… he drapes his arm across my shoulder. He’s never done that before. I put my arm round his waist, but it feels awkward, so I let it drop. We move apart a little, and walk on. We sit in silence on the rocks watching a dolphin pod swim in lazy circles while the sky fades orange, pink, baby blue, dark blue. As we walk back towards the car, he does it again. This time, my arm round his waist feels comfortable. We walk and talk, arm in arm, 17 & 51, as night falls. Best. Homecoming. Ever.
Me: You know, some of my friends can’t believe I still make your lunch every day for school. *Pause Him: I think that’s a bit rough Mum… it hardly even rates as a snack really.
Me: I need something humorous about driving with you for my Blog… Ooh, look at that ‘grey nomad’ old lady over there with her massive brand new shiny RV … mmm, it’s even got a satellite dish… she must be driving round Australia… that’ll be me one day y’know, spending all your inheritance… Him: Well, that’s certainly not funny.
Me: I know you love them, but you can’t use the good white bathroom towels any more, they’re actually meant for guests. Him: Well… they’ll just have to adapt.
Me: I need something funny from you for my next Blog post, my readers love them Him: [Scathing glance sideways] Mum, I’m not your performing monkey
I heard ‘Almost17’ in the shower at 6am (we had to leave for the airport at 7); he soon came into my room fully dressed, with still-damp hair, where I lay in bed reading before getting up. Him: Move over Mum. Me: [Really??] OK Sweetie. [Sliding over, slightly stunned, but pretending I’m cool…] Him: Happy Mother’s Day. Me: Thanks. You know I think it’s a load of Hallmark crap don’t you, but that’s still lovely, thank you. Are you bringing me peppermint tea in bed? Him: No, I’m too tired. I didn’t get home from the party till 1am. *Rolls on his side away from me*. Spoon me Mum. Me: [REALLY??] OK Sweetie. [Spooning behind him, completely stunned, gingerly resting my arm on top of him and the quilt because, you know, I’m Cool…] Him: No, properly Mum, under the covers. Please let me sleep for another 15 minutes. Me: Sure honey… *Lie there holding my baby boy as he begins to twitch and dream, breathing deeply. For how many nights did I hold him until …
We’re chatting & laughing as we share my yummy nachos, when suddenly: Him: Mum… Me: [Giggling, cheesey corn chips halfway to my mouth] Yes Sweetie… Him: Have you seen that meme online which says ‘If I can hear you chew your food, I’m fantasizing about killing you’? *Disclaimer: my son ‘Almost17’ is fabulously kind, sensitive, smart and honest. We spent 2 months sitting in an old Barn in the Dordogne region of France a couple of years ago, cooking, reading, & talking. HERE’S one of my fav longer posts from those days, if you’re interested ❤
Him: “Mum, I’d like you to try and control some of your sassy replies; there’s no need to always be so feisty.” Me: [deep breathing through half a dozen sassy replies, and a proud Feminist rave about smashing the patriarchy] “Perhaps you could try choosing not to react to them?” Him: [after pausing for a moment to consider this] “But if you weren’t so sassy, I wouldn’t have to choose that, so nice try Mum, but it’s back to you I’m afraid.” *Disclaimer: longer post with statistics and his true Feminism HERE
… along our favourite sunset beach, talking. Somehow I lose the thread of the conversation (maybe it was yet another rave about surfing?), and tune out a bit. He suddenly says ‘Mum, what are you doing?’. I answer ‘Sorry Sweetie, I didn’t understand what you meant, so I started daydreaming…’ He replies, with that knowing sigh only teenagers can truly master: ‘Well, you’re not going to understand by not listening are you?’
It’s been hard being flooded. Not as hard as for folk in the 2 big towns either side of me, who have been devastated by rivers more than 11 meters over their banks. But still very stressful. Not as stressful as being bombed in the streets of Syria of course, but still pretty shit. It came up so fast. Rainfalls of between 500 & 950mm in 24hrs. An entire month’s rainfall in one dreadful night, thanks to Cyclone Debbie. I’ve had a delightful & significant blog post about Episode 7 in my online dating story drafted for days, but it felt too superficial to post it, when so many of my dear friends, neighbours, & community have been coping with up to 2.5mtrs of brown smelly muddy shitty river water through their homes. People have died, including a mother and her children. Houses have literally been swept away downstream. Business stock has been ruined, and flood insurance is incredibly expensive round here, so not many people have it; there are rumours it’s going to be …