Wednesday 18 September 2013

how fast it passes...

Where has the time gone, asks Lime


My son Patrick turned 19 in the summer, just one day before he leapt across the Atlantic to up state New York for his 2nd year of uni...I miss him. even though he has already been away from me for a year, we have been in touch, email/skype/viber more than last year.

But he is truly away from me, on another vast expanse of earth, separated. This time is different. I expressed this, though less emotionally t'other evening..and his response was, 'yeah, but mum we are under the same sky..!'
such calming, soft words, soothed.

He has been my companion, my world these last few years; his first year of uni, were my first days truly single, starting over. Loss of purpose is very hard to deal with, and each of the last three years has brought about layer upon layer of loss and partings.

He is my last born, my man hero
How would life be, if he had chosen to remain with his father and sister, after the break-up.
Just by his being, he saved me; he allowed me to become a better mum; a better me.

love, labours, lost...
and found....the stages of mother/child.

god I love the very bones of the child...

keep him safe for me 'till June...

saz xx

( I haven't posted here in over a year at has taken many of us by the short and curlies and we have allowed our eye to be taken off the ball. Both my kids are at uni now, only one is a teen, Patrick as mentioned I still qualify as MMM!!!)

Friday 30 March 2012


Re reading my post of  13 October 2011  I am amazed at how fast time moves, no surprises really there eh? And it occurs to me that time does heal, again we know this to be true, but at any given time, the pain and stress and perhaps frustration at it all overwhelms and we cannot see it...

My daughter, now 20, is I am guessing submerged in uni-itus. She does not text not email nor phone me. I last saw her twice over the christmas hols, no not over christmas and not on her birthday a few days later. She appeared at the apartment to 'crash' after losing her friend in a club and so l was the port in the storm, at least l had that.

I haven't wept over it, nor let it define any piece of me. I am after all changed; by the emotional chaos of our split and divorce. I now think that she maybe haunted by the break up and her choices she has come off worse than either of us and her brother. Or perhaps she is more of his blood and just separate from me in a way I don't care to admit, or praps I just failed her and I was less than she expected or needed.

I know I did my best for her and by her. I stayed longer in an unsatisfactory marriage than l should, and that may have seeped through and stained her. For that l am sorry.

I didn't bring her up to cause pain by omission. It concerns me I keep it all in a box. Carefully apart from me, so as do less damage to my heart. Under wraps and I always fail to reach outf again, for fear of more rejection. No Mothers Day card nor call.

I did do my best. My best now would be better.

My son hopes for uni in the autumn. I am prepared, I will not be bereft. I will not. I will.

Recently I was told, '... your Mum (Moannie who is very ill) is on her own journey, as is your daughter and soon your son, Saz you should not wait to live and and love now and make for your own journey..'

and I will and I do just that...

My message here is there comes a time, often way put yourself above it all and yeah maybe in the line of fire.....but out there...the teenagers become young adults and accountable....and the consequences kick in and they have to wipe up the spilt milk, not you or I hold the cloth in readiness...just let them go, it is very hard, but do-able.

I have plans, I am rebuilding and on my own journey, centre stage..

... and I have the arms of a wonderful man to hold me.

Saz x

Thursday 29 March 2012

Teenage Trauma...

Forgive me for the pictures today, which are all over the place - Blogger does not seem to be behaving itself.

Wonder where it gets that from?!

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Some of my favourite lines in poetry come from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

AWAKE ! for Morning in the Bowl of Night

Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:

And Lo ! the Hunter of the East has caught

The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.

Those of you who may be wondering where my post went from a couple of days ago - Who saw it, pondered it, commented upon it, only to see it go 'Poof!' in a whisp of smoke like a genie from a lamp, I thank you from the heart for your erudition, education and ease of communication!

I have taken your good comments on board.

You see, I did tremble a bit when I realised what exactly I was putting 'out there', for public consumption as it were and I reflected and understood that I did not have the right to do so.

...I appreciated, finally, that I was trespassing in fact on another's life, albeit my unruly man-child's.

We have these fleeting moments with our children, our tantrum-flinging teenagers. Tantermongers, I call 'em.

Do you wish sometimes, as I do, that you could turn back the moments of time, to when things were simpler; when you were younger, prettier, less lined?

Do you ever wish you could delete some memories of your own of that time?

Did you have moments of reckless abandon, of joy? Did you take calculated risks?

Looking back, I sense I was a bit of a 'Goody Two-Shoes', a bit stuffy, uptight, perhaps not much fun. I don't know where that came from, but it was me. I've never touched a cigarette in my life and have no intention of doing so. I really didn't get the taste for alcohol until my late teens - My twenties, in fact.

...I've never sniffed, snorted, sniped, licked or swallowed any substance other than that legally prescribbled. I've never rebelled.

I've shop-lifted three times. All by accident.

If someone short-changes me, I usually correct them on it. If I haven't, it's because I didn't notice the error!

I don't travel on public transport, (knowingly), without a ticket.

I've never had a tattoo (although I hanker after one in my forties!), or rogue piercing.

I try to 'Do unto others as I would have done unto me', or words to that effect.

I am good, then. I can safely say, 'Je ne regrette rien'.

But I can't help some regrets. And I can't figure out where I might have gone wrong.

So we agree to love our children in good and bad - In sickness and in health, as in the Marriage Vows, n'est-ce pas. Therefore, let us forgive our trespasses. While not precisely forgetting them.

'Will no-one think of the children?'

Revel in them, as you would in a gossamer-thin chemise on a summer's day. The scent of meadow and new spring lambs wafting through an open window. A bee buzzes against the window pane and, thankfully, moves on.

What I mean to say is, enjoy it while it lasts.

Ah, Love! Could thou and I with Fate conspire

To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,

Would not we shatter it to bits - and then

Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire !

Console yourselves then that you've been 'good enough' parents to your Teenagers.

(CLICKIE for more information on the concept of 'good enough' parenting)

They might not agree, but you have always been good enough, if not perfect.

Who wants to be perfect?

So what makes us expect it of them?

Oh, and it's Fhina by the way.

Trust me, I'm a therapist!

Tuesday 22 November 2011

The Mysteries of Adulthood...

Our teenagers are the in-betweeners; Neither a child, nor fully an adult...

You might still find yourself reaching for their hand as you cross the road. Sure to be met with the certified 'Drop dead, Mum!' look.

You may still attempt to buy them gifts that are jokey, quirky and designed to appeal to the kid in them. With Christmas creeping round the corner, such things are still on the menu, non?! Cue the steely stare when they open the chocolate reindeer droppings.

You want them to be careful out there in the world; To avoid the pitfalls of everyday living; To be wary of the many pick-pockets in the city; To stay safe from harm. Watch out for those rolling eyes, you might trip over them!

Now, instead of making their baby steps before your very watchful eyes, your outstretched arms ready to catch them when they tumble, they're taking them in front of members of their most important peer group, most of whom mightn't give a rat's ass if they fall...

They're taking risks in the Big Wide World; They're walking tightropes high above tall buildings; They're juggling multi-coloured leather balls and spinning bright shiny white plates and you have to just watch and wait...

You don't want to live in their pockets; You want them to have their independence. You don't want to be the kind of Mother that falls apart when they're gone. You are braver than that.

So, I knock before I enter his student flat. We text before we are due to arrive there by car so that he has time to have a clean-around and remove any evidence, contraband...

Whatever it is, this is the time when he should be able to make his own choices in life.

I can only hope they are the right ones. We have done all we can to be 'good-enough parents', have we not?

I breathe fresh air in deeply and exhale further, puffing my cheeks out like Dizzy Gillespie.

I remind myself - He's not a baby any longer; I don't have to stand over him to make sure he brushes his teeth thoroughly. I'm not able to ensure he has the right amount of sleep each night, that he's eating properly, or that he's tucked up with a favourite teddy or blankie - In his case, a knitted kitty named 'Miaow'.

Life goes on. Of course it is a little emptier. Until the long holidays, vacations, when he's back again, taking up more space on the sofa than my husband, myself and three rats (his girlfriend's - we're care-taking them - Don't ask!) combined!

On my own blog, I tend to find myself writing a lot about loss. Love and Loss. Love and life.

We bring them up in life the best way we know how. We fight the battles we feel are the most important. And then our children are partially lost to us. Off to life itself. Their lives.

My life.

Oh yeah, it's Fhina by the way...

Thursday 13 October 2011

a strange day

29 September 2011
When we plan, plot, support and hope for our children, whilst still at school intending to go on to university, it is a moment long into the future.

A rite of passage for them. For parents too.

Buying things together for their room in halls, Stationary. New duvet and cover. posters, prints. Books, More books.

Anticipation. Nerves. Tears.

Loading up the car. Will it all fit. Two trips perhaps?

Excitement. trepidation.

Today my daughter and first born, woke with mixed emotions. Today was the day.

I loaded the car. Packed to the rafters. My tummy flipped. Told myself to get a grip. Lit a fag. Rolled down the window. Choked back a tear. Turned of the radio. Silence. Just my exhaling.

I arrived at my destination. Unpacked the car. Parked up. Walked into the hall and began to set up my stall.

 Every moment that passed, every second, whilst I busied myself with my procrastinations; I was aware my daughter would shortly be arriving at University of Leeds Trinity and would be unpacking the car with her father, 89  miles away. I had planned and plotted for her, but I was not a party to her plans this past year.

Never take these moments for granted. They aren't a given. We have had many shared moments together. I should be grateful. I wanted to be there.

I spoke to her this evening and she seems happy enough. Homesick already, as the reality sinks in she won't be home  (hers not mine) again until December. Reality bites.

For me it bites hard. People ask me why I stayed so long. I say because I didn't want to miss a thing.

What next the graduation? Will I be asked? It's not a given. Time will tell.

This time next year it will be my son's turn to leave for Uni.

Take nothing for granted.


Wednesday 31 August 2011

One Down, Two to Go

I'm saying that tongue in cheek. We sent the Queenager off to college last week and it's still a bit raw. The Ball & Chain drove her from Chicago to DC on the Thursday, - 12 hours almost straight. She was not a happy bunny. The plan was for me and the boys to fly there on Saturday to help settle her in and say a final goodbye, but hurricane Irene did a bit of a number on our plans.

To say we were disappointed is an understatement.

Anyway, I tried to be stoic about it; after all the flight was cancelled and if I'd even wanted to drive, we wouldn't have arrived in time. It was totally out of my control. I went with the flow.

She was with her dad and the college locked all the students into their dorms on the Saturday night till the worst of it was over. DC fared very well given what other places have suffered, but the college Starbucks is now sporting a large tree in the doorway, and the Queenager had to relearn her walking directions from dorm to classroom and back. (The fact that it's all within a few blocks didn't help her - she needs to know exactly where she's going otherwise she tends to end up in the next state.)

Her head is still in the Expat household as she's texting and calling quite a lot, but I know that will all change probably in the next week or so. I'm grateful that I'm not one of those mothers who's currently now panicking because it's been almost a week and no texts. Nothing. Zip. Nada.

However, it would have been more meaningful if the first ever text hadn't been -

"Beyonce's PREGNANT!"


Monday 8 August 2011


As the proud owner of an 18 year old on the brink of leaving home (assuming he gets the results required to get into the university of his choice) I am beginning to learn how to let go and stop worrying about him when he's out of my sight. Given that finishing A Levels appears to be the excuse to pack in about eight different post exam holidays where they don't appear to get any sleep for days on end, to worry about them daily would simply result in a heart attack I suspect.

He is about to embark on an 3 week tour of "cheap beers" around Europe with five of his friends. The thought of it fills me with horror. In my day, when we all went inter-railing around Europe our parents simply had to wave us off with our rucksacks and hope for the best. Now we have a means of spying on them, of tracking their route. Sort of like giving them a bar code or a little mini camera to put on to their heads. We can check in and even sometimes expect a reply. Now that he's 18 he has finally added me as a "friend" on Facebook so that I can see what they're all up to. Initially I was delighted - how wonderful to be able to share in his experience, but I have to say it's not for the weak hearted and I'm wondering if perhaps it was better for my parents who were blissfully ignorant about what we all got up to. Mostly it's all rather horrifying and you wish you hadn't looked...

My friend called me this morning. "OMIGOD, I've just had a look at Jack's photos and I'm quite sure, although his head is turned to the side that it's not a spot he's got on his lower lip, IT"S A NEW PIERCING! I'm going to kill him." I too discovered that my son had allowed himself to be branded with yet another tattoo whilst on holiday recently in Cyprus. Then you have to look at photos of them behaving badly in nightclubs and dancing on tables - "who ARE all those people he's with?" I constantly think to myself.

Still, it's a brave new world out there and we might as well get on it with them and I guess it's reassuring to know they're still alive.

What do you think?