a tale of how Emma is well pissed off with Katie who was telling Chloe about how Emma said to Kim, who's got a well fit boyfriend and has been going out with him for 4 months but it's well tight that she puts him before her friends because everyone knows that your mates come first and everyone is saying that one of these days she'll be sorry she dissed her mates for some boy.....
I sort of listen and I look at these faces and tell myself very quietly, in my head, ( my in the head voice is the nicest, quietest voice , one just like the one I long for my children to discover and use) that there are mothers in this world who have no idea where there kids are, who have lost children and who would give their souls to be bored rigid with such drivel.
When it's quiet I loathe myself for such behaviour as I have displayed in the last 2 days, I vow that tomorrow I will try harder and just be patient. Tomorrow comes and I stagger out of my room and it's a lovely room...dark and peaceful and so welcoming,Image hosted by it is my refuge and my comfort......and BAM!!!! "MUM!" and we're off, my limpets are right there and they are so pleased to see me they cling right to my side and they NEEEED me.
I have to take a quiet break or three in the day when I just go in my room and breathe. When I crawl into bed at night I have to touch H's back and listen to him breathe and just in soaking in the quiet and his sounds I somehow gather the strength and courage to do it again. I just hope that tomorrow I can do it a bit more cheerfully.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I'm back..did you notice I was gone?

Did you miss me?

Thursday August 11th 2005

SO here I am, with no internet…incredible how cut off from the world that can make me feel when 6 years ago I knew nothing about the internet, was stunned at how clever mobile phones worked ( no wires? No WIRES?!? how in the world does THAT work?!) I certainly couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to own a computer. 6 years on and I have me a husband found via the internet and most of my friends are of the cyber kind. Who’d have thunk it?!
Today has been a pretty good day.
I took Seth to the hospital for his eye appointment , he has a few problems with his left eye, a hemangioma and also we have recently learned that the left eyeball isn’t growing the same as the right one, he has a visibly smaller eye with a slightly drooping lid. His vision in the left is considerably worse than the right and oh my goodness if we don’t find out today that the dreaded and hated patch is back ! ARGH! NO don’t make me do the patch thing! He HATES the patch, screams about the patch, pulls the patch off as soon as our backs are turned, it is the enemy in our house but if we don’t patch him he will lose the sight in that eye eventually. So ( shhh don’t tell Seth) we have some ointment, mean old stuff that will dilate his pupil and do the same job as a patch, he won’t be able to use his good eye and will be so mad at not being able to see very much at all, until the left eye begins to work and learns how to focus we will have to put the tiniest bit of ointment in every other day, but not until he goes back to school. Until then we have a rather nifty patch that slides OVER his glasses, he loves it ( well maybe that is going too far but he doesn’t hate it and only took his glasses off 207 times in between the time he got the patch and bedtime)
If you could hear what goes on in this house you would either laugh or send me valium by the case load ..
“Seth! Put your glasses ON…Eli get down! Yes Isaac your football shirt is clean, get DOWN Elijah! Seth, if I see those glasses on the floor again you’ll be in trouble…where is Eli ? QUICK he’s out again…Isaac I have TOLD you your football shirt is clean and yes those jeans look very good ( again , just like they did yesterday and the 6 weeks before) and you have your shoes on the wrong feet…yes you have… HAVE….never mind, they’ve probably stretched themselves into shape anyway as you never put them on the right feet.. ELIJAH! did you go out of that gate again? PUT THOSE GLASSES ON!
Howard and I are rendered dumb when they go to bed, if I try and make an effort to spark up a conversation with him he gets a look on his face akin to a deer in a headlight. If I had the energy I might mind that wherever I go, people tell me that they love my voice, they ask me to talk, tell me that they could listen to me for hours and never tire of hearing me, but my husband is overdosed by my voice, he loses the will to live if I say
“ H , can we talk? ” I am forced to back track and pat him gently on the shoulder and tell him I didn’t mean it, he can stare ahead ( we have that 1000 yard stare that is the only antidote to lots of young, loud children, fix your eyes on something completely unimportant and make it your focus, love that thing and switch out that noise people…you can do it!!) he can numb his brain until 5am in the morning when the little people will be up and we start all over again. I will join him in the mindless yet glorious silence and tell him telepathically that he is loved and understood and appreciated and if he can manage it, could he please stroke my back very gently and for a long time? Thankyou.
I will be internetless for 2 more days , I shall use the time to reminisce of the days when I knew not what joys the computer held for me and remind myself that before e.mail my phone bills were colossal.
Hooray for Microsoft word, that will allow me my daily fix of writing my blog, I hope that when I post it all at once you won’t all slip into the 1000 yard stare and go to your own quiet place. ( ha… would you listen to me, talking as if I have a following of thousands…I can but dream!!)

Saturday 13th August

So…we’re all paid up and waiting, with drumming fingers, for the reconnection to the outside world. It’s a bit worrying, actually, how deprived we have felt, I am sure that all of us have tried at some stage to get connected at least once, just to see if mean old Tele-west meant it when they said they were inflicting the worst kind of torture on us and disconnecting out internet. Of course there’s no way they can possibly just flick that switch and get us back on, oh no, up to 48 hours they say.. “SHOW ME THE WWW” I say!!! Oh and cable TV please, 5 channels used to be enough but that was in the days before insomnia and computers…I am spoiled now and would like to have the endless choice of viewing at a click of my finger via the remote. 24 hours a day thankyou.
What is my world coming to? Only this afternoon I was numbing my mind with some drivel that already is so far from my mind I can’t even drag it back to name it for your benefit and it was LOUD- SO LOUD! ARGH! The remote doesn’t work ( is it possible for the cable people to do that? Am I paranoid in thinking they have even managed to creep into my home and suck the life out of my TV remote so that I can’t even change the volume of the 5 channels we DO have left? right now, at 7.39pm on Saturday evening I can hear Brainiacs, ‘the worst jobs in history’, now, whilst that is like manna from heaven for Seth and H. it is like Chinese torture to me. ) anyway, I could feel my neck break out in a clammy cold sweat “ oh no…it’s too loud, I hate too loud, the remote won’t work, ack…help me, what can I do…WORK YOU DAMN THING YOU ..turn the noise down oh pleeeeease………It took a full 5 minutes for me to remember that it is possible to actually move my fat arse and turn the thing down myself!! I felt almost insulted at having to roll of the couch and crawl on my knees across dinosaur strewn flooring to reach the TV.
I do want to stress at this point ( having painted such a picture of slatternly idleness ) that I had already been up for 10 hours, had taken my family out for a nice morning trip, organised dinner and was sitting out the time the boys can just turn the house into a small branch of toys r us and let their imaginations run riot. We had power rangers vs batman today, the dinosaurs were the enemy of both as far as I could gather. Somehow, I managed to avoid the 3rd re-run of Shrek for the day ( or frek as Eli pronounces it) hence the nameless drivel at full volume, I shall plump for Shrek next time, better the devil you know I always say.
So, a Saturday night to kill, with no internet or T.V. worth a squint. What to do? Passion would be a pretty cool way to pass the time, shame I’m so tired, if only they had a remote for that!!

The beef's not bad.

...but I just can't make it another minute........

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

And then there were five.

Isaac's birth, memorable purely for the bizarre nature of it. 11 months and 16 days after Seth's powerful and hideously painful birth, I was a complete wreck at the idea of doing that again, it is true that the pain of childbirth is lost quickly, just not that quickly! I could still remember every moment ( although the pain only lasted 40 minutes it was BIG intense pain) I thought that this time I would spoil myself, get the much aclaimed epidural and see how the other half do it. I have watched more 'baby story' and 'birth day' on the TV than I care to admit and have been gob smacked by the women I have seen lying with perfect hair and make up, pushing out their babies without so much as a grimace....WHAT THE ?!?!?! How is THAT possible? I am very good at birthing babies, most impressive in my capabilites and mother earthedness ( cool word, I made it myself!!) but, it wouldn't be a televisable event, unless it was for a comedy channel. When my children are placed on my stomach it is odds on that they might actually sink so far down they could be lost forever, my hair is plastered to my head and my cheeks and nose are beet red from the enormous pressure and strain. I have seen women wear makeup into the delivery room MAKE UP!! MAKE UP??? The very idea is so alien to me I feel I am on a other planet. I wanted some of that sweat free, pushing like a lady type of birthing. Please.
My cervix is of steel..holds those offspring in there until ( with the exception of Jordan) they are artificially blasted out with powerful drugs. So, quite calmly on August 10th 2001 we went to the hospital in Torrance where Isaac was to be encouraged out with every available means. We did have one problem in that there was no-one to look after Seth, so the plan was that H drive me to the hospital and leave me there to do the necessary and would try and dash in for the finale...hmmmmm, thousands of miles away with not a friend or family member and the thought of pain, so, with not too much excitement did I walk the halls to the labour and delivery suite.
I waited in that room for my nurse to arrive and when she did she was somewhat suprised to see my lonely self and in order to make her feel a little more at ease I told her that this was the nearest I would get to a day off so she wasn't to worry as the thought of having a few blissfull hours without having to talk to anyone was actually beginning to feel like a treat to me. The procedure began .....ahhhh drips, I.V needles and such...4 attempts and enormous bruises later I began to feel a bit girlie and said " Now, I think that having had 4 babies without pain relief I have done my bit for mankind, I have never received a single medal for my hours in labour and my lack of lovely soothing stuff to help me through, so, tell me about the marvellous Epidural"
They told me and I enquired as to when one would be available, how marvellous to be told that I could have one immediately, " well, what are we waiting for, get the man in I say"
How unbelievably civilised!! I had my epi and took out my book ( Bridget Jones edge of reason) and I lay in my peaceful room and read and laughed and dozed my way through the day. I'm told the pitocin was working but my book was so good I couldn't have cared less, I rather hoped that it would take a while as it was all so bloody great!
Of course I would see someone every now and then and tell them I was fine and didn't need anything and at some stage they thought maybe, if it wasn't too intrusive on my day, they ought to check and see what was happening...I am ashamed to say that I can never remember what time things happened, but whatever time it was they checked me told me I was at 4cm and left me.
Ahhhhh 4cm, got plenty of time for a nap...ooooh, hang on, don't like THAT feeling "HELLO!! HELLLOOOO! Oh excuse me but I can feel something and I don't want to, I was told I wouldn't have to and I can, so can I have some more of that marvellous stuff so I can read some more book please? OW! NNNNGGGGGGGGGGG ( sound like a cow straining for big pooh there) yes I need some more stuff, now, actually, just humour me and see what's happening down there because NGGNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGG something is DEFINATELY happening and my babies do come really quickly once they decide they want out"
" oh, you're 10cms but the baby is high and so won't be coming yet, have this mask, lie on your side and I'll be back in a while" off she went, knocking the buzzer on the floor as she went. Luckily I had managed to call H ( who was at Black Angus with all the other males in the family eating like Lords, not sure I have forgiven him for that yet actually) told him I was at 10cm and he'd better high tail it over to me pretty darn quickly if he wanted to hear the fat lady sing ( or scream, he could choose but the chances of hearing much singing were remote to say the least)
So, facing away from door, numb from the chest down, oxygen mask on, no buzzer and the comforting beep beep of the heart monitor suddenly slowed right down...and went lower and lower as the feeling of a head also getting lower and lower was so exceptionally strong I knew it was coming out ..
Nothing, no-one one, the monitor was saying his heartbeat was at 50 and this was so serious I was frantic, I screamed and yelled and wept with fear and frustration until I felt a hand on my arm and heard that gentle voice that was H.
" Oh it's coming out, I can't make them hear me and the heart beat has been at 50 for so long, it's not coming up again and I tell you the HEAD IS OUT!" Poor H, not one for being down the business end of childbirth, much better at the flannel on forehead end....he looked and flew out of the room yelling " hello! the baby is coming OUT!" and all hell broke loose, a room full of people ( like buses, you don't see one for hours and then there are so many you have no idea which one you need) and someone telling me that it is really, really important that this baby is born need to tell me again lady, I took a breath and shot that kid out in one! No heartbeat, no breathing, just a floppy, very blue baby. He had been coming out in the bag of waters, the cord had come down and his head pushed down on it and got jammed. No oxygen for too long and now I know what I know I am more furious than ever that I didn't make more of a is thought that Isaac's speech problems have been more to do with oxygen starvation than the autism, he sounds, when he speaks as if he is either very deaf ( which we know he isn't) or as if he has had a stroke. No matter really now but if that IS the case it could have all been so easily avoided. Image hosted by

He was ( of course) breathing soon enough and he cried. He REALLY cried and he didn't stop for 5 months, he screamed for probably 18 hours out of every 24, every day for 5 months and I have to say that was the most miserable time of motherhood for me. I am in awe of women who have lots of babies that do this, I was nearly insane with it all. Image hosted by

My stay in hospital was horrible, I was homesick, I was ignored and I had no-one visit, except H who popped in for 20 minutes, once. I prefer not to think about it too much as it was a sad time.
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When he stopped screaming, my Isaac became the total joy he is now. I am so in love with this boy I gave birth to. His face is complete perfection, as is his soul.
If I have eternity to think on it I will never know why I have been so blessed. I am a believer that "where your treasure is, there will be your heart also" I do long sometimes for some trappings, for some posh stuff and a car that doesn't choke and die at traffic lights but MY treasure can be mine forever. When I hear " you can't take it with you" my heart sings because guess what? I can.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Beginning to be birthday'd out.

HA ha....still have the internet ( but no e.mail, oh well will just use yahoo for a few days!) should be back on all cylinders by saturday, here's hoping.

H's birthday today, he chose to take the bigger boys on a hike and so was out for 4 hours...which meant that the boy and I got to go shopping and take a nap! Sophie babysat while we went up to Jordan's place of work where he cooked a divine dinner , he made us garlic mushrooms with mozarrella cheese and yummy bread. Roast beef with sauted new potatoes, cabbage, carrots and delicious gravy and then summer fruit cheesecake and cream....of course it all came presented beautifully which kind of made the other customers getting their pub grub look at us askew! we had teeny tiny strands of crunchy sugar twisted over the dessert " Hey Jordan..mine plate's got hair on it!" Such sophistication my husband has!! Jordan wouldn't even let us buy drinks, when we went to the bar we were told that they had been forbidden to take any money, Happy Birthday H !

Tomorrow is Isaac's birthday, my Isaac, " no. sing .happy. birt-day. a me. mummy. me. no. wot. singing. at. me" I am breathless with excitement about his birthday as he has more power ranger treasure than he could possibly imagine ( a bit worrying that for 2 days he has been rattling on about trantpormers..which I imagine mean stransformers), we can but hope that power rangers are still as longed for as they were last week when I risked life and limb in the disney store to buy it all.
Seth is being beyond touching as he has spent all day saying " happy birthday daddy...Isaac's birthday tomorrow not mine, (he whispers) then it's our party, THEN it's my birthday." such a hard concept for a little person to grasp, 12 days is a long time to wait when you have watched mummy, daddy and 3 brothers all have their birthday and you're so painfully desperate to be 5, I think he is having a hard time coming to terms with the idea that for 12 days he will be 4 and so will Isaac ( hmmmm but I am OLDER than Isaac!!" )

I've had a headache week this week, filling in forms for Isaac, making appointments for Isaac, making endless phone calls and having discussions about early intervention groups where both H and I go along for 5 weeks along with one of his teachers and learn some things that we will work together on so that at home and school we are on the same page.
I do find it hard that in order to get him all the help he needs we have to paint the worst picture and of course everyone else actually SEES the worst picture. On one of the forms today his teacher had written " We here at school feel that Isaac has significant special needs and I am confident that he will be statemented by the county" Now her writing this helps us no end but seeing it in black and white is just so hard.
I know that actually I have to remember that we are doing all of this because he DOES have special needs and although here at home we are treated to the most divine insight into his mind, everywhere else he is like a little lost soul in a shell. H hasn't ever seen him so withdrawn as I do all the outside stuff, I imagine it will be like a punch when H does witness just how different he is outside our little world.
We have already heard that the board of education has asked for another assessment of Isaac and his needs, so we will go back to the hospital where they will assess every aspect of his autism that can affect his education....I worry that he will always get the worst assessments and then I tell myself that if he doesn't ever show the side of him that WE see it is an indication that he IS in need of prolonged and significant help and support ( another sentance written about him by someone else!!) It is bizarre to see this cheeky, laughing, energetic boy become a staring, silent, fear filled little man whenever he feels out of his depth. I am just so thrilled that we DO see such fun from him as so many parents never see anything but the blank expression and fear....counting my blessings eternally on that I promise you.
So, tomorrow my Isaac will be 4..what was life like without him in it? I think we must all have just been treading water and pretending to be happy.
I shall write his birth story but don't blink or you'll miss it!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

It's like running a marathon...

...with one leg. Life. Right now.

I got fed up at 3pm this afternoon with the crapola of everyday life....packed my babies in the car and drove to heaven....sometimes the most simply things make the other stuff seem smaller.
I am poor and I am stressed but in some things my cup runneth over.
If I'm not around for a few days it's nothing too bad, just the old internet cut off along with cable TV until we have money again. Until then breathe in some joy that didn't cost a penny with me!
Image hosted by just sit on the beach.... Image hosted by

fancy a pub lunch? Image hosted by

watch the boats come in......
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throw in a pile of unhindered joy....
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and some pure beauty Image hosted by

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The day trip...and the guilt trip.

Ah, Daniel. What is it about this son of mine that evokes feelings that somehow my other children don't? That is by no means saying he is favourite, none of my kids are my favourite, they are all different and bring out such varying emotions in me it is scarey, there is also no denying that some are easier to be with than others...just as people we meet outside our families are different. Some people feel like comfy slippers, others feel like too tight shoes that almost cripple you but you love them so much and wanted them so much that you'll be damned if you're going to give up on them and you keep cramming your feet into them until either your feet drop off or the shoes mould to the shape of your feet and become heavenly.
Daniel has always been the best pair of slippers. The moment I clapped eyes on him I was completely and utterly smitten, I felt that baby's soul and saw his greatness in his eyes and knew, absolutely that he would never be anything but perfect.
He was a sweet little boy who, from the youngest age, just wanted more than anything for people to be happy, he has been a 'server' and a 'giver' always, when he was 6 he went to see Santa and took his pocket money, he also took hs most favourite packet of chocolate biscuits. When it was his turn to see Santa, he gave him the money and the biscuits and said " I want you to have this, i want you to buy something for yourself because I never hear of any stories with you in it where someone gives YOU something,so I want you to have this. The biscuits are for some children that don't have anything. I love these biscuits and if I think about some of the kids in the world that never ever have anything like this I can't even enjoy them myself. I don't know why the world is like this but I do know that you go all over the world so when you see the kids that would be happiest with these, give them to them and then I'll be happy too."
Have you ever seen Santa cry?
I had no idea he was going to do any of it..only when my friend (who was Santa's wife) told me, did I know what he'd done and said.
When we were out yesterday we saw a woman who was so obviously mentally ill....she was pushing a stroller full of tied bags and a teddy and she was a big women with a purple skirt tucked in her knickers....not a pretty sight! She has enormous boobs swinging unrestrained in a spaghetti strap top and she took a shine to Dan ( show me a woman who doesn't!!) as we crossed the street she was cat calling and yelling at him and swinging those pendulous boobs at him.....I kid you not, he actually gagged! he did laugh when a passing motorist yelled out of his window
" Hey man! You got enough for lunch and dinner there...OOOOOWHEEEEEEEEE!" when we were out of earshot he said " ugh...What kind of life must that kid have?"
I laughed and told him that there hadn't been a kid in the pram, just bags and a teddy....
his reply...." oh no....she must be sick, you never know anyones real story do you? She might have just been treated like crap her whole life and now all she has in in that pram....."
Just a good man, a real man and a compassionate and gentle soul.
This is where I tell you the bits about me that won't get a pat on the back or a chorus of "aren't you the best" I really, really have had the hardest time coming to terms with Dan being gay, I have been so sad that there have been days I didn't think I would ever be able to even think of Dan and not have my heart weep, scream even, on some days. I can absolutely understand any parents pain or fear when discovering their child is gay, what I don't understand is anger at the child, rejecting their child or wanting to change their child at the cost of the child's happiness or even sanity.
I have never, even for a second, stopped loving him, or been disappointed in him, not ever had a flicker of shame or embarrassment but I have cried and cried more than it's possible to explain.
When we first asked Daniel if he was gay and he said yes, he refused to talk to me, for weeks. When I made it impossible for him to avoid me, he was so angry, so defensive and so ready for me to spit hell and damnation at him. Dear Lord, if that wasn't the saddest part.
I am a Mormon, pretty strong one until relatively recently. I loved everything I knew, believed everything I loved, raised my children in the gospel that to me had every answer. I taught them the way my mother taught me, that this was a glorious way to live and show a faith in God and His son Jesus Christ. Everything I did as my kids were growing was as an example and a testiment to them that I believed what I lived.
I have never been a damnation christian, my Lord is so loving and so understanding and so infinitely all knowing that everything that left my lips in reference to Him was ( and is) testifying to the fact that we are so inferior when it comes to loving that we can't even begin to understand just how great the love is that the Lord and His son have for us. I have always felt that to show a love for God you just have to live as He asked and love one another. I am under no illusions that at some point we will all have to answer to everything we have done in this life. I believe that the least of our worries will be about who we loved.
How can some people who proclaim to follow Christ actually believe that people who sleep around with the oposite sex, treat them like animals, beat their wives, cheat on their husbands etc are merely misguided and will be fine, if only they say sorry and say they follow Christ but gay matter if they are monogomous, loyal, loving, trustworthy and kind are destined for the depths of hell? It's all so alien to me that I don't even think about it if I can help it.
Anyway.... Dan was sure that because of the way I had lived and the way I had raised him I would hate him. My heart breaks even to remember a glimmer of that time when I had to convince him that this wasn't so.
When he was a little boy and had been so horrifically abused , even then, even when my mind was screaming, my heart was breaking and I thought I would die from the agony of knowing what had happened to my boys...even then, I was careful of what I said.....with every disclosure ( and there was FOUR YEARS of them) of what had transpired that day I would have to explain that what had happened to them was bad because the man was big and they were little. It was wrong because they were afraid and didn't want what was being done to them. Even then I never ever said " that was bad, that was dirty, that should never ever happen" because I wanted to be so sure that as they grew, they would understand that with someone you love, these could be beautiful things, even then I somehow knew that I had to allow Dan to know that if he wanted this when he was an adult it would be fine.
When we had managed to get past that time when he couldn't accept that I wasn't disgusted with him, when he knew that I loved him the same, was as proud of him as I had ever been, he came to see me.
When he came out of the train station and I saw my boy, saw that he was the same son I have adored forever I knew then that he would never know that I had even a whisper of sadness. What I feel is my problem and not his, what I wish is my wish, not his. We talked and talked and I did tell him that it was hard for me to understand how he felt because I don't feel it and if I could choose, it would be that he wasn't gay because it's just easier to be straight. I also told him that for now, on a need to know basis, I didn't need to know. If he promised not to tell me about his sex life, I wouldn't tell him about mine , brilliant deal that one, I'm not sure who is the most grateful for it!
I also said that he would probably have to be patient with me and it might take a while before I could see him with anyone. I'm really not proud of that but I so want never to hurt him and I am one of those people who just can't hide emotions, if I had seen him with a man in thos early days I'm pretty sure I would have crumpled in a heap and I couldn't bear the thought of every doing that to him. I also couldn't bear to feel any sadder than I already did at that stage. So we took it slowly and he would mention Shawn, one visit I asked to see a picture and he showed me. I looked and said something pathetic like " oh he looks nice" and gulped back tears for 3 hours til he left. The picture he showed me was of Shawn on the floor looking for socks. In underwear. Shit, shit...he's done it......oh please don't let it be true, please God not this one, I have dealt with being abused myself , living with the hideous and heartbreaking knowledge of the nightmare my boys lived through, I have been homeless and had to have my kids sleep in a tent for a year in a back yard in L.A. I have had a child diagnosed as disabled ( whoohoo get to live that one again, lucky me) I was a single mother for 10 years...haven't I had my share of big stuff to deal with? GIVE ME A BREAK! PLEASE don't ask me to deal with this. ( interesting isn't it that I should pray, does that perhaps prove that, for me, there isn't a shred of doubt that Dan was made this way, by God? It has to would choose to feel as he felt, no-one would choose the life most gay people are faced with in this unforgiving and judgemental world. )
So, next was the visit with Shawn, the real live, honest to goodness person. Gay person. My son's gay person. More silent prayers " Oh please help me not cry, let me make them feel happy"...blah blah blah. And there they were, my glorious, masculine, handsome beloved son and his beloved. A little man with a typically gay voice, make up, jewellery and a safari jacket, really, yes a safari jacket . What I saw, actually, inside that jacket, was someone else's beloved son. Not some preverted weirdo who had somehow turned my son into a freak, just a sweet and gentle boy who loved my son and was loved BY my son. Hmmmmm. Imagine.
We spent a few hours together, with Sophie and Jordan and we had a blast, Jordan is decidely irreverent and guffawingly funny and bless him if he didn't just have all of us in tears of mirth the whole evening and Shawn, bless him too, he stayed in the back ground a bit, we took pictures and he wouldn't be in any of them saying that this was family time and he was happy to be there but was just as happy to be in the background.
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They went home and I suppose I was in a turmoil.
Shawn, I think, has had some rough times in his life as a gay man, he seems afraid and likes gay clubs and places where he knows he can be who he is and not be punched, threatened and made miserable and to see these 2 young men , who love each other and are faithful to each other ( and lets face it, not many men of 18-19 choose monogomy do they?!) were afraid, worried the hoteliers would know they were gay, afraid they would be ' sussed' if they went out together at night in this area they didn't know. I am heartsore that they can't hold hands in the street, can't stop as they walk along and just kiss....of course they could, but what would they face if they did that? I hate it. Seeing them together that first time, even though it was quite a short visit, made my fierce protective instincts kick in. I might not understand homosexuality and it might be alien and scarey to me but I will never have to feel fear or shame because I love my husband, I can hold hands and kiss him in public and when we are old people will think we're sweet.....I want the same for my child.
I have seen Shawn very briefly a couple of times since then but he has weekends off and Dan always has weekdays off so Dan visits on his own. When I went to see them this thursday I was afraid. I'm not very sure what I was afraid of but I'm afraid of a lot of things that most people don't even think of ( it's a kick back from the boys having been abducted, that took away the safe feeling of terrible things only happening to other people , now I am sure that every terrible thing will happen to me and mine. ) Off the beaten track for a second, I felt exhilleration when I caught the train, changed twice.....some demons conquered on thursday as I don't like going out unless I am in the car or with other people, I did that on my own and loved it, nothing bad happened, back packing 'round Australia next week then!)
So, Shawn was working and most of the day we were alone, my Dan and I, but my feelings changed on thursday, I saw this beautiful home that these 2 have made and I watched my son shine when he showed me around this tiny little one bed apartment by the river. I listened to him as he told me how Shawn had bought this, put together that. He bought stuff to make a curry because although we had a great pub lunch of steak and ale pie, Shawn would be starving when he got home. Image hosted by

I saw him look at the clock and felt him know that Shawn would be home soon and then here he was, the same small, quiet, immaculate Shawn, the reason for the little trays of seashells in the bathroom and the DVD's in alphabetical order. The reason for my son's joy.
I sat so still, and so quietly when they said Hello and Shawn showed Dan what he had bought with the money his gran had given him for passing his exams with such great results...and I knew, really knew that my son is both loved and happy. It has taken a long time but I think I can really say that it doesn't matter anymore that he is loved by a man, that he loves a man. If it's wrong then so be it, it just seems so much more right than watching him with a hard faced girl who nags him, who knows if that would be his fate if he weren't gay, not me, I don't know and actually it is a relief for me not to have to imagine any more.
I can tell you that Dan and I shopped, we bought power ranger stuff til we could hardly carry anymore, for my Isaac who is 4 on wednesday.
We had a great lunch and went in to where Dan works.
We jumped on a sightseeing bus to take a historical tour of historical Bath and jumped right off when they wanted £9 each!
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We sat outside the abbey and ate the most delicious and sickly ice-creams and watched Juggling..and Dan hid behind his hand and said " Dear God, look at that, I just KNOW Shawn will be like that when he's older" and looked over to see someone who must surely have been called Tarquin or Gervais...white shoes, black socks, white pants, black shirt and white silk in one hand tiny and dainty ice cream in the other, legs crossed and mesmerized by the violin player in the courtyard. I could tell you all that but none of it matters.
What matters, is that my son is happy and I am at peace with that.
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