Above our cheap rooftop terrace (less than $100 for 3 nights for 2 rooms for 4 of us), beyond the dusty haze, tower the Himalayas. Supposedly. Because we never saw them from this busy, dirty, earthquake-cracked city, where pavements disappear, tarmac is intermittent, and power poles are a wire labyrinth. We landed safely though, ate multiple samosas from a streetside seller, admired grafitti, and did a little mandatory sightseeing. Just walking around the local tourist district of Thamel and older parts of the city was culture shock enough for my son ’18’, blessed as we are to live in a beautifully natural part of Australia: And the power poles; I just couldn’t get over the power poles. Nepal is in the Top Ten poorest countries on earth, with 29.3 million people squashed into a country 53 times smaller than Australia; almost a million live in Kathmandu itself, which sprawls through a valley my travel buddy can remember being full of rice fields 25 years ago… Of course, the victims of urban sprawl are the environment, …
What would you buy a teenager reaching such a milestone birthday? The challenge threw me for days, until inspiration suddenly struck at 3am (thanks menopause): Mum’s ring! Well, it’s my ring actually, which Mum passed on to me many years ago, that I treasure. My Dad gave it to her on their honeymoon in Mexico, and although it’s a simple design, I love it, loaded with sentiment and meaning as it is now. The stick figure is roughly carved, and apparently represents the legend of a Girl holding a Rainbow- perfect for me. My son ’17’ often picks it up when I’ve left it lying around on the shelf after washing dishes for example, and has made frequent comments about how well it fits him, and how good it looks on him (as teenagers are wont to do). But I always refuse to lend it to him, and have remained strict about that, despite his cute cajoling (as teenagers are wont to do). Imagine if he lost it? Then 3am inspiration arrived: why not get …
This son of mine is funny, strong-minded, sensitive, and kind. He can also be messy, selfish, a bit lazy, and quite stubborn; a fairly normal teenager. We’ve had a good time with him here, haven’t we, laughing at his contributions to bone&silver? But it’s all going to change on the weekend. For this was me, a lifetime ago, standing on the edge of changes I had zero idea about, despite the weekly pregnancy group meetings, and various well-thumbed books. I went past my due date by more than two weeks, which stressed out both my midwives, but then I had my baby at home on the back verandah as planned, with no interventions or pain relief. As long as I was up and walking, labour wasn’t too painful… just long. Very long. Long as in “Started-On-Wednesday-Morning-Came-Out-Friday-Morning-Long”. Anyway, I made it. We made it. Born at 5am, on a clear frosty Winter’s morning, after his Mum had walked round and round the garden wrapped in a quilt for hours. And now this weekend, he’s passing from …
Me *spluttering defensively: Where did you see that? Him: It doesn’t matter does it? Fact is, I saw it. Me *squirming uncomfortably: Yes, but- but- I didn’t write about anything you actually said… Him *staring at me firmly: True, you didn’t. Me *blushing guiltily, awaiting my punishment. Him *after a VERY long pause: It was funny actually. Your writing was good. I enjoyed it. Well done Mum. [The post in question is HERE. ]
’17’ has been at his Dad’s a lot lately, so I’ve had minimal fodder for our fabulous [still temporarily banned] Teenage Tuesdays… but negotiations are ongoing… all fingers are still crossed… this blog needs a cheery boost… and he’s coming back here tomorrow, so I’m feeling hopeful! Stay tuned… love Mama G xO And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, cos you’re new round here, or you missed it, you gotta read THIS still temporarily banned post : )
At Home last Weekend Me: Can you wipe up please AN HOUR LATER Me: Sweetie, the wiping up needs doing AN HOUR LATER Me: Come on, I need you to wipe up and put away the dishes AN HOUR LATER Me: OK, I’m getting cranky now, I’ve got better things to do than nag you all weekend AN HOUR LATER Me: Put the washing up away, or there’ll be no dinner!
Me [checking WordPress stats]: Your ‘Teenage Tuesdays’ are without doubt my most popular posts. Him: That’s great Mum. Me: People love them- I get so many comments- they think you’re hilarious, they love you! Him: Wait, who are all these people? Me [bragging a little I admit]: I’ve got Followers all over America, in Canada, England, Europe in general, Australia too of course… nearly 650 now… Him: Hold on; I don’t know if I like all those people knowing stuff about me, and the things I say. Me: But… I… um… Him: It’s starting to feel like you’re just making notes about me to write on your blog; you’re not valuing sharing the funny moments with me, as they actually happen. Me: But… I… um… Him: And what does it say about your creativity Mum? You’re just quoting me. I thought your blog was about your life and viewpoint; surely using me and mine defeats the purpose? Me: Um… PAUSE Him: I don’t think you should do ‘Teenage Tuesdays’ any more, it’s not serving you.
Him: Mum, I really need to cleanse and do a facial; my skin feels dirty from all the pollution… [after one week in Sydney] LATER [having worked his way systematically through a variety of my locally-made, organic skin-care products] Him: Feel my face now, how soft is it hey? I don’t like the smell of all your creams though; they actually smell of nothing, but in a health food store kinda way
Me: So how’s it going with your new, internet-free phone Honey? My blog readers loved it! They’re very proud of you; we have “Teenage Tuesday” now, so they’re all up to date on you. Him: [*smirks and rolls eyes, but obviously kinda pleased] PAUSE Him: [*staring at me in a way that I know means he’s up to something…] You know Mum, if ever you ‘monetize’ your blog, I want 50%. Oh, and that’s backdated, OK.
Me: You really need to get a new battery for your smartphone honey, it’s very frustrating not being able to get hold of you sometimes. Him: No Mum. I’ve decided I want to buy a cheap phone without internet facilities; I’m sick of being reachable in so many ways by so many people. And the social media just distracts me. Call me ‘The Backlash’.