Christmas is on it’s way

Today we have been making preparations for Christmas. Yesterday I bought a few items to make the house a little more Christmas like. The first thing I did this morning was to put up a few decorations.

In previous years we spent Christmas together at the house I shared with my husband. My sons and their partners would visit either just for the day or for a couple of days.

Last year was my first Christmas living with Mum. We didn’t have a tree. Mum hasn’t bothered in recent years other than her wreath for the front door and a Christmas candle bridge for the dining room window. I left all my decorations behind when I left.christmas 2019

This year although we are getting together with my sons and families for lunch on Christmas Eve. Three of my sons will be visiting us for Christmas morning before going their separate ways. My little grandson who will be almost 20 months will be here. I know he is still too young to understand what is going on but I want to make it nice for his visit.

During the morning we both set about filling gift bags for various family members. Mine are still upstairs but we now have a crowd of festive bags in a corner of the room.

Do you have family traditions that you always follow on Christmas day?

There have been times when I have wanted to change things about but my sons have been very resistant to any change.

The day usually begins with Bacon rolls for breakfast. (I’m not sure how or when this began). Once everyone has assembled either from bedrooms or arriving from else where. Snacks are available for anyone who wants them. While the turkey is cooking we gather round for the distribution of gifts. It generally falls to my youngest to hand out the gifts. It starts out being one at a time but gradually speeds up. Once everyone has opened all the presents and the wrapping have been disposed of there is time to chat and catch up on everyone’s news before lunch is served. Now that my sons are all adults there is no need to find batteries for toys. I think that will soon change again.

After lunch the chat continues until someone decides it’s time to start playing board games. The Queens speech is watched even if we are still eating at the time. In the evening there are sandwiches, mince pies and Christmas cake if anyone has room.We watch Eastenders either before or after I become chauffeur depending on timings.

This year things will be different as we are having our big meal the day before. We will probably have a nap in the afternoon once it is only us and possibly just one of my sons.

 

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Being tactical

It’s 10 days to go before the election. On the radio they are discussing people who don’t vote and the many reasons why. One of the reasons being ‘my vote won’t make a difference’.

Where I live we know that no matter which party you vote for the same party will win. The same party has won for decades. It is what is known as a safe seat. There are four candidates standing in this constituency. I know which party I shall be voting for. It’s the same party I have supported since I was a young woman. However it doesn’t matter which of the three parties I vote for other than the one that will win. Many people think that there is no point going out to vote when the result will be the same anyway.

I don’t agree. I think we should all vote. No matter which of the three alternative parties you choose. Every vote cast against the leading party will reduce their winning majority. If we can do this each time eventually our votes will begin to make a difference.

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