The rocking horse …

I’m a worrier. Always have been, it’s kinda my ‘thing’. I’m not proud of it, and next to my tendency to over share and to talk too much – it’s my most hated personal trait.
One of the things that has been bothering me a lot lately may seem small and insignificant to some, but I’ve struggled a lot with it and am still trying to figure out the best way to move past it. And that is friendships. Specifically- for my boys.
Lucas has been catching the bus home for a long time and whilst there were some teething problems, he seemed to be handling it quite well. But recently he has been coming home quite distraught and adamant that everyone hated him. It took a lot of directional questions and detective work on my part, but I finally got to the bottom of this alleged bus bullying and it was a hard one for me to stomach.

My boy in all his aspie glory took it upon himself to self-nominate as the ‘bus monitor’. Which, in plain terms means that he decided that snitching on all the other kids who weren’t following the rules was his personal responsibility.

So, any child eating on the bus was awarded a mark against their name in his notepad, as was anyone swearing, standing up or ‘being a bully’ and he took his self appointed job very seriously and carried his notebook into school every morning to report to the teachers what he had seen on the bus the previous day.

Clearly the other kids were not huge fans of this and the rest is pretty easy to figure out.

Lucas is turning ten this year, and sadly – his quirky little ways aren’t as endearing to other kids as they once were. Kids are quicker to point out his differences and he responds to this with aggression.

Sigh.

And then there is Harley.
I worked DAMN hard to get him this placement in an autism class and I stand by my decision. He needed this because he was drowning in mainstream and I truly believe he’s in the best possible place for the rest of his schooling. But that comes at a price.
And the price is socialising.
Since he has been in his placement, he is surrounded by other children with varying levels (for lack of a better word) of autism. And that’s great – but it’s also not.

Because at lunch and recess and sport and PE and pretty much every extra curricular activity that his class is involved in- he is surrounded by other children who also have massive social delays and enormous anxiety. They are all given the option to stay in the ‘safe playground’ (which is a concrete area with seating attached to the unit they attend) or to play in the ‘regular playground’ which is where the rest of the high schoolers hang out.

No prizes for guessing where they all end up.

And all of them ‘want ‘ friends, but none of them have any idea how to go about making them. And that’s sad. None of them understand how to initiate conversations and because they’re not choosing to mix with the rest of the school- they aren’t learning vital social skills to survive in the big bad world. This bothers me greatly.

As much as I want to wrap him up in cotton wool and tell him that he can stay my baby forever- I know that I am doing him a disservice by not encouraging him to do the hard things and teaching him those social skills that he will be expected to display one day in the workforce.

Harley comes out of school most days and talks animatedly about the boys in his class and what they did at lunch time and the games they played in class and he talks fondly of the other boys, but he has absolutely no idea how to foster friendships with any of them and truly believes that they aren’t his friends and don’t actually like him.

And I’m left wondering how to teach these skills to my boys when they only have each other and don’t really have any ‘typical’ friends to teach them about having mates or being socially appropriate etcetera etcetera.

I worry that this is my fault because I never involved them in any sports. (I offered but they weren’t interested). And I never forced them into play dates or social functions that they clearly didn’t want to attend.

I even stopped requiring them to go to church because the fall out afterwards from the sensory onslaught was becoming too much for ANY of us to deal with.

And because it’s ‘my thing’ to worry, I lie awake some nights angry with myself for not fixing any of this earlier – or some how preventing it and I beat myself up for being a crappy mother.

I worry that they are going to be dysfunctional adults and that I would’ve caused it through neglect. And then my mind starts to go places it shouldn’t.

Eventually I drift off into fitful sleep and wake up the next day drained and beyond tired.

But here’s the thing: I really do know better. I know deep down in my heart of hearts that this will all somehow work out.

Because they’re God’s kids and He won’t let them sink. They may go through any number of storms in their lives but He will always be in the boat with them telling those pesky waves to quieten down and the raging waters to calm.

Like He does for me.

All. The. Time.

As my dad used to say: “Worry is like riding a rocking horse. You can ride it like crazy but it doesn’t actually get you anywhere, all it does is wear you out and steal your joy”. 

I just need to be reminded occasionally.

My girl was the cutest little rocking horse rider you ever did see

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Love + sacrifice = progress

Not a proper post tonight….I’m just writing out some of my random thoughts… you know, working through some stuff that has been rattling through my brain of late 🙂

There is a saying that when a child is diagnosed with autism – the whole family is diagnosed with autism. And it has to be that way because every single member is affected in some way whether directly or indirectly.

It’s taken me the whole 5 years since we received Harley’s diagnosis to fully accept that things will never be the same as they were pre-diagnosis ever again. And for me – it’s was a very slow journey to reaching acceptance because – I’ll admit, that it’s a daily struggle for me to have to adjust my expectations and ideals.

The selfish part of me that creeps up occasionally wants to do things the way I’ve always done them.

See – I’m stubborn like that.

There are still many times that I have to stop and remind myself that we are an autism family and that what works for most families simply wont work for us. And then I have to make the necessary allowances to make it work, or deal with the inevitable consequences.

All mothers have to become selfless and put their child’s needs above that of their own in order to be an effective parent, but when you are raising children on the autistic spectrum – it’s even more important because their needs and daily requirements far exceed regular kid stuff.

I was told recently by a health professional that I’m going to have to eventually recognise that I don’t have a family that will fit into what society deems to be normal and that outings will often present challenges and sometimes I have to make the choice to either stay at home or leave ‘him’ at home thus separating the family. I need to choose which battles to major on and which ones to let slide.

Or, I could take the third option which is taking Harley out with us and being prepared that he may lose it or we may have to end up leaving early.

She said that this is just the way it is and that although things will get easier the more often that we do them – it’s always going to be something that we will have to work very hard at. And she emphasized the ‘always‘.

I sulked for a good week after I was told this. I knew it already in my heart but I let my emotions get the better of me.

Everything in me was crying out: “NO….it doesn’t have to be that way”…

But you know what? It actually does.

I’m getting a lot better at this as the months pass by and I can now admit that as a family, we are different and we have to do things differently. And I can even admit that even though it’s a huge inconvenience to me to have to make different choices – the truth is – my son means more to me than any preconceived ideas that I may have about what I really want out of life.

And that’s what growing up is all about… leaving behind what you think you want, so that you can make way for what’s more important and what is necessary in life. You make the big sacrifices because you love.

It’s that simple.

1 Corinthians 13:7
…love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…

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The thing about anger….

We have many folders and files of therapy reports and all things pertaining to autism in this house. They are everywhere. Literally.

The thing about anger is that it can have a profound effect on your day.

It changes how you view situations and people, how you act and how you think.

It can be a very dangerous emotion if it’s not handled correctly and today; I almost became a victim of my own undoing by indulging in allowing bitterness to overwhelm me.

***

I’ll go back to give you all some context:

***

Today, I turned the house inside out looking for the report for Harley’s psychological and behavioural assessments that we had done through the university almost 6 months ago now.

I had deliberately put these results aside when I received them in the mail because I simply wasn’t ready to deal with them at the time.

 Well, ok, I did briefly skim through them when they first arrived but I have to admit that I didn’t really absorb any of it at all because I didn’t want to.

But the thing is: the psychologist that Harley has started seeing recently has requested a copy because it would be helpful for her to be able to see the best ways that she can communicate with him and help him. So I had no choice but to search for it.

And I found it. I read it and re-read it and read it again. But I couldn’t escape the fact that it was right there in print in front of me. It was very real.

The words: ‘low average range’, ‘below average’, ‘well below average’ and 8th percentile jumped out at me making me squirm. And from what I’ve seen at home, I believe that this particular report was very accurate.

But our school doesn’t necessarily agree.

Here is an excerpt from the report:

H’s pattern of performance across tasks indicates that he is experiencing difficulty across a range of cognitive domains including verbal reasoning and knowledge, working memory and his processing speed ability. He has particular difficulties in reading comprehension, spelling and numerical operations which supports Fiona’s initial reports… (Loved that bit).

Then it goes on to deliver further results and recommendations for more classroom aide, more learning support and more specialist attention in the school setting.

And this is the part where I burst into tears. I have literally gone around in circles tonight trying to ‘tidy up’ my initial post about my own personal reactions to the subject of aid (or lack there-of) in our school. What I wrote was very true, more than a bit controversial and very heartfelt but it was verging on venomous.

I hovered my mouse over the publish button several times but I wasn’t able to go ahead with it because I knew I had to calm down first and there was a part of me that just wasn’t comfortable with publishing such vitriol. That’s not – and never has been – my intention for this blog. I want to advocate not obliterate and I know too well that words spoken in anger can cause irreparable damage. So I trashed the whole post and I started again.

And no. I don’t think that I am taking the easy way out.

I am still extremely bothered that my child is desperately in need of extra aid and assistance that he’ll possibly never receive, but I have realised that I would achieve nothing good by giving in to angry tirades.

I need to go about this the right way; I just haven’t figured exactly what that is yet.

I am still in major doubt that the school really sees the big issues here. Don’t get me wrong: It is a great school and my children all have wonderful teachers but when you’re dealing with autism and all that it encompasses whilst in a mainstream setting:  it will never be enough.In fact: not even close to enough. And that’s just the way it is.

So who is at fault here?

Well, I don’t think it’s either the school or us.  The school offers what they can according to their funding allocations, and we enrolled our kids there because we believe in the school. Harley had no diagnosis when he started Prep. We were still viewing him as our ‘impossible child’ with shocking social skills and speech delays. We could not have predicted how things would eventuate 4 years down the track and could not have foreseen the extra needs that his disability brings with it.

The most pressing issue at the moment is that what the school sees, and what we live with are two polar opposites. School continues to tell me that Harley is a pleasure to teach, that he is doing wonderfully and that he is settling in well, meanwhile I’m still waiting for the last lot of my Harley-inflicted bruises to disappear and my own medication to kick in.

I hold no grudges because the school can only report on what they see and I can only report on my own reality. The fact that they don’t line up is what needs to be addressed here.

I have no choice right now but to give this all to God and truly believe that He is going to bring good out of this whole situation.

I simply cannot handle any more stress. I’m at my limit, so Jesus: PLEASE take the wheel.

A Mothers Love: Poem for my son.

The school bell rang and children rushed,

Toward their classroom doors,

I saw you pull your hat down firm,

And brace yourself – then pause.

.

And as you walked inside your room, 

I noticed you inhale,

Your hands you pulled into your sleeves,

Your face began to pale.

.

I saw you mutter to yourself,

And count your steps until, 

You noticed I was watching you,

Then stopped and stood dead still.

.

I think you’re brave , you push yourself,

Out of your comfort zone,

I see this and it makes me proud,

I know you’d rather stay home.

.

You think that you have got me fooled,

And that I’ve got no clue,

But I’m your Mum – I see your pain,

In most things that you do.

.

I know that when you pace and count,

You’re trying to pro-cess,

And when your brow is screwed up tight,

It means you’re getting stressed.

.

You sometimes find it hard to speak,

And tell me how you feel,

When you get home from school each day,

For you that pain is real!

.

I’ve come to learn that you express,

Emotions differently,

As either happiness or rage,

And nothing in between.

.

I need to show you other ways,

To let your feelings out,

There are better ways to show me these,

You needn’t scream and shout.

.

Just know son that no matter what,

I’ll love you with my all,

I’m here to guide you through these years,

And catch you if you fall.

Split Personalities

It was raining, it was chilly and it was dark out. It was almost 7pm and we were absolutely starving, but all the restaurants in the little town we were staying in were closed on Wednesday nights. We had no means of cooking our own meal in our little villa and we had considered driving to the next town.

But then we found a strange little place that was clearly having an identity crisis. This place served both Thai and Mexican food which was the strangest combination we had ever heard of together. The two completely different cuisines made no sense together whatsoever.

Amused, we walked in and the cowbell chimes on the door should have been our first clue to run far away and never look back. Well, that and the fact that there was only 1 other couple eating there. But we were hungry and desperate.

We sat down and the (what looked like) 12 yr old waitress took our order. We giggled as we looked around the room and noticed the Thai silk scarves hanging on windows with bejeweled sombreros hung haphazardly next to them.

And the hessian wall hanging of a cactus below a shelf proudly displaying a Buddha statue.

Bamboo makeshift blinds with the Mexican flag painted on it covered a bay window that housed a shrine of Thai goddesses and paraphernalia.

Everywhere you looked there were oddly juxtaposed items on display all brightly lit up with coloured fairy lights draped over every other possible surface.

Tacky doesn’t even come close to describing it but somehow somehow it worked.

We decided that it should be renamed the “Split Personality” restaurant.

I often feel as though I have split personalities myself. I have my mother personality, my wife personality and my Fiona one.
They are all coming from the same inner well but they are all incredibly different. Of course they all overlap at some points and they’re all part of who I am but I still haven’t figured out how to make them all work as one. I haven’t worked out which one should take precedence because the mother one always seems to overtake the rest.

And having this week away from the children and the demands of my everyday life has illuminated some things about me that I have been burying and refusing to deal with for a very long time.

Paul and I spent a lot of time apart during our week “together”. And that may seem strange to some people but we both recognised that we needed it as much as we needed our couple time. We know that we are unlike other couples and that we can’t do the whole 24/7 thing that others can. It doesn’t work for us.

And I really needed to be alone.

I needed to not be needed. It’s as simple as that.

Sometimes I feel like Paul and the children are each pulling one of my arms or legs like a rag doll that is being pulled in four different directions and instead of working through this I find myself withdrawing and becoming more and more resentful toward all of them. My mother and wife personalities have left no room for my Fiona one to shine.

I’ve had a lot of anger rise up this week that I hadn’t expected to see. Things I thought I’d dealt with popped up and threatened to drown me. I prayed about it and God showed me a few home truths about myself that were tough to see but necessary to confront.

This week, I’ve picked fights with Paul unnecessarily because I placed high expectations on him and got angry when he didn’t react the way I wanted him to. I’ve accused him of not loving me and sulked and cried my way through.

He hasn’t argued back with me once to his credit and has stayed firm and strong.

Last night, it was our last night away and I sat down in front of the fire in our cozy little villa in my husband’s arms and cried and cried. I told myself that I was hurting because of something someone had said to me that I felt was borderline nasty, but I knew that it was more than that. I knew deep down that it was because of guilt.

Because the incredibly selfish part of me didn’t really want to go back to my life the next day. I didn’t want to be the Mum anymore. I cried because Paul desperately missed the kid’s and I didn’t. I mean-what kind of mother says that? What kind of mother doesn’t pine for her kids when she’s been separated from them for a whole week?

And Paul answered me: A mentally, physically and emotionally drained one.

He reassured me that it’s not the children that I’m not missing but more the dramas, the upsets, the hard work and the constant noise that I don’t miss instead.
And he’s absolutely right.

I am writing this in the car on the iPad and right now we are 3 hours in on our 7 hour drive and I’m already feeling the excitement stir at seeing my treasures again.
Paul is Right!….He is sensible, methodical, precise and firm – all the things I’m not.

And just like that kooky little restaurant ….we may be a strange mix who look weird to everyone else, but somehow somehow we work.

And for that I am thankful.

Where to draw the line….

 I have been having a lot of conversations with myself lately to the tune of whereabouts to draw that line?

And the line I’m talking about is the one between sharing too much online and sharing just enough. And to do this all whilst still maintaining my integrity and that of my family. It’s a tricky concept for me because I’m naturally a very open person and I’ve really had to allow God to guide me in this area.

My natural instinct is to blurt out exactly what’s on my mind and then go back and mend fences later. Sounds ridiculous I know but I have only in recent years been able to recognise that split second moment between using wisdom and having a verbal diarrhea moment!

I am a lot wiser nowadays but apart from using my children’s real names and our exact location, I do try to share anything that may be helpful to another family if only to show them that they are not alone.

Because here’s the thing: When I first started out on this journey…..I had no-one to tell me what was ‘normal’ in ASD world or what to expect in the coming days, months and years and really honestly felt like I wasn’t going to make it. So I started googling and searching and finding other blogs, and realising that we weren’t the only parents ready to tear their hair out frequently.

And we weren’t the only parents who have forgotten what’s it’s like to sleep uninterrupted through the night and we certainly aren’t the only parents who would give anything for their child to just make a damn friend!

But imagine if everyone who had written these blogs had decided that they weren’t going to tell it like it really is? Imagine if they only wrote what they thought would make people comfortable and that which paints a picture of the perfect family all sailing along beautifully. Imagine if they had drawn their line a lot closer to “need to know” and far away from their honest realities.

Wouldn’t I feel like total crap then?!

It’s through relating to another person’s experiences and THEN seeing them come out the other side that we are encouraged.

I rejoice with my bloggy friends when they experience a breakthrough but I also cry with them when they are in the midst of hard times. It’s that balance of difficulties and progress that keeps drawing me back to my friend’s blogs time and time again. Because I can relate.

I was involved in an incident at my children’s school on Friday afternoon where another flustered mother watched as my child completely and entirely lost it and nastily told me that “All kids have days like that occasionally, you autism mum’s think you own bad days ”.

And she’s absolutely right! ALL kids have days like that it’s true. But where she got it completely wrong was assuming that we think that we own bad days.

We don’t think that we deserve your pity or sympathy any more than any other parent, but we do have more experience in dealing with these types of situations simply because we deal with them a lot more often.

Buy what I actually think is that whether you’re parenting 1 child or 7 children, whether you have boys, girls, typically developing or children with special needs – it doesn’t matter….parenting is rough!

But her comment to me was said in a derogatory tone that really threw me so I didn’t respond to her at all but walked away and came home and picked it apart in my head for hours.

I wondered if she is hurting herself as a mother and feeling overwhelmed and unappreciated? I wondered if she wanted someone to reach out to her and she didn’t know how to ask for help so she just launched into attack mode? It may have been the only thing that occurred to her at the time?

Either way – I’ve had enough time to process this now and try to see the situation from her shoes and I’ve got to say – it all looks very different now to how it did on Friday.

~~~
As of yesterday, my Wonderfully Wired Facebook Page reached 159 likes. which absolutely blew me away. I searched through the list and found that out of that 159, I only know 26 of them personally as friends and only 7 of them are family.

That means that 126 people are also travelling down a parallel road to us and understand exactly what it is like to live in this house. That’s 126 people that can relate to our ups and downs and that’s really REALLY humbling for me!

But this train of thought brings me back to the mother in the playground on Friday.

You see – I’ve been on Facebook (partly why I quit for now), I’ve mixed in mother’s groups and I’ve stood around and observed body language and facial expressions on groups of mothers as they interact with each other. And frankly – It’s all a big competition.

Not many women will ever dare to show their true colours to their friends. It is an unspoken rule that to show weakness is unacceptable and puts a target on your head.

I learned a new phrase by Pastor Steven Furtick at our bible study this week that has REALLY helped me to understand this concept better and has challenged me in a really good way!

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel”

 

And that is EXACTLY why I will continue to write about our life as it really is.

Have a great weekend all xx

I am the mother take 2

It’s time for another “I am the Mother” post.  I still smile as I read the ** Original Version ** that I wrote because a lot has changed since then 🙂

These days:

  • I am the mother who is fluent in sarcasm but knows that she shouldn’t use it as often as she does.  Especially on her children who don’t understand it.
  • I am the mother  who sometimes buys treats and hides them in the house because she is tired of sharing everything else that she owns and wants just one thing for and ONLY her.
  • I am the mother who owns 2 diaries and a calendar in the attempt to become more organised but has misplaced them all  :/
  • I am the mother with the short attention span who often really struggles to focus due to her constant sleep deprived state.
  • I am the mother who really wishes she could toughen up a bit and not get so hurt by other people’s words.
  • I am the mother who definitely thinks that exercise is overrated. Come and live in this house and try to be idle with my kids around. Not possible.
  • I am the mother who wishes that she didn’t comfort eat so often.
  • I am the mother who would rather be accused of talking too much then be the kind of person that you need to draaaaaaaaaaag a conversation out of. This is who she is. Like it or leave 🙂
  • I am the mother who really wishes that school went until 5pm and that homework didn’t exist. She is exhausted from spending twenty minutes just trying to get her son to sit at the table and another 20 minutes convincing him to pick up the pencil!
  • I am the mother who secretly loves watching pre-school tv shows and misses them now that her baby has started school 😦
  • I am the mother who still cries at least once a week because she misses her Dad even though we lost him over 4 years ago.
  • I am the mother who is unable to eat just one grape. The grapes HAVE to be eaten in pairs. One on each side of the mouth. (Hmmm, wonder where Harley gets his quirks from?)
  • I am the mother who gets cranky when she’s not taken seriously. I may not have a fancy degree but I know my children better than anybody else on this earth and that should account for something…
  • I  am the mother that rearranges other people’s cutlery drawers when she visits their homes. It must go in the same order that they are laid on the table : Fork, Spoon, Knife. She doesn’t cope if they are different 🙂 And incidentally,  I am the mother who didn’t develop OCD tendencies until she was thrust in the world that is ASD and the stress that goes along with it!
However:
  • I am also the wife who deliberately stacks the dishwasher incorrectly because she thinks it’s funny to see it un-nerve her husband, and the wife who likes to rearrange his Star Wars Lego for the same reason 😉
  • I am the mother who gets to witness MANY achievements and successes in her children’s lives and is finds joy in the smaller things because for us they are HUGE!
  • I am the mother who is convinced that her children will go higher and grow stronger than a lot of people give them credit for due to the handful of people that DO believe in them and their go-get- ’em attitudes.
  • I am the mother who is thankful that God is daily giving her more and more insight into their little worlds so that she can understand them just that little bit more.
  • I am the mother who would some days like to hang up her hat and resign. Or at least have a couple of weeks paid leave. Several times a year.The mother who didn’t read the fine print before putting her hand up and volunteering to do this job BUT the mother who doesn’t walk away from somethings that she’s started until she sees it to completion.

I am feisty, I am compassionate and I am a fighter.

My children will not fly under any radars and they will not go through life feeling like failures.

What kind of mother are you?

Different NOT less.

This poem was inspired by a number of things that have transpired here lately. Firstly by Eustacia Grandin Cutler who is Dr. Temple Grandin’s mother who coined the phrase “Different not less”. She wanted the world to know that her daughter is remarkable but my no means any less of a masterpiece just because her thoughts and ideas are sometimes a little left of centre.

Another inspiration for this poem comes from sitting down at night and talking to Harley about his day and hearing the pain in his voice as he is starting to realise that he is different to his peers.

He has had a lot of “down” moments lately and it has been coming out in his behaviours at home.

No-one else is privy to this hurting side of him and that’s one of the downsides to being high-functioning I guess. He is able to recognise that he is an anomaly and is trying his darndest to change that and I’m so mega proud of my boy but sometimes feel like I’m standing on the sidelines watching a traumatic event take place before my very eyes and all I can do is stand anchored to the ground with my arms ties to my side unable to do anything to help him.


Sometimes I want to run away,

And leave it all behind,

I’m tired of the exhaustion, want

To quit the daily grind

.

The tiny things that make me see,

The hugeness of this task,

Of raising special children is,

A really montstrous ask.

.

It’s not the normal Mummy things,

That make me want to yell,

I can do the meals, the baths, the chores,

And manage very well.

.

The dressing kids and sorting fights,

And homework battles too,

I get that every other Mum,

Feels like she runs a zoo!

.

No, it’s not the things that we ALL do,

That make my tears begin,

And threaten to undo my cool,

and break my heart within.

.

It’s seeing how the simplest things,

Can totally undo,

My child because he cannot tell,

Me what he’s needing to.

.

When he erupts if he can’t cope,

I sense his physical pain,

I see the torment in his eyes,

And watch him thrash again.

.

He wants to be like all his friends,

He wants to blend right in,

He knows he’s different and that hurts,

His feelings through and through.

.

My mother’s heart just breaks apart,

When he tries to adjust,

To sit in crowds, with noise and lights,

And try to look non-plussed.

.

The things that others take for granted,

Really causes me stress,

I want the world to realise that,

He’s different but NOT less.

I am the mother…

On a good day 🙂

I wrote a poem for my post tonight but after publishing it I decided that I hated it so it got deleted. But this left me in the awkward position of having no post at all for tonight!

And I seem to have lost my writing Mojo .

Mr Patient left today for a week up North with work and it’s crazy around here right now. My head is full and my kids are nuts. Harley is going off his head about something to do with his dressing gown, Lucas is tearing madly up and down the hallway at top speeds and all I can say is: Thank God for companies that make gluten-free pizzas!  They literally saved my bacon tonight!

So instead of trying to write something mildly interesting and coherent when my head is clearly full of play-dough – I thought it would be better to recycle one of my most read posts from last year. For some reason it still gets several hits a week so it must be doing the rounds of cyber land??

Anyhoo….here goes: – It’s called….I AM THE MOTHER….

~~~~

I am the mother who sent her child to school sans his jacket on a cool spring morning and watched him shiver as he bravely walked in to school.

I am the mother who forgot to put her daughter’s school hat back in the car thus causing her to receive a uniform infringement.

(And the mother who can’t work out why a 10-year-old is not capable of doing this herself *ahem*)

I am the mother who fed her children cake for breakfast because she forgot to buy bread.

I am the mother of the 4-year-old boy who threw the tantrum of the century in the school car park this morning.

I am also the mother who glared at the other parents who were rubbernecking and tut-tutting at her child as she picked him up and threw him over her shoulder to keep him safe from the oncoming traffic…

and the mother who would do it again in a heartbeat.

I am the mother who survives on very little sleep and a lot of caffeine.

I am the mother who tries to do too much sometimes.

I am also the mother who sees what everyone else does for their children and fights the feelings of inadequacy that wash over her in tidal waves.

Alas, I am the mother who answered the phone this morning only to discover that it was the school administrator informing her that her son’s class were having a make-your-own-pizza-day, and that the pizza bases that were supplied to the rest of the class, actually contain gluten and asked where was the gluten-free one that she was supposed to be supplying.

I am the mother who told said administrator that she knew nothing of this pizza day as her son was absent last week on the day the notes must have been handed out.

I am the mother who met her son at the gate this afternoon with some Ben 10 tattoo stickers as a “please-forgive-me-for-making-you-miss-out-on-pizza” token gift.

I am the mother who often pulls her hair out in sheer frustration because she is unable to remember a lot of important things that need to be done, due to the stress levels that are constantly rising at this time of the year.

I am the mother who finds more grey hairs every time she looks in the mirror.

I am the mother who keeps chewing gum in her glove box at all times so that she can hand them to kids who “forgot” to clean their teeth on the way to school.

I am the mother who rarely sorts her washing  *Gasp*

However:

I am also the mother who would move heaven and earth just to make her children smile.

I am the mother who often spends her own birthday money on her children because she wants to bless them as they bless her by just being themselves.

I am the mother who cannot for the life of her understand what makes her children tick but would give anything to be granted a free pass into their thought processes so she could make sure that their every need is met 100%

I am the mother who wants to learn to appreciate the little things.

I am the mother who wants to learn NOT to stress on other little things!

I am the mother who would take a bullet for her children.

Yes this mother is fiercely loyal.

I am the mother who often lays awake at night thinking of fun things that she can do with her children on the weekend and willing the hours to tick by so that the weekend can start.

I am the mother who wants to join her kids by dancing in the puddles in the rain and skip through supermarket aisles singing but is too afraid of what other people might think.

I am the mother who desperately craves understanding and tolerance for her children.

I am the mother who worries that she is not doing enough for her children, but also the mother who realises that she only has 2 hands and 24 hours in a day.

I am the mother who is learning to love herself just the way God loves her and the one who believes that life is good.

Yes. I am THAT mother 😀

What kind of mother are you?

Sometimes, life sucks.

Losing my Dad just makes everything suck.

I’ll try not to make this a depressing post, but it has really become apparent to me lately that since Dad died…..it has affected so many areas of my and my family’s lives.

Take my beautiful Mum for example.

After she left here last week, she headed a few hours North to stay in her Aunty’s holiday home on the coast. The intention was so that she could relax a bit and treat herself to some much-needed down time in the week between Ella’s birthday and my sister’s little girl’s birthday next week.  And what better way to do that than at a little cottage only a 30 second walk from the ocean…

I have spoken to her a couple of times on the phone and although she has said she is enjoying herself, I can hear the loneliness in her voice. She doesn’t know a soul in this little town and has no contact with any of her friends apart from the occasional phone call. At night, she sits alone in the cottage watching tv and waiting for it to be bedtime.

This is NOT the life I want for her! That’s depressing.

My Dad retired early. He was only about 45 from memory, so he and Mum did EVERYTHING together up until the day he died at 61. And I can honestly say that I have never seen another couple before or since that were as obviously in love as my parents.

For 17 years, they went grocery shopping together, they helped at charities together, they went for long walks together, they strolled down streets holding hands like teenagers, they often used to take weekenders in their camper trailer to little beachside communities and they made regular trips down to visit their 5 grandchildren in the 2 different cities that my sister and I live in. They were a team and they were meant for each other.

I remember in the last few weeks of Dad’s life….how loving, compassionate and caring my Mum was. I never once heard her complain about the continuous tests, scans, and Dr appointments that she faithfully took him to every week.

She was (and still is) a rock to my sister *Gabrielle and I, and she soldiers on and on and on.

**

Like I said…..Dad dying wrecked everything.

Dad used to do most of the driving, so they were able to visit me more frequently. Now Mum has to fly or catch a train because it’s too far to drive alone and I don’t want her to anyway.

Dad was like a pseudo father to Mr Patient because he lost his own Dad (also to cancer) years before. Now, Mr Patient has no-one to talk to or get into mischief with whenever we visit Mum.

Dad shared my taste in music…..Big band, Jazz and soul music. He introduced me to Ella, Benny and Duke. But now I have to enjoy them alone.

I inherited my Dad’s awful sense of humour! We used to laugh at things that no-one else ever did and could never understand why other people didn’t think our jokes were funny?

Like for example: Q: What’s big and white and stands in the corner?

A: A naughty fridge!

I bet most of you rolled your eyes and cringed then. Dad would’ve laughed 🙂

And Dad would always make a point of telling me whether on the phone or in person that he thought I was a great mother.

Constantly. It’s like he somehow knew that I really needed to hear it.

He died before we got a diagnosis for Harley and the times that he was telling me this – I was still throwing my hands up in the air in exasperation because I couldn’t work out where I’d gone wrong with Harley and why I couldn’t get through to him on any level!

So to hear “You’re a wonderful Mum Fiona” when I was wondering how on earth I could possibly get through another MINUTE was medicinal and so so healing.

But then he died.

I hate that my beautiful mother is own her own. She’s lost the love of her life and her soul mate. Her travelling companion, her best friend, and her other half.

As much as I know my Mum is always there for me and is a pillar of strength , I am consciously aware that no-one is there for her and don’t want to drain her energy reserves either.

She has no-one to offload to at the end of a hard day. No-one to look after her when she’s unwell and no-one to bounce ideas off.

Every single day it kills me that I can’t live nearer to her nor her to us and this is where the sheer size of Australia is annoying to say the least!

Don’t get me wrong here…..I believe that my Dad is in a better place and that everything happens in God’s time, and often for reasons that we don’t yet understand, but right now, I’m just sad for my Mum and hating that I can’t fix it.

I really don’t understand why this is affecting me so much NOW?

I thought I was coping well (?)