Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Not waving, but drowning

It is the first week of the school holidays, it is nearly 1am and I should go to bed, as my friend's children will be here at 8am in the morning. I am looking after them for the week. She, like me, doesn't want them in childcare all summer and I wanted to help out. My grand plan was to look after the kids during the day and work in the evenings, up until today it went okay, if a little fraught!

The Menace has been having play therapy, he went today and I sat around with the other two waiting for him. He needed today, I needed him to have it. Yesterday we had what I had been waiting for...

For the last three days I have looked after three of them, lets call them, the Menace, Lauren and Edward. Lauren in the Menace'sbest friend and Edward is here 5 year old brother. I have taken them to the park every morning, to walk the dog, and the Menace has finally learnt to ride his bike. I have also taken them swimming in our local school pool (which I have paid a subscription to over the summer) and we have watched DVD's and had picnic. To be honest I am exhausted and its only the middle of the week - I have then, after that worked all evening!

The Menace has always felt a bit short changed that he hasn't got brothers and sisters. We live in an area where everyone seems to have loads of children! It has been a bit of an eye opener to him, as he has had to compete for attention and not always got his own way! Little things like I can't just swim to him in the deep end, becuase Edward is too young...

Yesterday we had the moment I have been waiting for. They were all tired, and I was preparing tea. I heard them all shouting in the garden, so I went out. Dennis was being bossy and Lauren wasn't happy, as far as I could tell Dennis was in the wrong. I told him so, he burst into tears "I want Daddy..!" My response (as calmly as I could) "Of course you do, but it doesn't change anything, you still need to let Lauren have her turn", then he said the words I have dreaded, in a really babyish voice "Daddy lovely, Mummy horrid!!". I didn't get angry or react, just took him to the kitchen to calm him down and allow him to go back to his friends, but it hurt...

I know that his dad will be immortalised in his mind as lovely, remembered for all the good things and I will gain the reputation for being the disciplinarian, its just how it has to be. I remember telling Kevin this before he died, "you'll always be loved, it will be me who gets the reputation for being a cow!" I didn't expect it quite so early. Perhaps I shouldn't have, but I waited until bedtime and I told him "Its hurts when you say things like that." His response was that Mummies should be nice to their sons. I put him straight, "My job is to teach you right from wrong, Daddy would have told you off too." He will never say sorry (just like his dad), but he did tell me he loved me.

Today I factored in more down time for them all, but by the end of the day they were still getting fractious and I was getting ready for the Mum to pick them up. Just before she did, another curve ball hit, my father phoned:

"Your Mum is in trouble, she has had another bad stroke."

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Leading up to the school holidays

I have been doing my usual, keeping busy. I have been out with other Mums to Beautylase, I have been to book club, I have crewed on a yacht and now booked the next two weeks up totally!

All of this was fun, but as the end of my academic year came I started to feel the cracks. Fun though being busy is, I am trying to fill a void, I am hoping if I carry on long enough the grieving will pass me by and I will not have noticed.

After Kevin died I went straight back to work and focussed on that. I threw myself into the Half Marathon and now whatever activity I can find, but you can't avoid grief, it catches up with you. I started (about mid June) to feel crabby and annoyed with people over little things. I was annoyed with people who gave me sympathy, I was annoyed with people who didn't. It didn't really make sense. One night, after book club I came home to find that the Menace was too scared to go to bed, he thought he was going to be kidnapped. I paid the babysitter, apologised and then carried him to bed. I then found myself crying and swearing at the photo of Kevin. I was angry that I had been left to pick up the mess. Once again my overiding emotion seems to be anger at this stage, I hate anger, it is such an ugly emotion, but the reality is (to use Kevin's neices words) this is not what I signed up for. This is not where I expected to be. I also find myself appalled at the stereotypical classification (not others - mine). When I think of a widow, I imagine someome much older than me. The term "single mum" doesn't sit easily with me either.

I also get annoyed with people's sudden romantic view of death and of Kevin. He was such a kind man, so noble etc, yes, yes. I want them to talk about him in real terms, not an ideal that they have drawn up. Personally I like my people slightly flawed, not perfect, perfect annoys me (what a surprise!). I was peeved to find at parent's evening that my son is also doing it. In his books he rights about his brave, calm (not a word I would have used to describe him) daddy. he also writes about his lovely soft dog (so not the one that nicks his toys etc) but he hasn't written anything about me. I felt peeved and left out. The other family members made it into his book, but not me. Obviously I haven't told him I am peeved, but I did feel it.

Recently I have felt raw and cracked, and we are reaching the time of year that I have been dreading. The six weeks off in the rain (inevitably). Lets just hope that I can pull myself together again for them. I told myself today that I don't want to feel like this, it is draining, the decision to move myself forward into an acceptance of my world is up to me.