crap I say, entertainment, family, humour, life, Uncategorized

Death by Mac n Cheese

We have an open door policy in our house. Sure, we use locks sometimes, but we have instilled the value of respecting privacy enough that, if a door happens to be closed, we simply knock before entering.

If, on the odd occasion they forget and I’ve stepped out of the shower just as one of the boys come running in to tell me ask me for something, I simply yell “NAKED!!!!!!” At the top of my lungs – whenever I hear the door creak.

Which usually works. Although I admit it’s kind of overkill those times when it’s the cat.

My 14 year old, God love him, doesn’t need a lock on his door.

Even if you could manage to push the door open, against the ceiling high mound of debris, and navigate successfully through the half eaten bowls of Mac n Cheese to make your entrance, the smell would most certainly stop you, quite literally, dead in your tracks.

Might explain why we haven’t seen him in a few days….

My other son, Mr 16, is never here either. But that’s just because he got a part time job.

His contribution to the family ecosystem is the crusty fast food infused uniforms that I get the pleasure of washing 4 times a week, at 11pm, ready for a last minute early morning shift change.

Oh and did I mention my Friday night ritual of drowning my 9-5 sorrows with red wine has been replaced with midnight pick ups? If the cheesey bedroom remnants don’t get me first I may just die of unintentional weekend sobriety!

Yes, I do quite like living with teenage sons….

Oh, of course I sometimes yearn for the long passed days of early morning cartoons, warm milk bottle cuddles on the couch, snotty noses and crocodile tears. I look at photos of cheeky grins behind sucked thumbs, sleeping angels captured at what most surely is mother natures most serene of moments!

And I remember little love filled hugs that wrap around your thighs and promise to never let go…

Sigh……………….

But really, who am I to complain?

I mean, nothing quite says “I love you” like a smelly armpit wrapped affectionately around your skull, while the owner of said armpit squeals in delight at the look on your face.

…cheeky grins just get filled with bigger teeth and thumbs write inspired text messages of what can only be called teenage genius!

“yep. I was late to school today, but its cool, cause I’m still getting an education”

…and the equally poetic hand written words in Hallmark Cards….

“we’ll…you’re my Mum, so I guess it goes without saying, I wish you a nice Mothers Day xxx (10 years ago I might have noticed the words more, but these days all I see are the xxx’s)

Yep! The moments of feeling like you are their whole world do become rarer…
and although it drives you crazy, they remain firmly and unchangeably, your whole reason for living…..forever.

Even if living with them does

eventually

kill you

crap I say, entertainment, family, humour, life

How a plastic fork made everything right again

It’s safe to say the last year and a bit has been a rough ride for our family…

No major illness, deaths in family or even financial hardship. No, we’ve actually been very, very lucky compared to most….

But moving from one side of Australia to the other, even if it was technically a return to “home”, with a hormonally challenged teenager, desperate NOT to leave his new friends (made in those most crucial of years, 11-14…OUCH, bad Mum!) has proven a grueling enough exercise as far as I’m concerned…

In between the buying and selling of houses and assimilating to new schools, jobs and time zones, we kind of, well….I’m ashamed to say it, but it really must be done….we lost our teenage son.

Granted, you’d be forgiven for losing a whole class of Chemistry students in his bedroom lately (and did I tell you about the time I found a piece of pizza in his bed??)

but, no. That’s not how.

I guess we’ve been preoccupied by busy lives, every weekend spent catching up with friends between endless trips to Bunnings (sorry, Masters, you just didn’t get here quick enough!)

but, no. I’m fairly sure he was still there, in his room, every single time we left or returned home.

But he was definitely “lost”.

Lost somewhere between a happy, secure life he once had in Sydney and the “new” (old) life we’d so wisely returned him to…

…an “awesome” life where friends were hard to find, self identity had slipped into that hard to reach place (usually reserved for remote controls) and the only obvious cure for such misery was, of course, hating his Mother’s -and occasionally his Fathers – guts!

I don’t think he ever really cared for his brother’s guts much, so no change there

Conversations became brief

“hi honey, how was school?” “it sucks”

“How’s the cake?” it sucks”

“Where would you like to go on the weekend?” “it sucks”

Forget about asking him to actually do anything for me! Might as well ask the cat…

Days have passed, tears have fallen, talking has been done in silence and quiet moments have been filled by the noise of hearts breaking.

All of ours.

Threats have given way to begging, fear has crept in more than once. We’ve tiptoed and we’ve screamed, and when nothing else worked we drank wine, or cried, or both.

…and that void persisted, taunting our guilt stricken hearts again and again

“you’re losing him”

returning to Sydney was not an option, but staying was doing this? Just shoot me now.

slowly…..surely…we made sense of the world he was living in and with time, and love, he started to return. But the memory of ugly fights and carelessly dropped words pointing at scary outcomes remained….

It’s easy to get stuck in the bad. We even forget sometimes to notice when things have gotten better.

Today I offered both boys a lift to school and on the way out I said to my Lost Boy, “grab my lunch out of the fridge, please.”

I didn’t expect him to actually do it.
I didn’t think he’d do it after only one request…

But when I looked down at my little plastic container of leftovers, and saw a plastic fork lying on top…

(a fork which I hadn’t placed there myself)

I realized, in that one glorious moment….

He’s back!