My eldest has just come back from university this weekend for a visit. I would like to think it’s because he misses us SO much he just can’t wait until Christmas. Reality is, he just needs to come back to withdraw more money!
Either way, I’m very excited to see him again. I told Dexter before he went to bed last night and, sure enough, there were lots of happy tears. He misses his brother a lot.
For the most part, I’ve always had a great relationship with my eldest son, I think being a single parent for a large proportion of a child’s life enables a really close bond to form and we definitely had/have that. We hit a rocky patch when he hit 17 but that wasn’t his fault at all and I’m glad to say that, for me anyway, it feels like we’ve moved on and we’re closer than ever.
The thing is, I had always wanted a daughter. Nothing against boys, it was just that I had such a wonderful relationship with my Mum that I wanted that for myself and thought that it could only happen with a mother and daughter.
Well it’s not true. Far from it. I have a very close relationship with both my boys and although it may be different to that of a mother and daughter, it’s just as special. Fundamentally, your child is your child – no matter the gender, and I guess, by proxy, they’ll always be special.
I’m also very lucky to have two great nieces who have turned into gorgeous, very smart young women that I’m equally as proud of.
One thing does hurt though. My Mum isn’t here to see her grandchildren – these amazing people that she helped to form. It’s been eight years since she died and with every challenge that we, as a family, face and overcome, every achievement, every milestone, there is always someone missing. I read recently about how my friend Laura describes the ‘Mum shaped hole’ in her life and it’s painfully true.
I have watched my children and nieces grow into these awesome people and I just can’t help but think of everything my Mum has missed and continues to miss. I can’t quite explain just how heartbreaking it is – I’m not sure I’m eloquent enough, but believe me, losing a parent is like learning to live again but with part of your heart missing. Your heart still beats, and you continue to live, but you are never the same again.
The photo above is of my Mum and I on my hen night which was 23 years ago … but you can see where I get my smile from. It is just one of the many things she passed on to me, and I have passed onto my boys.
I cling onto the hope that she watches over us. I have to cling onto that otherwise what is there?