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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!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Turned out pretty well.

They say, you are only ever as happy as your most miserable child. That's true. My kids all seem pretty happy at the moment, phew. That's good.
Mel isn't.
Hey! Did anyone ever say anything about the people your kids love? Is there a saying for that?
When my boys were little, those sweet little people, the little boys that were so scared and gentle, sad because their daddy wasn't around anymore, I would look at them and try to imagine who they would be.
I couldn't imagine what they would be or how they would look, what that would choose to do for a living or who they would love. I was always worried that they would fall in love with woman who wouldn't like me. I dreaded them choosing to be with some hard faced little mare who would say things like " yeah well you're MINE now...SHE'D better get used to that!" Oh my skin would creep and my hackles would rise and I would, even way back then, have imaginary conversations with those little madams and put them well into their places.
Raising boys, without a dad to help is a strange sort of thing to do. I am completely sure that my sons are better men for many reasons because I raised them, for the most part, without their dad..not without A dad, but without theirs.
I know that in my blog I don't hold back when it comes to the first one, he had a few splendid points, he is funny and I love that my boys got some of that from him ( and some from me and they are hysterical, believe me, you should meet them) He was very handsome and even now, if I see him ( which I really don't anymore) I can still see what attracted me to him so many years ago. When you meet him, even if YOU met him, having only ever read what I have said about him, even if you were ready to loathe and detest him, when you meet him you don't/ wouldn't. Hate him that is. He is sort of touching in a puppy sort of way, you just need to remember that as cute and floppy and lemme-squeeze-it a puppy may be, they crap all over your carpet and chew your best shoes.....look at it and walk away. He is nearly 50 and he hasn't changed at all, he is still all awww cute and floppy and so bloody self centered it'll make you puke. ( where am I going with this..hang on I'll go back and see what I started to say)
Oh, OK...... so, my boys being raised by me, without the first one, their dad.
What you see, when you meet the first one, is what you get. That's it. The funny, handsome flop of a man, appealing though he may be, has nothing going on underneath. Nothing, No depth, no strengths. I knew him a few months before we married and because he was away with the army and I was working in London, we never got past that, I remember one lady saying to me " He is divine Helen...but, well, what will you talk about?" and I didn't get that until it was too late.
When we were married and I would look at him and wonder where this was going to end up, when I would find myself thinking that really, I didn't know who this man was, I would shove that aside and concentrate on the good things. He didn't. All the things I wasn't were too many for him, all the things I would never be or do drove him to distraction and because he was ( and still is) searching for that woman who was RIGHT and PERFECT and would always MAKE HIM HAPPY, he left.
When he left and I was sad, I couldn't imagine how I would ever manage to be everything to those 3 little people, tiny new people, 10 weeks, 23 months and 3 years 10 months. How would I do that? On my own?
Very quickly I saw that his leaving was absolutely the very best thing he could ever have done for them. His reaction to their abduction and abuse was everything the book say is damaging, all the 'don't mention it and it will go away' all the ' actually I don't believe it actually happened' all those ' it's over and done with, shut the hell ups' he had them all.
I was able to teach them, love them, show them, protect them the way I knew was right, he wasn't near enough to ever interfere or contradict me and actually, to his credit, what I said, went. He never bad mouthed me to them ( or anyone else as far as I know, in fact many people have told me that he has always sung my praises to the point where many of them asked him why he ever left and his lawyer went so far as to say that not only could he not divorce me because there wasn't a single reason he could name) He just didn't ever do anything that helped.
The one thing he did for our sons is , when they left school and were living with him, he told them he would support them for 2 weeks, after 2 weeks they were on their own, after that he would not feed them, give them any money at all and he would be expecting them to pay him for living under his roof..and he meant it. Neither of them has been out of work since they were 16, Jordan had a very short time when he was with us when he was out of work but we stuck with the no hand outs and he got tired of that very quickly.
I am pretty sure that he was strong enough to be that firm because it would be of benefit to him, rather than he was helping them. Never mind.
So, my boys were raised by me and they learned a lot about women. They are rather nice men...not faultless by any means but good men.
Jordan met Mel and very quickly loved her, it's not hard to see why she is the sweetest person, she is gentle and very patient, they were so young ( and let's face it they still are!) Joshua is one next month, she is still only 20.
Jordan works so hard, he works long hours and now the summer is on it's way he is working really long hours. Mel never complains, she looks after that baby and it is a joy to watch her, she lights up when she looks at him, she sings with him and plays with him and she is such a gentle mummy.
She has postpartum depression.
And good heavens to Betsy if that doesn't make ME sad.
Her mum is in Turkey and she has pretty much no-one else.
I feel as though she is my child. I want to be able to make things feel better for her, help her to feel happy again.
She is going to stay with her mum next week and then her mum is coming back with her. She has started working with Jordan for a few hours a week just so she has some money that is hers.
PPD is not determined by age, it can knock you for six no matter how old you are. I think though, that being 19, 20, 21 and seeing your friends spending all their money on nights out, new clothes, frivolous nonsense when the little you have left over after buying baby milk and paying rent, has to make it feel worse.
This is one of those times where it would be easy to storm in and make it easier..but it wouldn't be right.
I have said that I will have Josh one day a week so Mel can work, so on fridays I do just that. Oh good heavens it almost kills me! How did I do that 6 times? How did I ever have 3, close together, twice? How on earth did I do it alone?
I was younger and it was in my home .... I can't have him here it's like a death trap for him and a nervous break down for me. How many pointy things, wires, pokey things, tiny choking things, hazardous neck breaking, finger trapping, body maiming things can one room hold? When Mel gets home from work I can't tell you how my poor old lady body sags with relief.
When I get into bed on friday nights my bones crackle as they relax, my muscles contract and they creak as they try to unwind after being held so tense as I follow that little boy around on his determined way, he weighs about 26lbs, he is a big boy, almost ready to walk but still needing to be carried and picked up, strapped into car seats, pushed in his pram, picked up and moved and rescued and settled.
Every time I have him, I gain more of a testimony of how the good Lord knows exactly what He is doing when HE makes it pretty much impossible for someone of my age to conceive. I had my babies and did all that was needed to be done with very little thought or effort.
I feel like a fumbling, weary novice when I am faced with 6-8 hours of babycare each week and let me tell you, all bets are off when I collect the boys from school, I pick them up, drive them home and then I go to Jordan and Mel's house as far as I can get there. 3 bigger boys and a baby? Nope. Not doing it. With baby gates and wire free floors I can just about make it through 'til seven when Mel gets home. If she calls to say she is delayed it is all I can do not to BEG HER TO COME HOME...get a TAXI! Let me come and GET YOU!
I walk to their house from mine because it's almost impossible to park near their house...so when Mel is home and I walk UP THAT HILL to my house, I suspect that anyone watching me may be forgiven for thinking I am a mad lady, as I plod and mutter my way home.
I am so lucky. I would never have been able to make to order a girl better for Jordan, I love her as if she is my own, I am so proud of how she is raising this beautiful baby with Jordan. I love that she asks me what I am doing and if she can come with me, even if Jordan isn't there.
I love that all my big kids like to spend time with me and I love that they don't get cross or sad if I tell them that I am not taking them anywhere, I am free to say no, I can look them in the eye and say that as much as I adore Joshua I am thrilled to be his gramma and they understand that having a baby for the day is not a novelty to me, I am still so newly free from babyhood and having toddlers that I am not clucky and gushy about pushing a pram or feeding a mushy meal.
I am so glad that we have Mel in our family, I hope she can get through her sadness and soon be as happy as she always appears to be.

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5 Comments:

Blogger justLacey said...

I hope Mel can recover as well. So hard to have a baby when you are so young yourself. I wonder why they do it. I was 25 when I had Aubrie and I look back and wonder how I did it then. You with three, that would have been it for me. It's good she can get out some. I think that will help. Also so awfully hard when your baby's dad is working all the time and you are the one to take on all the parenting. That I do know for sure, both husbands.

12:48 am  
Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Not only are you an amazing mother, but an amazing mother in law as well!

(Hi! Lacey!!! drop us an email when you can and let us know how you're doing k?)

3:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suffered with PPD after Charlotte was born eight years ago. I have to say I couldn't kick it without medication. Just a couple of months really helped. Obviously medication is not the answer for everyone but it worked for me. My heart goes out to Mel and I will say a prayer for her. Love Kaje xx

8:32 pm  
Blogger LosingSanity said...

I feel for Mel. I suffered with PPD after my kids and it was horrible. I, too, was unable to kick it without the meds. I took them for a bit and have been med free for a couple years now. You are a blessing for her, I am sure. Having someone who will help out with the baby is such a help! I hope that she is back to herself soon!

1:21 am  
Blogger Julie Q said...

I hope so too Helen.

I am glad she has you to help her as much as you do.

7:00 pm  

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