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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, September 12, 2009


Sometimes something will happen to take me back in time and remember things that I had let go of, or hidden far back in the cobwebby recesses of my mind.

I was thinking earlier about when Dan, Jordan and Sophie were little and how different things were for me then.

All of my sons have, to some extent been breath holders, pain, fear or shock would make them hold their breath until they pass out, unless you have had a child that does that it's impossible to explain just how freaky it is. Dan did it from birth, he would cry, then do this little hiccuping noise and then stop breathing, he outgrew it pretty quickly, before his first birthday. Jordan outgrew it when he was 10, TEN! He was a spectacular breath holder, he terrified many a passer by with his grey face, bulging eyes and drop dead to the floor displays, the last time I remember him doing it was when he was 10 and ran towards one of those chains used to block parking spaces, he ran, jumped and misjudged it, fall, stood up and ran towards me with his mouth wide open and his face almost black from lack of air ...we were quite a sight to see because by this time I was so over being afraid and had learned the way to make him breath was to yell in his face and remind him to do just that " BREATHE! CRY! JORDAN......CRY!"

The car park was busy and many people saw him fall, saw him get up and saw how distressed he was and they saw him run to his mother who grabbed him by the shoulders and screamed "CRY!" in his face. Precious moment.

I don't recall Sophie holding her breath, though I know she did because when she developed epilepsy I asked the Drs if maybe she had damaged her brain by doing it.

Seth and Elijah were like Dan and outgrew it before their first birthdays, all I had to do was blow in their faces and they would breathe, Isaac was even more spectacular than Jordan, he stopped when he was 5 but until then he managed to make even hard faced me, panic because he would hold his breath until he had a seizure, would roll his eyes back, convulse, froth at the mouth, pee himself and then breathe. Oh dear I lose count of the times I felt sure THIS would be the time that would get him. No matter how many times the Dr would tell me that no child ever dies from holding their breath ( because they pass out before the magical cut off time and would automatically breathe) I was convinced this boy was going to be the one that proved to be the exception to that rule.

He did hold his breath in front of the Dr just one time and even he got nervous and said things like "oh, er, no-one ever died from doing this, no-one, good gracious look at his face, does he always do it this long? Oh my what a colour he's gone, it's OK, he'll breathe any minute now...won't he? My, my he does do it well, very convincing, oh there we go, all right now, breathing beautifully...whoops he's had an accident!"

When I look back I am amazed at how calm I was when all this was going on. H and I are just beginning to be able to look back and laugh about when we were first married.

Although we had been emailing and calling each other for the incredibly lengthy period of 5 months, we had actually only spent 2 weeks face to face with each other, my children had never met him and his son, Rob had met me and decided there and then that he was going to give me a run for my money. Sophie was hell bent on seeing if H was going to leave. Fun times.

My kids were not at all worried about moving, they were excited at the adventure, they were happy that I had met someone and were altogether delightful about the whole experience.

Until they realised that this wasn't a holiday.

Oh my goodness.

During the day we were busy, we explored and we found schools, we went and we did and we laughed and we were happy.

Things change when night falls, fears set in and there wasn't a single night for months where one or the other wasn't crying. They never disturbed us ( which is sort of sad now I think about it)

but they would stand silently outside our room and when I would come out to pee ( and I conceived 2 weeks after I arrived in the States, on our wedding night, peed a lot at night,TMI you're welcome.) as I stepped out of my room I would be wept on and begged to be taken home, I would hear how awful it was and how sad they were and how they changed their mind and wanted to go home now.

Rob was so angry, so quietly and brow frowningly furious. He has since been diagnosed with autism and when Isaac was diagnosed it was like a light bulb going on for H and I because THAT'S why Rob was the way he was. Poor kid. When I look at pictures now, of Rob and Sophie, these two demon children, who were sent by Lucifer himself to make our lives as miserable and chaotic as possible, I see 2 sweet little faces, 2 children, you know, little people who look so sweet and so young and I simply cannot believe how much bloody misery they put us through. I am also horrified that neither H nor I knew how sad they were.

3 teenagers, a pre-teen, a pregnancy followed immediately by another pregnancy. Why, that's the recipe for success isn't it?

When I 'met' H, I knew very quickly that I would marry him, not at all in a gloriously romantic oh how splendid it all is way. Much more a 'hmm, fancy that, here he is. Oh my' way.

I just knew. Nothing seemed worrying or too big, moving away from friends and family was sad but I just knew, this was it. I had to do it.

Sometimes I wish I had done things differently until I realise that where we are right now, is only because of the way things were.

My dad was so sad that we were leaving England and he tried so hard not to tell me to stay, sometimes he managed not to but usually he would say things like " But you belong HERE, why are taking the children so far away? I don't think you know what you are doing" I knew he was sad and eventually I just told him it was his fault. I told him that he had told me to pray about things and that this, this marriage was something I had prayed about for a long time. I told him that I had prayed and told the Lord that I was ready to meet someone, that I was putting my life in His hands. I told dad that he taught me how to do that and he had also told me that I was to be obedient.
I didn't pray for a husband in America, nothing was further from my mind, I imagined somehow I would meet a nice rich man who lived up the road and life would be hunky dory ever after.
I explained to dad that I had prayed and here was H, how would THAT be if after all that I turned around and said "oh, no, wait you did it wrong. "
Be careful what you pray for.
I am so grateful that I have learned how to let go and let God.
I am relieved that when times are bad, I have learned that it gets better. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and wait it out.
I am also very glad that right now, I am not gritting my teeth. Splendid.



Blogger Tired Mom of Six said...

I'm gritting my teeth and waiting it out. Thanks for the reminder, dear friend. I can always count on you to slap me with the reality stick! xoxox

12:43 am  
Blogger Gretchen said...

I have had a few gritted teeth moments in the past few weeks with my sweet calm boy deciding to try to assert himself in a not so pleasant way. Helen, you've a gift for writing things that touch my soul just when its needed.

1:02 pm  

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