At my significant birthday meal, my Uncle and Aunt gave my a present which included their filming of our wedding. They asked about the wedding video we had done on the day and whether we still watched it. Yes, was my reply, but not that often. Now the video and the pictures felt like the wedding, not the marriage I told them. They laughed.
Other Half knows about the above conversation, even though he was at the other end of the rather long table when it took place. He also knows that all is not well with another friend’s marriage, which I told him after a long and enlightening conversation with said friend. Other Half doesn’t know any details about the person or situation as my friend swore me to secrecy and I am abiding by that. It did lead us onto a very interesting conversation about our own marriage though, after one of those 24 hour I’m still not talking to you rows.
You see, we often joke, when we are friends obviously, about being with alternative others. In my case, Mr I earn a small fortune, do all the housework and look after the children whilst you watch TV all the time in a Slanket. Other Half’s perfect wife being, a rich Supermodel who is never out of perfume, short clothing, heels or makeup, is expert at Argentine Tango and thinks Other Half is divine in every conceivable way!
As Other Half pointed out though, as hard as it would be for him to lose me, access to the children on a daily basis, his home (I would need it for residency of the children until they were 18) and a decent income (having to pay maintenance and 2 mortgages) that wouldn’t be the worst of it. For Other Half it would be the shattering of his trust, his dream, his belief in all that we are creating together; past, present and future. Everything he works for goes to me to use in the best interests of our family. Yes, the money purchases items for the present and the future, but it is the trust that we will be there for each other in every situation, no matter how bad that situation may become, that is the true bank that Other Half is investing in.
That has been the case for Other Half’s parents, married many years, and he doesn’t know how to do it any differently. Growing up in a single parent family, differently is all I know. Realising what marriage, commitment, till we are parted by death etc. means to Other Half though, whilst we still love each other, might just make all the difference next time I think that I have the option to walk. The option is always there, I just know in advance the abject pain and misery I would be causing to those concerned, those I love the most, if I were to leave. I’m hoping that for me, when times get tough, that this knowledge will make me stay.
Other Half, yes that man who is supposed to love me the most next to my Mother and children and be my biggest cheerleader, has complained because I haven’t written a blog about something he said that I foolishly told him I would write a blog about. He is not a patient person, instead being one of life’s high achievers. If he says he will do something, it gets done at the earliest opportunity. Usually within 24 hours. I know – nightmare. Hence the moaning at me!
I suppose I shouldn’t complain really, after all, he is reading what I write and I’m guessing he must like it! It did make me remember though, that this blog is to share with others what I know and find out about how’ Life’ is done and being as busy as I am right now that just isn’t happening often enough.
So sorry folks, I know that I haven’t been blogging nearly as often as I used to, but that is having 3 jobs, a family to look after and a house to run for you. Whenever anyone asks how it is going, I tell them I am in nervous breakdown territory, but that by God’s grace I should make it! At the moment the 3 jobs should end in July which will provide me with the opportunity to write more regularly again.
Suffice to say, you are never far from my thoughts as I come across life lessons that I know you will want shared with you. In the meantime, like my Mother-in-law always says, I am doing what I can when I can. Bear with me! Other Half, that includes you!
This newspaper is my one little treat a week regarding keeping abreast of what is going on in the world. Beside daily doses of Radio 4 that is! Never being on top of anything these days – remember the 3 jobs – and generally being a chaotically natured person, the papers and enclosed magazines are taking many weeks to get read.
Hence my excitement at seeing the above, ‘What I’m really thinking title’ as I opened one of my many unread Guardian weekend magazines. We think Little Man is on the Autism Spectrum. He has been assessed, but so far the results have been inconclusive. As a Mother, I can’t tell you how far I have come since the day his pre-school raised concerns about his behaviour. Yes, he knew his numbers, name, colours and shapes etc. and was a lovely little boy, but he didn’t talk or play with the other children and he got extremely upset if routines changed. There were other things too, but you don’t say this to a Primary School Teacher, with a Health Visitor for a Sister, a Nurse for a Mother-in-Law and two friends who either Manage or Own a Nursery and not expect me to go into overdrive to get to the bottom of their concerns.
It wasn’t a good 7 months for me. I couldn’t sleep, going to bed in the early hours of the morning only to awake in fear a few hours later. I either didn’t eat at all or ate rubbish trying to make myself feel better with my drug of choice, sugar. I would cry on a daily basis and just look at Little Man for ages wondering what the future held for someone so beautiful in every way.
At the end of the 7 months we got our assessment. More tears! Understanding too though, putting everything in context, telling us what the future would probably hold for our Little Man and essentially saying that as our son, as his parents and as a family we would be ok! Which is why this particular article struck a chord with me and I am sharing it with you.
This was not what you had planned. It isn’t the journey you expected to be on but like the article says, it is your journey. It took me 7 months to begin to make my peace with my journey. I don’t worry about Little Man’s future anymore and just enjoy each day with him and marvel at what he can do (amazing things with numbers, a computer and a piano, considering he is still only 3!) and at who he is.
It was never Other Half’s journey and when I showed him the article he got nothing from it at all. Yes, he thinks Little Man is unconventional. So is Little Lady for that matter – can tell you her talents another time- but for some reason, from day one all Other Half has ever done is encourage Little Man’s strengths and infinitely love and be loved by him. Period.
You may not have a child on the Autism Spectrum, but if you are going through some sort of struggle now; loss of a loved one, a serious illness or disability, a relationship breakdown, loss of housing or employment, this message is still for you. Accept the journey that you are on first. Then you will be able to see what to do about it.
Or so I am told! Having only passed that milestone by 3 days, time will tell. As usual it was the anticipation of changing decades that proved far worse than the actual event itself. Yes there are things I lament. Why didn’t I go clubbing more, or wear that short top, with the belt width skirt and towering heels when I was in my 20s? Why didn’t I go travelling and see the world and its many cultures and geographical wonders? Essentially, why didn’t I do the things that I look at those younger than me doing now?
Simple really, I am not them. My 20s consisted of searching for a career and decent boyfriend – yes in that order. I was also trying to find somewhere that I felt at home. Needless to say, such endeavours can, and in my case did, take a decade and with so much resulting change, quite frankly I was thoroughly glad to see the back of my twenties!
By now having a new career that took up twice the time of most other jobs, having also met my future husband with a wedding to plan, all followed relatively swiftly by 2 children, that pretty much took care of my 30s. I never had the time or money for the travelling and completely lacked the confidence re the clothing.
On reflection though, I enjoyed my time and although there are things I wish I had done – think Ibiza, sleeping till noon, having a full English breakfast for lunch, sunbathing all afternoon and then partying until the early hours – I wouldn’t go back and I wouldn’t change the past. Not the things within my control though that were not causing hurt to myself or others. Those experiences, good and bad, are what have formed me. Far from being perfect, whilst I have life I can set about becoming all I am capable of, visit the places of my dreams and improve, if not remedy, the relationships I still have in my life.
So whatever age you are today, celebrate because you still have life. And because of all that, and all you can do with it, you and your age are pretty priceless. Happy Birthday to Me!