Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

In memory of my Mum May 10, 2013

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rosesAs Mother’s Day approaches for another year, I had cause to reflect on my own mother, and the massive gap that she left in my life (and that of my sisters and father) when she died more than 20 years ago.

Like all mothers, she was of course an amazing woman.  And like all children, I developed a whole new appreciation of both of my parents as I became an adult and eventually a parent myself.   My mother, like many of her generation, had countless home-making skills, including knitting, sewing, crocheting, painting/drawing, ceramics, cooking, music (piano and guitar), in addition to excellent parenting skills of course, and juggling the demands of four young daughters, and managing the household on a tight budget.

There wasn’t much she couldn’t do, and do well.  I fondly recall my stunning strapless taffeta debutante gown made so expertly by my own Mum – it was more professionally finished than one you could buy in any boutique.

As if bringing up kids wasn’t enough, whilst Dad worked six days a week, she went back to university to do “finishing” (Year 12) when we were still at school, then went on to university as a mature age student.  I remember very clearly her enjoyment of certain subjects, especially the “feminist” ones like Women’s Studies!   She went on to have a successful teaching career and eventually worked in a not-for-profit organisation before becoming ill.

Over the years, I haven’t spent a lot of time regretting not having my mother around.  More importantly, I have spent my energy living my life to the full and making sure that I follow in her footsteps, by making the most of every opportunity in life, and hoping she would be proud of the person I am (although, I think she was probably better on the parenting teenagers bit).

If I have regrets it is for all the things she has missed out on – the birth of my twin boys, and daughter, the marriages of my two sisters, and the birth of my niece.  And regret for the pain that she endured, like the tragic death of an 18-year-old daughter, and the treatment for breast cancer and then secondary cancer some years later.   And regret for her death at just 50 years old, so missing half of her lifetime, and with it the opportunity to enjoy retirement, travelling and the twilight years with my Father.  But the world continues, and we all keep living, and good things continue to happen.

I know she would love her grandchildren, and be immensely proud of her daughters and their partners.  I know she would still be grey (thanks for not sharing that gene Mum), and still have wonderful laugh lines (yes, I definitely got that one).  I know she would still be active and busy cramming life into every day, and spending time entertaining family and friends.  I wish she was still here – but in a way she is – in me!

So Happy Mothers Day Mum.  I will miss you and love you forever. xo

Here’s another take on Mothers Day a few years back – Man-Child style!!   Mother’s Day Musings

 

Turning 17 – The Cusp of Adulthood March 15, 2013

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fireworksThe men-children turned 17 the other day.  Yes, I am actually prepared to admit that I am the mother of 17 year old children, even though it automatically “ages” me.  Not that I am being vain, but if I only talk about my 9 year old, it’s possible people MIGHT think I am a little younger than when I talk about my 17 year olds (I live in hope, or more likely denial!)

The funny thing was the excitement of one of the boys at turning 17 recently, because he was only one year off turning 18 and a whole host of possibilities that opened up to him.  I looked at him blankly and said, quite seriously, “I am not sure what you’re so excited about?  Apart from driving the car LEGALLY on your own, you’ve pretty much done everything else.  Sex, drinking, partying….I’m not sure what’s left”.

It’s not like they “save” themselves for anything these days is it?  Then again, perhaps it’s the emotional hurdle, the absolute sense of adulthood and freedom from your parents that is what excites them about turning 18 (except of course while they’re still living under our roof).

It was only a year ago I reflected on their birth, as they turned 16 years old.  I wonder if the time is flying for them as fast as it is for me?  https://motherofamanchild.com/2012/03/09/happy-16th-birthday-boys/

I now observe some of my friends with their 14 year olds, just as they enter the heady and challenging years of the hormonal adolescent.  It’s a whole new world when you first venture into it, and with hindsight and experience, that much more easy to navigate.  I am hoping my newly acquired skills will stand me in good stead with a certain teenage sister of a man-child in due course.  In the meantime, I can laugh at my friends’ expense (with total empathy of course), and enjoy the sense of déjà vu.   Perhaps my next step as a blogger is to become the agony aunt for troubled parents of early teens?   Topics and questions welcome.  Chances are I can point you to one of my posts over the last 3 years and we’ll have it covered! 

 

Happy 16th Birthday Boys! March 9, 2012

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twins

Just over 16 years ago, our darling men-children were born.  Two gorgeous little bundles of joy that had spent 37 weeks in rather cramped quarters it’s fair to say.  Any wonder they sometimes don’t like each other’s company!

I can still remember the day I found out I was having twins.  I was alone at the hospital for the scan, being the typical pragmatist.  Don’t fuss, you go to work (future) Father of a Man-child, I’ll be fine etc.  And of course I was fine, having breezed through the early part of the pregnancy feeling absolutely amazing, not a day of morning sickness, and at 18 weeks no signs of anything unusual.

Back then it was perfectly normal to have your first scan nearly half way through the pregnancy – so you can imagine my shock when they said “The first thing we need to tell you is there’s more than one in there!”  And before my brain could even register what they were saying “It’s twins”!!!  Oh-My-God.  My immediate thought, followed quickly by tears, was of my Mother, who 30 years before me, had learned the exact same news – that she too was to be the mother of twins (yes me and my sister).   Tears because sadly she was not there to share the news, and to swap the countless stories about being pregnant with twins, mothering twins, adoring and loving twins.

I made the call to (future) Father of a Man-Child from the obstetrician’s waiting room, still reeling in shock.  Thankfully he was absolutely thrilled, which helped me recover somewhat.  He thought the idea of getting two at once was “fantastic”.   I then went to work, and shared the news with everyone there.  The irony was not lost on any of them, especially since the day before I had mentioned the forthcoming scan and told them jokingly “all bets are off if there’s more than one in here”!!!!  With the number of twins in our family it’s fair to say it wasn’t a completely unimaginable event, but still a shock nonetheless.

I rang my Father and sisters that night to tell them the news.  I still remember Dad laughing (knowingly) and telling me how wonderful it was of course, and probably also sharing the same sense of deja vu about my mother.  And the call to my twin sister, which went something like this:  “Shit, Shit, oh shit, shit…shit, shit…..(hysterical laughter) shit!”  That was she, not me!

We were blessed with a wonderful pregnancy, a good birth (even though an unexpected C-section), and textbook babies.   They really were amazing from day one – good feeders, sleepers, and eaters, achieving all the milestones every baby should.   As parents, it really was twice the joy (and about 1.5 times the work of one baby for those who are wondering).  As parents we really couldn’t ask for more, except seven years later of course, when our darling daughter arrived as a little surprise package.

So Happy Birthday boys! I can’t believe how quickly the last 16 years have passed.  To watch you both grow into fine young men-children (with a few bumps along the way as this blog reveals) has been a privilege and an honour.

Love Mother of a Man-Child xo

Here’s one of the few stories about our early life with the men-children:  The Holiday from Hell, the only bad one we’ve ever had.