Nevertheless, as I move to complete it, there are still issues that remain unresolved and roads to travel for both of us. And so I give you:
My Struggle With My Beautiful BA
(Quite A While Ago in 2014)
So the beautiful but temperamental Baby Angel (who would probably need a new name if she even remembered I had a blog, let alone bothered to read it) is not dealing well with my decision to strike out on my own.
I had not anticipated this.
In the past, The BA has sagely commented on the foibles of the male members of our family, summing the whole lot up with statements such as 'I wish we had a normal family'.
Well apparently, it seems, a crap family is better than none and guess what? It is all my fault!
Because you see, I am still the adult. Even though the BA is 19 going on 105, she is still a neophyte human being with limited life experience.
And because I am still a teacher, while I am going through **** , you might as well learn from it.
So, here are her declarations and the obvious common responses.
I give you however, the Flaming Sword responses as an alternative.
1) "Mum", she cries, " You are messing up my life!"
Trap for Swordless parents: omg she is right. I am being so selfish. I should stay with him to provide a stable home for her to stay in for ....oh another 6 months before she moves out with her boyfriend.
Sword Response: This is a minor inconvenience for you now. You will still have a place to live, a roof over your head and food on your table. The negative elements of your life are being removed and with that comes pain. No one said life would be without pain. Nevertheless, the change will provide many positives which you still (because of your youth) cannot see. You will be ok. You will survive this my very loved child. The people who have been your stable childhood are all still there. You can adjust. You have the foundations. You have the ability. You are resilient and you will be better off in a less stressed environment.
2) "Mum", she cries,"You are such a hypocrite, what can you tell me? You discouraged sex before marriage and yet we KNOW what you did!!"
Trap for Swordless parents: omg she is right, I was so totally a slapper.....
Sword response: That is like saying a person injured in a car accident cannot caution others against excessive speed.
3) "Mum", she cries,"venom venom venom "
Trap for Swordless parents: I am a terrible parent, I must get my child to love me again....
Sword Advice: when your child spews venom at you, respond with "I'm sorry you feel that way, however...." This strategy works as well at the age of 19 as it does at 4.
You may have noticed that this last example was a trifle vague. That is because there were actually more nasty things that she said to me, but (the good news is), two months on, I can't remember what they were.... (deliriously happy face)
My happy lesson to you is that whatever I suggested....works!
It is now a long time since I started this post. There were about three weeks of awful, awful agony as she wrestled with the idea of giving up her 'childhood' home and her dysfunctional family. In that time she threw barbs at me which would pierce the toughest armour. Every flaw in my character, every mistake I had ever made in my life (all of which I have discussed freely over the years, believing that all learning is valuable) was brought back to assault me. I will not pretend the attacks did not hurt. Oh my goodness they hurt. They hurt because generally they were true but also because when I had revealed these 'life lessons' it was with the idea that she might 'learn' from them. I had not really anticipated catching them as a low blow to the stomach. Call me naive.
Since this post The BA has come around. I can almost pinpoint when it happened. She had stormed off to spend the weekend with her boyfriend and on her return she hugged me and said sorry. I don't know what had transpired on that weekend but she came back a changed girl. After weeks of resentment, obstruction, and aggression she returned resolved and cooperative.
So what are my lessons for you, young parents out there with younger kids and the vagaries of life before you?
My answer is: It is a process. It starts when they are tiny and you build, build, build upon it.
My relationship with the BA is far from storybook. It is normal and healthy, which involves a fair bit of argy bargy but when all is said and done, this is what she wrote on my Christmas card this year:
I am sorry I decided to spend Christmas away this year, in hindsight I wish I hadn't. Just wanted you to know that I love you am always here for you no matter the distance. 2015 will be our year to start afresh and kick a***. I love you to the moon and back and appreciate everything you've done for me over the past years. I admire your strength, compassion and selflessness as an individual and your way of always making me feel loved. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Mum.
(I am not making this up!)