... does this mean I have to grow up now? On Saturday my eldest son Daniel turned 18. I don't think the enormity of this has sunk in yet. When it does, I will be as gutted as I was turning 30. I mean really distraught. Yet - I'll be 40 in three years and this doesn't bother me in the least. Strange.
I was quite a young first time Mum, I had Daniel when I was 19 years old. He's been quite the little fighter from being in the womb. I was six days overdue when he was born, and I didn't go into labour, I had a placental abruption and had to be rushed to theatre for an emergency C Section. I've never seen so much blood in my life, and didn't realise until I was much older just how dangerous that was. Then when he was two years old he contracted Meningitis and Septicaemia and it was touch and go as to whether he would make it. Little did I know that it would be my complete ineptitude as a Mother at that time that probably saved his life. He was whiny and had a temperature, and guess who didn't have any liquid paracetamol? This was in the days before 24 hour supermarkets. As it became apparent that this wasn't just a fever, we phoned 999 and he was having seizures in the ambulance. When we got him into Casualty, the consultant asked had we given him any paracetamol and I said no. He told me I'd probably saved his life, because it would have masked the symptoms, and that he'd stake his career on it being Meningitis. Would I give permission to treat for that instantly before doing all the tests, as Dan didn't have time for the results to come through. Of course I said yes. He was very poorly, in a coma, hooked up to all manner of wires and drips and machines bleeping. When I asked the nurses and consultants if he would be ok, they either wouldn't answer, or they would say 'Touch and go' or '50/50'. They did all the tests after he'd started treatment, and indeed it was Meningitis, but oddly enough it was a rare strain that hadn't been seen in the UK since the 1980's! But the recovery he made was almost miraculous, for a child who was staring death in the face, he walked out of that hospital a week later. It made me take stock of my own life, made me realise that we're really only here once and we should be happy. I made some big decisions of my own as a consequence.
|Baby Dan and me|
I won't inflict the horror of a recent photo of Dan and I together on you, let's just say it's nowhere near as pretty as the scene above... the years haven't been kind to me...
Dan also faced another big issue in his life, a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome when he was ten. He handled that with a maturity I've never seen before in a child so young. He almost collapsed with relief when I explained to him, and he told me that he knew he was different from everyone else, and now that he knew he wasn't imagining it, it was something that he could learn about and find ways to cope with it. He has always been a joy to parent, whether he was a baby, child or teenager. He doesn't bring trouble to my door. He's intelligent, sarcastic (I don't know where he gets that from...), has a way with the written word (again... not a clue), polite, he asks for so little. He has a group of wonderful friends who have always accepted him for him, and it's lovely to see him so comfortable with people that he is a complete equal, and he doesn't feel shy or awkward. I'm really proud that he's my son. Awwwwwwwwwww :-)
Dan wanted a house party for his birthday, but unforeseen circumstances cropped up, as they usually do in my life, so we're having the party this Saturday night instead. Daniel opened his presents, he had a new laptop from Steve and I, and a lot of money gifted. His father came down to take him out for a drink, and then in the evening, his friends came around for pizza and beers.
|Benn - who doesn't drink... drank more than anyone|
I made a small birthday cake, and have ordered one from a local cakemaker for the party this weekend, to take some of the stress off me. I always try to do too much and end up unable to enjoy the main event.
So, as per usual with a house party due, we're making sure everywhere is clean and tidy and mowed and strimmed and wiped and rejigged and repainted... Yeah. Meh. I've got a few ideas for some nice desserts that I'll try and blog about. One recipe has popped into my life three separate times this past week, so I have to take notice of what that's trying to tell me. It involves Reese's Peanut Butter cups which should be enough to tell me it needs making! So hopefully, come Saturday night I will be organised, stress free and able to actually relax and enjoy one of my parties. What normally happens being, no matter how prepared I am, I am like a headless chicken, still cooking, red faced, sweaty, unshowered, in an apron and drunk by the time my guests arrive. Will Saturday be the first time things go to plan? Will I make it to the shower in time? Will I be sober before the first guest arrives? Tune in next Sunday to find out... ;-)