That is me not my mother; just in case you were wondering, in the eyes of my children.
I feel that I am quite defensive and proud of my children but there are still times when we do not see eye to eye. My idea of “For the greater good” is not necessarily their choice of pathway.
Mini son was once an athletic socialite, who could not stay still for one moment. A footballer for his local team, Saturday mornings would see me drive miles for his matches. I have stood in pouring rain and sleet cheering his school team on. He progressed through the levels in swimming not wanting to move from his fabulous teacher who has advanced his confidence as well as stroke. He is the proud owner of the under 7s “player of the year” rugby trophy which adorns my kitchen unit, and had me again driving all over the county each Sunday morning to watch him tot up tries as he outran all opposition.
In July it all stopped.
We were busy, summer holidays were full of activities to keep him occupied and I was not too upset if he chose to sit out these past times.
September arrived upon us all too quickly and with it Mini Son announced he did not want to do anything. Now he is happy to miss football training, content to pass up the chance to play rugby and battling valiantly to avoid his swimming lesson. What has changed?
We did; we finally succumbed, to his pleas and desperation. He is not a child who wants for much but, he did want a DS because, all his friends had one, both his brothers had one and he was always left out. The benefits, we thought, to a long journey if each child has their own entertainment are immense, so it seemed a reasonable request and we acquiesced; buying him the latest model and a couple of games for his birthday. Since that day in July he has spent a considerable amount of time on his toy. Naively I thought he was rushing out to play with friends and he was; on his DS which has a link feature and he plays his team games sat on friend’s sofas surrounded by DS playing chums.
Evil as it may seem, particularly if the tears and “I hate yous” are anything to go by. I have banned him from his beloved DS. There is however an “unless”; he has to earn the time through some kind of activity, I have not specified which; he can choose. This week he has joined in with Tag Rugby Club and Simply Football Club after school and splashed and dived for half an hour proving to his teacher he needs to be moved up. I am happy for him to now play on his DS for the weekend. He is after all in the school football team for next week’s match. Not one to gloat too much but the grin on his face as he returned from the clubs and the smile as he once again was allowed without argument to resume his latest DS challenge proves that maybe I am not so horrid.
When are you justified in doubting your child’s motives?
The other day was not really a good day to be stuck indoors learning while the sun was out and the teachers droning on about their boring subjects. So when I got a text from Middle Son saying he had a headache, I confess I was suspiciously unsympathetic “have a drink” I responded harshly. The conversation continued via text on the phone he is not allowed in school. “Come and get me – I will just go to bed”.
I can’t just turn up at the school and say I want to take my son home as he has a headache, and following a few weeks of trying times with some verbal bullying I had my slight doubts as to the severity of the headache. To be fair he has inherited my propensity to suffer migraines and with the heat and closeness of the atmosphere not only did I too have a headache, I had already sent three children home from my school.
The school phone rang and I answered it. It was his school, laughing I told her I already knew what she was going to say. Perfidiously, I asked if she thought he really was ill.
“I have checked his timetable and he doesn’t have science this afternoon, he has just had PE”. Guilty as I felt, the school were ahead of me and had already checked his timetable; science being the subject with the bullies in.
It made sense that having done PE he probably hadn’t drunk much and probably did have a headache; borne out by him coming home and sleeping all afternoon while his wicked mother went back to work having given him painkillers and penitent sympathy. Thankfully sleep and quiet is a great healer and he was miraculously recovered when friends came to call after school.
There are times in life when your children make you immensely proud and there are times when you do something to be proud of. Sometimes they even link together although both of you may not be on the same wavelength.
No 1 Son has been through a long harrowing and painful year of major injury. His whole life revolves around his rugby and it is a bitter pill when he is unable to play and train with his team. He has been very brave and patient as his team developed their game and gained success last season. Towards the latter part of the season he was joining in with the training and even playing the odd training match, but his horrible mother did not relent and allow him to play a proper match.
His consultant finally agreed to allow him to return to his cherished pastime so reluctantly I had no choice but to permit him back on to the pitch. Under my very protective eye and vocal protestations he played a full match against an unsuspecting opposing side. I would hope that as he walked off that pitch he felt as much pride as if he had scored the winning try in the world cup final; not because he helped his team to a 40:15 win but because of the personal battles he had overcome to get to that point.
With a relief that only a mother can even begin to imagine I walked away, full of pride and the germ of a story for the local paper. Pen to paper and some consultation with my new found friend at the RFU and I was able to produce a press release charting his triumphant return to the game.
A child waiting for Christmas day could not have outweighed my anticipation as I waited for the paper to drop through the letterbox on Friday morning. In my excitement and fear I nearly ripped the paper apart to find it. Page 105 was a long way through; I should have started with the rugby and sport pages really.
It was there, my article and my photo for the whole of the world to see.
Ok, so they had changed a few words and described his injury in lay man’s terms, added a few extra bits and left out some of my carefully crafted copy and the worse thing of all added a typo to a sentence they added but; it was mine. They also forgot to credit it to me as they don’t credit any of their stories but I was on top of my world.
I woke Sexy Sporty Dad up as I danced into the room flinging the page at him. He reluctantly obliged by opening his sleepy eyes, reading and commenting favourably on it. I forced it under the nose of Number 1 Son who was less than impressed, even to the point of acutely embarrassed.
I was over the moon, another piece to add to my slowly, very some might say, growing portfolio of published writing. More was to come, my new best friend from the RFU has asked if she can send it into their own magazine “Touchline” for publication. Do you really think I turned her down?
A wry smile crept over No 1 Son’s face as he told me he was asked “what it is like to be famous?” the following morning at the rugby club.
We sometimes don’t walk along quite the same pathways but parents only do what they see is best for their children; hard and wicked as it may seem in the eyes of their offspring.