I want to write about my kids. The last 4 weeks we have pulled together, not always without tensions, but been closer than we have been for some time. My growing boys, and about the impact I, my drinking and my relationships have had on them. And lastly , something someone wrote yesterday really resonated with me “Have I asked them what THEY feel?”. And I have, collectively – and a bit individually – but the poster was right to call me on it, because although they are a collective ” Lily’s kids”, they are also individuals, totally different from one another, with different relationships with me, with each other, with their father and my recent ExP.
I have written about B, son#1 before. Last night,when the others had gone to bed we chatted – about topics as far ranging as ; how would it feel to kill another person in battle ? What evidence is there that there is a God; his own origins and how he feels about seeking out his father when he is 18 (in one months time); to telling ME I should not blame myself for ExP’s treatment of Him; to saying he felt guilty that He (B)had wrecked my chance of happiness because ExP and I had separated because of him (B). We talked about HIS relationships with young women, and about his shame in having overeaten, gained weight – but the determination he feels to get back into shape. I thought what a positive relationship I have with my son, despite all the difficulties, despite all the strains and educational ‘failures’ . despite his Aspergers; what a thoughtful, kind and supportive young man he can be.
He probably has seen more of my drinking than the others, and he is of an age now where he can almost drink legally in the UK. He saw a lot of my Ex husbands drug taking, and he suffered a lot of criticism and borderline abusive behavior from my ExP. But hes forgiving. he says he doesn’t blame ME, he hugs me and says he loves me. I am blessed.
soon he will start work, and I need to guide him, teach him how to budget, plan and structure a life that includes a rigid working pattern. Help him recognise his strengths and weaknesses, and build on these for his future career.
Son#2 – J – is in the throws of adolescent angst, he is 14, taller than his older brother and still growing. He is thoughtful, sensitive and impulsive. He struggles to control his frustration and sense of injustice – from the number of times he is asked to empty the dishwasher to the basic incursion of human rights, and the horror of genocide in Rwanda. He has struggled to find his ‘passion’ or to stick to any hobbies or sports. He is both isolationist/introverted, and seeking approval and company. he hugs me a lot too – and I think he worries about me. Much the most ‘homebody’ of my children he can express his disquiet only by shouting at the moment (mostly). He writes beautifully, using language and grammar creatively and with purpose. he struggles right now to argue constructively or to understand that an intellectual disagreement can be stimulating (and indeed heated) without being personal. His current irritation is with feminists, as he believes that (at least in the UK) women ARE treated as equal to men – my membership of the Women’s equality party remains a source of disbelief and incomprehension. He needs some one to one time, walking Lola is good for that – oddly I think he misses ExP the most – I say oddly because he is the closest to his father – and the most sensitive to ExP’s relentless criticism. J hated me drinking – he hated the ‘out of control mum’ ; he hated me behaving in a way that he say as risky, and he remembers almost every incident where I have been drunk in front of him. It make me feel bad that he saw that, and that I subjected him to the worry about his mother – an adult. I need to discuss this with him some more…
My youngest son, L now 11 and a half. Quick, intelligent, driven, self contained and capable. I can see him, how he will develop as a man, easier than the other two. I know how he will be, because hes like me. He’s friendly, makes connections easily; energetic and up for a challenge; not afraid to try anything; bold and curious. In many ways hes more adult in his organisational and decision making capacities than his brothers, and yet he’s still little boy; snuggley, looking for comfort love and support when hes tired or overwhelmed. Not afraid of hard work, fiercely loyal and independent, L has made the most success so far of school with academic achievement coming easily to him. he’s organised (if messy) structured (if lazy at times) and confident. He plays the trumpet and piano, slipped into the local super selective grammar school (as well as all the independent schools he sat for) with comparatively little effort. I will lose this son, earlier than the others because he needs me less – or he soon will. I’m treasuring the last few months of his childishness because as he slips into adolescence and then adulthood his horizons will expand exponentially and he will grab the opportunities as they arise. I’m excited for him, but tinged with a little sadness.
im so lucky, so privileged that they are my children, that I have had the opportunity to be involved in and shape their young lives. I hope they know they are loved, and cherished for their individual strengths and talents. I have not been the best ever super mother, in some ways I’m a better parent to adolescents because I can deal with them as almost adults. I hope they know that despite MY failings I love them unconditionally, and that they will forgive me the errors I have made- as well as the ones I have yet to make.