Sunday thoughts from a Fibromyalgia mind #20

Although today is my birthday I feel there are a million other things to catch up on besides simply sharing my birthday joys so I will do a mid-week blog about the birthday. 

September already has been so full of changes to our family. I am trying to come to terms with each new change and look for the wonderful magic, but they have left me a little emotional. 

Each morning I wave off my youngest two on their walk to school and my heart aches as they both look so old. My Mum always warned me that children grow so fast and like most things I never listened. Being Mum and Dad to these two is an honour, they are funny sons and every day they seem to make me proud. 

Maybe it is being a more mature mother now? 
Maybe it is because their father died and I am the sole carer?
Maybe it is that fibromyalgia makes me think way too much as I now have the time?

Who knows but I feel their childhood is like a fast running sand in an hourglass and I am helpless to stop its speed. 

I really do need to get my act together on this emotion as I look at baby snails and feel tearful. You see snails and doing the snail run was our thing. Each morning on the wet days we would stop and move snails to safety and become excited if we saw a baby snail. Eventually, this three-man job became the responsibility of just my youngest and I, now they walk to school together in the opposite direction and we no longer do our snail run. 

My boys have grown so fast, so beautifully handsome and kind yet way too fast. 

If my youngest starting big school was not enough for my heart then the next change was the hair that broke the camels back.

Saturday was a huge milestone for one of my sons as he left to start a new adventure in University. This involves him moving out of the family home and into student halls. 

Friday night and Saturday morning the emotions were in full throttle and my heart was ready to explode. It all came as a shock because the initial plan was a year out of education for him but in true middle child fashion, he changed his mind. 

This is the son that I had been through so much with. His father left whilst he was still in my womb so he was very much "my son". He battled many severe illnesses as a child that had us both staying over in Alder Hey Childrens Hospital on so many occasions it began to feel like home. 

The school years were a massive challenge to him due to dyslexia and issues that the education psychologists said were delayed milestones due to Meningitis. It all became too much for him so I removed him from the Education system for a few years and homeschooled him. It was difficult for him to have confidence in a classroom of peers all able-bodied yet he still could not read. Not to mention all the drama of family life with an alcoholic stepfather and a Mum who was often at breaking point.

But determination and a feisty personality got him through. He then returned to school in Seniors, gained a boastful amount of G.C.S.Es (British Exam Qualifications) then went to college to excel with the highest mark possible.  

His soul is beautiful and he has a heart of gold. 

For many years I was mocked that he was "the golden child" I always maintained I do not have favourites I love all my sons equally but when one needs me more I am there for that child. Throughout life, there have been periods when they all needed extra love and as a Mum, that is all I do. 

I always believe the film Nanny McPhee words being a Mother well:

"There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. It's rather sad, really, but there it is."

There have been times raising him that he didn't want me as such because he was such a firey child that was stubborn as a mule but I was there. I look back and could have done so many things differently but as parents, we are not always perfect. Things like "time out in his bedroom" when he was naughty was recommended nineteen years ago to be the correct method, now I disagree. Faced with the same child I would not do that, it scared him being alone in a bedroom as he was used to brothers being next to him always so even ten minutes was hell to him. 

I think I was too strict with the three eldest sons yet they now moan and say I am not strict enough with the two youngest sons, proof that you just can not win! 

As a Mother, especially a single mother it is hard and we have to just accept we did what we thought was best at that time. I am forever being reminded that the two youngest have better clothes than the three elder ones. Ethel Austins (British bargain clothing store) and George (Supermarket clothing range) were designer back then, no it wasn't really but with no maintenance money from their father it was all I could afford. 

Saturday arrived and I really thought my heart would break leaving him in his new home. But you know what, I never felt sad at all. It is such an amazing halls of residence for students. It is clean, modern, secure and I would live there myself. 

Seeing him so happy and excited about life was the best feeling ever!

I never wanted my sons to be "Mummy's boys" yes they all dote on me and I am loved but I love them with open arms. As a feisty feminist, I always felt it an honour to raise five men. I made my sons independent, I was never going to be the kind of woman that still ironed their clothes and made their bed for them at age twenty. Even if I had the resources I was never going to gift them with a car and pay their bills. They are men and I am proud of the men they are. 

My pride for my sons is the greatest birthday gift I could have had. It felt odd having my "side-kick" son move out the day before my birthday, but it now feels like a gift. 

The universe made it that way on purpose. I walked away from him yesterday and felt like I had run a marathon and was at the end. Seeing him happy in University and independent was the final stage. Together we will face so much together, when he marries, becomes a father and his first real acting role I will be by his side but he is a man now and like his two older brothers, his man ways make me proud.

Today has been a beautiful birthday and I feel happy and blessed.

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Love and gentle hugs to you all

Ness xx

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