Monday, 23 February 2015

A bit of waffling on about parenting, ageing, wisdom and attitude!

This blog is about capturing the moments in life. It lets me write what's on my mind and then allows me to revisit. I do occasionally read back over the years and appreciate the memories that are here.
I think this piece is just about what's going on at the moment. I've just proof read it and it feels like I've just vomited words! 
I was going to scrap it or try and tidy it up, but for once I'm not exercising that control. I'll read it back in the future and see the confused jumble - because that's just how things are sometimes!

I've been watching a transition these last few weeks. A transition of my girl from a Primary School 12 year old to a High School 12 year old. In just under four short weeks the apron strings have most definitely slackened. Not quite been cut, but certainly looser!

I think my parenting is in a transition stage too. On the one hand I'm getting used to being slightly less in demand as she happily enjoys the independence of catching a bus to school, whilst on the other I'm calling on all my skills to help her manage some pretty big changes.

We recently experienced some friendship news that rocked Sibs's boat. (Actually it capsized for a bit but she came right!) She let me in and she shut me out.  I saw my beautiful girl struggle to manage the intensity of her emotions. I saw her retreat to her room and not want to show any vulnerability.

Gosh it took me back. Can you ever forget how insanely strong your emotions can be when you're twelve?

The end of the story is that we talked - albeit through a closed door at first, then through written notes, but we eventually got there.
When your heart is so invested and that's all you want to do is take the pain away, it's hard to be a parent...
She needs these bumps in her road to build her defences and resilience. I know that, but it's not what she wanted to hear.

I shared experiences with her. I recalled the angst of situations like this with the reassurances that we do get through them. I called on all the wisdom of age.

So just when you feel the lull in this parenting thing, out comes a whopper to test you! I guess life is just like that isn't it. The only thing that's constant is change....

I seem to have reached a stage where I've been thinking about age and ageing a bit recently.
This last year or so I have probably felt a bit older than I want to feel (or be!).  There have been some health challenges that only really become more apparent when I now feel better.  So I have just decided that being *cough, cough*  age isn't so bad after all and I should just be grateful and accept it.

I wonder if there is actually a 'best' age to be?
Would I go back to being a kid with no responsibilities and someone else making most of my decisions?
How about approaching my teenage years with all the uncertainties about absolutely everything ahead.
Do I want to be 17 or 18 again just on the cusp of independence and adventure?
Do I want to return to be in my early thirties, settled and secure?
Should I just be look forward to the next decade?

I remember turning 21 almost as if it was yesterday. My thirties were a bit of a blur and I missed the 'life begins at 40' memo. So here I am  - contemplating what feels like a bit of a see-saw age.

Are there any rules about what one should be like at a certain time in their life? Is this the time to bring out the A line skirts!?!

I hope not..... I'm enjoying the contradictions in my ways.

I can turn the volume up really high as I sing along to my Ed Sheeran CD in the car and then come home, make myself a nice cup of Yorkshire Tea and pick up my crochet! I quite like the fact that I don't feel the need to conform to any particular way of doing things. Don't ask me when that feeling happened though.

This 'accept me for who I am' attitude is getting more comfortable for me but is still a pretty shaky concept for a twelve year old.

I am parenting with the 'just trust and be yourself' theme like there's no tomorrow with a stern reminder to myself that it's taken me decades to get here!

Last week Sibs had an English assignment where she needed to write about someone who has influenced her to be who she is. She showed me her work and even though she warned me that I would probably cry, I wasn't quite prepared for the massive lump in my throat. It was a beautiful paragraph that captured so many things about acceptance, being true to yourself, finding your own beauty and following your dreams.

She gets it -  and I hope with all my heart she believes it.

Life is never perfect and as much as I think that I prepare myself with a way to parent to the best that I can, I know that the heat of the moment will sometimes overtake logic. That will be the time I re-read her assignment! I'll remind myself that it does go in....

So as we go through these bumps in the road I'll continue to try and remember back to those crazy overwhelming times. I'll be thankful that I got through them and thankful that I can hold Sibs's hand to steer her forward.

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Monday, 9 February 2015


...and the next adventure begins.

The long school holidays are over and life has returned to packed lunches, ballet lessons and homework.
This time though things are a little different. The comfort and familiarity of the walk to the primary school at the top of the hill has been replaced with the bus ride or the lift to the city. 
This is High School territory.

This is...
... jam packed (and crazy heavy) school bags; combinations; 
...timetable abbreviations; 
...lunchtime meetings; 
...7am activities; friendships. 

This is a whole new world and a massive adventure.

We are in the steep learning curve. The 5.45am alarm is taking some getting used to (well definitely for me, anyway!)  Sibs however, is able to jump out of bed and become instantly wide awake. 
So far she has managed to remember her hat daily and the violin or the sports kit on the allocated days....and they have all come home again! I consider that a great start.

I am enjoying, no, make that loving watching her enthusiasm and smiley face as she recalls her day. I silently punched the air when she told me that she was enjoying maths. She was nervous about this subject so thank you, thank you lovely maths teacher.
There are so many new things to take on board - even the names of some of the subjects, it's all so grown up!

On the whole the transition has been remarkably positive. 

There have been a few moments though....

There's been the laptop that was 'charging' without being plugged in!
The first time she started at 7am and didn't pack an extra snack to see her through until morning break.
The time the bus was a little late.
The afternoon I found her sitting cross legged on the floor of her bedroom in from of her mirror checking to see how much of her back brace was showing through the material of her blouse.

That one was a little tough....

Sibs is a reasonably confident kid, but I have to remember that however well she has adapted to many things during these last few months, some things are just tough. 
How does she share her back brace with another seventeen new girls in her class? She wants to - she just doesn't quite know how to. 

We're working on it and I have every faith that we'll get there when the time is right.

So I have spent a few mornings this last week or so just sitting watching a little bit of the world from my front deck in the sunshine. I have reminded myself to take things each day at a time. The quiet rhythm of the ripple stitch crochet blanket that I'm working on definitely helps to slow the mind and it seems that Modlen the cat has taken quite a liking to it too.

2015 is marching on but I'm keeping up!

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