Granny train

We had visitors today. It’s the first day of the new lockdown easing. My grandson brought his parents to visit us. The last time we saw them was last July when the schools broke up. (His mummy is a teacher).

When Teddy was born I busted them in London every 6 to 8 weeks staying in their flat for a weekend. I wanted to be sure that my grandson knew his Granny. Just before his first birthday I became ill, not leaving the house for 6 weeks. It took a while before I was strong enough to make the two hour journey. The last time I visited them was last February.

Obviously with Lockdown we all missed his birthday at the end of April. When they came to visit in July he was not much over 2 and hadn’t seen me very much since Christmas. He was very shy. I was still waiting for my surgery and my health was not great so I couldn’t do much except watching the little boy playing in the garden.

Now he is almost three. I worry that I am a stranger to him. He did talk to me on a video call at Easter which was brilliant. Usually I end up talking to his daddy and watching him play.

Today my heart is overflowing with live for this little boy ( my first grandchild). This small child isn’t interested in any soft toys what he likes are vehicles. Any vehicle, trains, cars, planes, boats or buses. So that he wouldn’t be bored being here we let him have his birthday presents. His Great Grannie had given him an action man with some extra clothes. Teddy found this rather curious but he politely said thank you.

Next he opened the big box covered in football wrapping paper. Inside the box was a big yellow transporter truck and five smaller trucks. Cement mixer, tipper truck crane and so on. He delighted in insisting that Granny have races with him. At first I thought he wanted me to run around the garden. I soon discovered that we were to race the trucks down the wooden slope from the decking towards the lawn.

More than anything (even the peppa pig ice cream) the thing that he enjoyed the most was the trains that pass the end of the garden every 10 minutes or less. Whatever he was doing he would run to me. “Granny train, super fast train. Yellow, red, green, blue”

For a little boy who loves vehicles, seeing real trains so close and so often. (Three different train companies). I am sure was pure heaven for him.

For me it was wonderful to watch his enthusiasm and know that he wanted to include me, his Granny, in everything he did.

We had to water the garden. I wasn’t sure his little hands would manage to squeeze the handle. I especially loved it when he handed it to his mummy to water one of the pots. Telling her once she had done it. “Well done”.

They have gone now, staying in an Airbnb a few miles away. In the morning they are meeting Grandpa at the beach to walk Grandpa’s dog. Before meeting up with me and his cousin who is bringing her parents to see us.

I am looking forward to seeing my two grandchildren together tomorrow.

Considering the wintery weather this morning we were lucky that whilst not warm it was not too unpleasant to be visiting outside.

It’s my birthday

This is my second lockdown birthday. My third non birthday in consecutive years. Tomorrow some of the lockdown restriction are being eased. A day late for my birthday. However we are having a family get together on Tuesday at a near by play area so that we can be outdoors and let my two grandchildren play. It will be interesting to see what they make of each other. My grandson will be 3 later this month and my granddaughter 18 months. With this pandemic they have not had much opportunity to meet. The last time I saw them both at once was our family christmas meal 2019. When my granddaughter was just 3 months old and slept most of the time.

This morning I have received many birthday wishes including one from an old friend I hadn’t spoken to for a number of years. We have had a long chat on the phone catching up with the changes in both our lives. I also had a video call with my granddaughter and her daddy. I can’t wait to see her on Tuesday.

Otherwise the day is not much different to any other day. I have been working on my new Avon Blog. I am treating us to some cider to have with dinner tonight.

1995

At the start of 1995 I lost my father. He had a heart attack and died just a month after his 55th birthday. I can’t believe that was almost 25 years ago. In March I discovered that I was pregnant again. I already had 3 young sons (it hadn’t been my intention to increase my family). This baby was due on 16th December (my father’s birthday). Of course we told the boys that this baby was a gift from their Grandpa. This year, 2019, my father would have been 80 on 16th December.

Because I had had two babies by caesarean section, plus I also have a propensity to have big babies, it was decided that I should have this baby by elected caesarean early to prevent the chance of an early labour.

So it was that, early on the morning of Friday 1st December 1995, my husband drove me to the hospital where I was booked in for the birth of my fourth child. In those days we didn’t routinely know the gender of our baby before we met in person. Having 3 sons I was convinced that if this child was another boy I would suffer from postnatal blues. I had asked to be sterilized during the birth process. I enjoyed pregnancy but felt that I shouldn’t put my body through any more pregnancies. This decision meant that if I had another son I knew I would therefore never have a daughter. I love my sons and don’t regret having any of them but I knew that in later years I would have no daughter to do girly things with. My life ahead would be football orientated. (Which it was).

I remember being prepared for theatre and telling the nurse that I don’t want to do this. “I know about dirty nappies and broken nights, I don’t want to do that again.” Laughing she told me it was a bit late for that now. I was then wheeled out of the room leaving my husband behind. Although I was having an epidural he wouldn’t be joining me, as my third son was being dropped off by Grannie, while she went off to a meeting having taken my elder sons to school. It was his turn to look after our young son.

It wasn’t long before I was given my 4th son. It was a day before we had a name for him. He was a healthy 7lb 7oz even though he was 16 days early. Although he wasn’t the daughter I had hoped for I loved that baby boy from the very second I met him all slippery and red.

I have now had 24 years of love for and from that boy. I feel very lucky to have this child (now an adult) in my life. I do love all my boys more than anything or anyone else (except my grandchildren). However this boy and I have been through some challenges together. He was only 5 and not long started school when I was told that I had stage III cancer. His father had told our boys that “Mummy is going to die” Obviously I didn’t. Then a few years down the line my marriage collapsed. This little boy of mine refused to go to school most days saying that he was ill. In time it was discovered that his reluctance to go to school was because he was scared that if he left my side he would lose me.

You see although I had filed for divorce from my alcoholic emotionally abusive (now known as Coersive control) husband. We were still living in the same house. I had moved out of the marital bedroom and slept on the sofa for months. My husband had made many threats to my life. This little boy only 9 years old witnessed things a child should never see. He wanted to protect me from the kitchen knife that was being used to threaten me with, among other things. He was the one who wiped my face clean after his father had spat in my face.

Once their father aka The other parent had moved out of the house, life calmed down a little. As my boy grew older he was afraid that he might turn out like his Dad. I knew that just the worry of that meant that he wouldn’t. He is a very caring lad. He worries about everything. The 5 years between the other parent leaving and our divorce being finalised and me meeting husband number 2. My four boys and I were happy even though life was tough.

Then I met husband number 2 and moved my baby boy away from his friends. He was not happy. It didn’t help that 2nd husband was a very reluctant step father. He didn’t make life very pleasant for my two younger boys who were living with us before going to Uni. I felt very guilty for everything my little boy ( a strapping 16/17 year old by then) had been through in his life. He was very unhappy. When he finished college he went of to University in Southampton. By the second year of Uni his anxiety problems had become so extreme that he was often sick in the mornings. I spent many hours trying to give him a sense of peace so that he could cope with life.

18 months ago he left Uni and moved into a flat with his girlfriend. He tried to find work to support them both. He did have interviews and even job offers but his anxiety problems got in the way. He was so unhappy, he desperately wanted everyone to be proud of him. He wanted to be able to support himself and his girlfriend. Finally last winter he got a job that he was able to keep hold of. He didn’t enjoy it and the travelling was a problem but he kept going even though his hours kept being cut. I am please to say that they are both now working in places that they are happy in and the pay has increased for them both.

Throughout everything that my boy has been through he has been there for me when I need support. I know that all my boys love and care about me. This young man just gets me. Maybe it is the many many hours we have spent talking things through. All the time I have supported him. It doesn’t matter what the situation he can vocalise my thoughts and feelings as though he can see inside my head. I will and do do anything I can to make his life better for him.

A few days ago I told him that I am lucky to have him in my life. His reply…

“We are all so lucky to have you in our life. We could never neglect you or allow anything to happen to you without the best care we can give.”

How could I not love this young man. I am so proud to be his mother.

Happy birthday sweetheart. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Enjoy your evening with your friends.

Here’s to a great future for my lovely son

Lots of love Mum xxxx

Joe