My Photo
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, January 14, 2009

Thank God.

I wonder why somethings are so hard to say. Impossible even. Is it because they are so important that to even try you risk screwing it up so badly that you let it pass, make it wait, try to forget it?
I have so much to say to Sophie, so many important things and I have no idea where to start.
I never imagined I would ever give my children 'things.' Money has never been a part of my life and I don't much care about that, it has never been important enough to me to make me want to sacrifice what I do have to go after it and gather it. I would love more money, who wouldn't? I just don't want it enough to chase after it.
I always believed that I had everything my children could need. If I didn't have it, I would somehow get it, find it, borrow it, make it.
Life is so fleeting, the older we get, the faster it passes us by.
When I was carrying Sophie I knew who she was, I really did. I knew she was my girl ( and back in the day we weren't told the sex of our babies) I knew Dan was a boy and I knew Sophie was a girl. I knew she had to be called Sophie. The first one was adamant that she wouldn't be, the more he said No, the more determined I became that she would be.
I think, even then I knew she was going to be mine.
I lost a baby right before Sophie, an unplanned baby, I found out it was on it's way and lost it very soon after. There followed a muddling time, a doctor telling me that I hadn't lost the baby and a call to make an ultrasound appointment, a 2 week wait for the ultrasound and then...well it was bizarre, 3 ultrasounds on 2 machines and then I was told " Hmmm, well we can't see a baby, er, yes, it looks like you did lose that baby.....hmmmmm!"
Weird! Oh well, get over it, get on with it.
No period. Another month...... and another. Eventually, because I had a rotten gall bladder that had been so excruciatingly painful and had mysteriously stopped hurting, I went to my G.P and told him that a miracle had occurred, pain all gone and "Oh, by the way, funny thing, after I lost that baby, I don't seem to have had a period, how freaky is that? It's like 10 weeks or so now, surely should have had one by now ...surely?"
"Ahhhh, now Mrs super-womb, here's the thing, when you had that ultrasound, the technician was baffled because there wasn't a 10 week fetus but your womb..let me see, yes it says ' no evidence of fetus but womb shows every sign of early pregnancy, it would appear that you did lose a baby and then conceived in the 2 weeks before the ultrasound, Congratulations!"
Oh the first one was SO angry, he was vile. He yelled and he spat and he cursed. I did point out that this baby had no been placed there by the fairies, nor did I do it all on my own, he didn't feel that this was a valuable contribution to the conversation so he went out.
So that was the pregnancy, pretty much. He pretended it wasn't happening and right after Sophie was born I discovered he had help pretending none of us existed.
When she was let me go back a few days.
The first one's mother came to stay right before Sophie was born, the plan was that she stay and help and she would be there to look after Dan and Jordan when I went into labour.
She and I weren't the best of friends, I was young and she was tactless and a sandwich short of a picnic. She would rearrange my house and I would damn well put it right back where it was, thank you and then she would ask the first one WHILE I WAS RIGHT THERE "Will you be alright with her when I have gone?"
She would say things like " does she always do that first one?" and I would say " Yes, she does, especially in her own house"
Now, I would just shut my mouth, move everything back when she was gone and laugh...but I am old now, I know stuff.
So, she came to stay and I was tired, I was 39 weeks pregnant although I had been pregnant for a year in fact, with a 2 week break in the beginning, I was tired of being ignored by the first one and first one in law would follow me around the house, 6 inches behind me all day long saying " is there anything you want me to do Helen?"
Could she not see 2 little boys needing help, did she not think dinner needed cooking, did she not notice laundry or dishes?
4 days before I had Sophie we went to town, a gold 45 minute walk, we shopped, we came home and she asked me again if there was anything she could do, I told her that maybe she and the first one could clean up downstairs, I would do upstairs. Long story short, I spent 2 hours cleaning, they spent 2 hours cooking bacon sandwiches and making coffee. I was a furious pregnant lady when I saw the mess downstairs, as bad as it had been when I went to clean upstairs and more on top.
I exploded, oooooie it was impressive, she stood with her back to me saying " what's the matter with her first one?" and then he said ( oh yes he did) " Ignore her mum, it's hormones!"
Oh. He honestly did.
I kicked open the door to the room they were in, I had an overflowing bin in my hand that had nappies and apple core and all kinds of revoltingness in it and I threw it at them and screamed
" Have those fucking hormones and pack them in your bags, get a bus and piss of out of here..BOTH OF YOU!"
Stunned silence.
I left for the day and when I came back they ignored me. Completely. For 4 days. Until the very minute I went into the hospital. If I walked in the room they would both turn their backs on me, if they were sitting down they would scoot away if I sat near them. He didn't say a word to me for 4 day and neither did she.
I went into hospital and he spoke to me but it wasn't a cosy time, he left to check the boys and when it was evident that Sophie was pretty much out, he came back.
He was excited when she was out, he jumped and yelled and punched the air, the nurse asked if we had a name and I told her it was Sophie...and had her write it on Sophie's wristband.
He realised an hour later that she was called Sophie and I told him it was too late to change it.
He came to visit twice, he brought the boys the first time oh and his mother who ooohed and ahhhhed over Sophie and ignored me, he brought half the street when he came back the 2nd time, then when we came home, he stayed out.
He left when she was 10 weeks old after a truly miserable time.
She was mine. Has always been mine.I take all the credit and I take all the blame.
I thought I had all the time in the world to teach her all the things she needed to know, I thought she would just 'know' that she was the most precious thing to me.
It's never too late to make up for past mistakes but sometimes it happens late enough that horribly sad things happen in the meantime.
I would give the earth to undo the sadness that little girl has felt in her lifetime. I was so busy making sure she didn't kill herself jumping out of windows and running into roads, dealing with schools and doctors and hospitals, little boys who I thought needed me more than this feisty little gob on legs, I didn't see how sad she was.
I would come home from a church meeting ( the only reason I ever left them with a babysitter) and I would hear how good the boys had been but how Sophie had headbutted the babysitter, split her lip and ripped up her homework ( Sophie was 4 by the way) Sophie can remember me coming home and kissing the boys and putting her to bed, she can't remember why..she was 4.
I had a call from school when she was 8, saying she had had an accident, I got to the hospital and she was getting stitches in her head, arm, backside and leg...the teachers said they had no idea how she hurt herself that she was lined up with all the other kids and as she walked past them to go inside after lunch they noticed she was bleeding. They rushed her to the hospital and on the way she had just said " I think I may have broken the toilet.
She had climbed on the toilet to look over the top, playing hide and seek with her friend...when she got down the cistern fell, smashed the toilet, sent shards of porcelain into her backside, arm, face and leg and she just walked out into the playground, lined up, dripping with blood and walked in with the other kids.
I got a call from the school, asking if I could pop in on the way back from the hospital, when I did they showed me what she had done.....after we waded through the flooded hallways that is.
How she wasn't killed in beyond me, there were shards like daggers, she smashed that toilet and it looked like someone with a sledge hammer and massive grudge had been in there.
When she does something, she does it so well.
I don't know details of the 16 months she didn't live with me. I can imagine, I try not to.
I can see how she is slowly beginning to see that she has so much before her, that she can be and do and go and see, that she is welcome and that she is truly loved.
I do know that when we walk through town and every other step some sleazebag calls her name, they all know her and she knows them all, I feel like a mother tiger when someone even looks like they might try and touch a tiger cub.
I also know that the pull to be back amongst these low life people is still very strong, she still likes the 'excitement' that surrounds them.
A huge part of me wishes we could move far away, to where she doesn't know anyone, where there is no history but in truth I know that isn't the answer.
When she was very little and every single day was filled with trying to contain this child, when we would go shopping and more time was spent rescuing her from under things, on top of things, between things, when I would appear to not notice that she was swinging from clothes rails, when I would tell people that I had to pick my fights and thank you for their concern but this/that/the other was not a big enough deal to start all out war over, when people told me to smack ,her punish her, MAKE her behave. I would tell them that I knew, if I wanted to, that I would be able to break her spirit, I would be able to turn her into a good kid that sat and did and stayed and didn't but something was telling me that THIS child was going to have a huge fight in her life. I would say over and over that there would be a day when I would look at her and KNOW this was it...this is why I had allowed her to fight and win.
This is it.
I can tell myself that if I had beaten her down as a child that she may not have got into the situations she did. I don't believe that though. I think there are some kids that are born to kick against the pricks, that some come out of the womb ready to fight, to make their mark known, do it their way. I truly believe that she was always going to have to try things that most of us wouldn't dream of. I think there may have been a way to help her make better choices. I think I could have taught her so much better than I did her value as a child and as a woman. I did fail there but it's not over yet.
I have seen her fight and I am watching her win and quite frankly, this is one of those times where to say " I told you so" is so sweet it's almost nauseating.
I had no idea that she was this glorious. Every day is like watching a butterfly emerging. A very loud, scantily dressed butterfly but a beautiful one nonetheless.
What seems to be right at the moment is waiting for an opportunity to arise and then just slipping a nugget of wisdom in very quickly. I don't think either of us is ready for a heart to heart and maybe that is a long way down the road. I am confident enough in my ability to know what to do as we go along, when I look back at all the huge things in my life, all the times I have been in a situation that I really should have no clue how to cope, I have been picked up and carried, I have been whispered to and guided and so far, we have always come out on top.
I don't take the credit for knowing what to do and I admit to so many mistakes, but I do take credit for hanging in there and for following the guidance and direction I have been given.
YEs, thank God. Literally.





Blogger Kourtnie :) said...

Helen, I so admire your wisdom and abilty to think through problems. This whole motherhood thing definitely isn't easy, but it feels like home when I hear others relate their experiences. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, wisdom and confessions. It helps to know that there can be a bright light at the end of a tunnel. I have come to love Sophie just by you sharing your experiences :).

2:07 am  
Blogger Jenn said...

Your writing is fantastic - I could not stop reading! Really.
And perhaps because I have met Sophie in person, and have seen this butterfly that you speak of, after knowing of so many battles and trials - well, it's truly a privilege to witness and see firsthand the absolute beauty that is Sophie. Her heart is generous and so full of love and her spirit is feisty - I absolutely love her and can see why you are so proud of her, and I know that you have a unique and special bond with your one and only daughter that is truly remarkable.

4:11 am  
Blogger sarah said...

she is a beautiful girl. i think you are a fantastic mum to all your kiddos. they are lucky to have you and you lucky to have them.

10:02 pm  
Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

She is such an amazing young woman.. just like her amazing Mommy. I'm so glad to have met you both!

2:05 pm  
Blogger Julie Q said...

Such a long road with Sophie. But getting there is so worth it!

2:50 pm  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home