I know I have been threatening to tell you about the 'big falling out' with Small Boy but there is so much to say on that subject and I choke on the thought of much of it. So here's another thing:
Tonight the Baby Angel bussed back into Adelaide after 10 days with Soldier Boy's family in the country town of Tocumwal. She was tired but happy and as we drove home she started to tell me all about it.
"Mum, they are such a great family. They're like the Brady Bunch. They never fight or anything!"
Suddenly she fell silent and I glanced over at her to see eyes choked with huge, fat tears.
"Don't worry mum," her voice wavered,"It's just end of holiday blues."
But I knew that wasn't really it.
They are the Brady Bunch and we are the Munsters. Actually, the Munsters are probably better adjusted than our family. It's like a knife through my heart.
Part of me feels a terrible guilt for not being able to provide her with a 'normal' family situation. It was never my intention to be a single mother for 10 years or to only have an only child, or to be a step mother to three deeply troubled young men. The other part of me shares her grief. I too miss the easy familiarity of close family and the shared life of close friends. We have never quite nailed that here.
The most ironic and gut wrenching aspect of this is that Small Boy's mother has the social life I crave. She has a group of close friends who all congregate at her house on a Friday night where all kinds of hilarity and 'goodtimes' ensue. I know this because Himself goes there. After the 'big falling out', Small Boy did not come to stay with us for a long time and as a result Himself was forced to make the effort to go over to SBM's place to connect with SB on a weekly basis.
Initially I was delighted that Himself was making the effort and, presumably, connecting with Small Boy in a possibly more meaningful way than he did here at our place. After all, he couldn't simply sit at a computer and work.....Initially it was quite nice having an evening to myself as well, I mean, I am quite capable of entertaining myself. But then the BA started to drive. And took my car to work on a Friday night. And suddenly the evil beast 'Resentment' reared its head.
After all, Himself is a self confessed hermit who operates happily in a bubble as long as he knows his 'other half' is somewhere around. He doesn't necessarily need to interact with said 'other half'. So how is it fair that Bubble Man is going regularly on a Friday night to enjoy the company of others whilst Social Girl is sitting at home watching DVDs, drinking copious quantities of 'soothe yourself' vintage and wondering where the f*** she went wrong with this picture!!!!!!
So, when the BA breaks down and expresses a longing for an integrated family and friends group (something like the mother of Small Boy has) my heart breaks too.
And deep down know I have the capacity to develop these networks and establish this social network.
I need to do it. For the BA and I.
The rest of them can muddle on regardless.