Monday, June 10, 2013

Mirror Mirror on the uhm...whatever.

OK I apologise. (especially to you Iain Dunlop :) )
It's been ages since I last blogged but, it's been odd of late, and it's been tough to know what to blog about.

It's not that I have nothing to say.
If you know me, you know that I have never nothing to say. In fact, if I ever say to you,  "I have nothing to say," that means, pretty soon. I'm going to have a lot to to say, and it's not going to be pretty when i say it.
(Add "indignant sulk" to my list of natural talents.)

And it's not that nothing's happened of late.
(If anything it's the opposite)
It's been a month of extreme happiness and sadness. Four weeks with great intelligence and great foolishness.

For a start, my youngest turned 6.
That there's enough for a whole series of blogs.
About how 6 years seems to have flown by so fast,  and yet because he's so strangely worldly wise, it feels like he's been here a whole lot longer.
About how we stressed about having a pool party and the hiring of lifeguards and safety in general. And whilst we were stressing, how all he cared about was cake and water-pistols and what present he could open next.
Same event. Different perspectives.
Then how his six year old body suddenly broke into a dance routine, Gangnam style:  All on his own, without a care in the world,  eventually leading a little dance-a-thon.
And then all perspectives were the same.

But these past four weeks were not all stories of birthday parties. For Colette and Mark, and for Carl and Jo, I wish so much it could have been. And nothing can be said to make it better. No words will repair.

My dad, was a firm believer that if there's nothing to say then don't say it.  It used to drive my mother crazy.
My mother was like me. The only time she was saying nothing, was directly before she was properly going to be saying something - pretty loud!

They never experienced Facebook,  but I've often thought about what their pages would be like if they had.
My Mum's full of inspirational memes and random diets from Doctor Oz, and features as to why cream cakes might be good for you,  and pictures of grandchildren.
My Dad's pretty inactive: Perhaps the odd Youtube video of Shirley Bassey.  Something about bowling. Pictures of grandchildren.

I used to have great talks with my mother. In my head, I still do.
We'd talk about all manner of things from the right way to make a clootie dumpling,  to the effect of the Romans in Britain and on random stuff like, do you think trees get apprehensive about Winter or about how a person's skin could become mirrored.
(It's nothing to do with sci-fi. It's to do with words.)

For example. You announce you're pregnant, everyone you meet will talk about their pregnancy. You decide to get married, people talk about their marriage. You say you hate your boss, you'll hear about everyone else's boss. You get bullied -so many other people were bullied too. You deal with a bereavement... that there are some points in life that when a person speaks,  the person listening to them will only be able to see themselves

It used to drive me crazy. "Why can't people be allowed to have their stories? Why is it that when something happens to someone, everybody else has to chime in about when it happened to them"

My mother was much more charitable:  "Because people want to connect to one another. Especially in big life events.   That's why it's important to talk," she'd tell my dad, "Because when one person speaks, others respond and amazing things happen when a person is brave enough to open their mouth"
And my Dad would nod and smile and say, "Especially if that person  is an idiot"

This week my eldest came home from school after what has been a very tricky year, armed with a special commendation certificate for reading and a math one to match.
And I was so proud.
And then I discover he was awarded them at a ceremony I forgot to go to.
And then so ashamed.

(Amazing how rapidly his show of success could become about my failure)

I set his certificates down of the dining room table and picked up my mobile phone to take a photograph.

"What are you doing?" said my other half, irritatingly,  because he could see exactly what I was doing.

"Taking a picture of Ferg's awards."


"Because I thought I'd post them on Facebook."


I looked across at him. His face wore that expression of "Wtf" that had nearly been included in our wedding vows.
"I, Mark, promise you , Lynn, that I will try not to do that 'wtf' face that pisses you off so much"
 In the end, I'd only relented as he claimed it was down to allergies.
10 years on,  I know the truth. Anyway...

"Because I want to show him how proud I am of him."

"He doesn't have a Facebook account."

I found myself distracted by a potential scratch on the dining room table.

"Yes. I know but..."

"You could just tell him. He's in his bedroom."

I decided the scratch was possibly just a trick of the light and headed for my son's bedroom instead.
I opened the door to find him (as usual) engrossed in Minecraft on the computer.

"I took a picture of your certificates to post them up on Facebook."

"I don't have a Facebook account" he said.

"Yes. I know."

"I wanted one but you said I was too young and..."

"Yes. I know I know. And you are. I'm not posting the pictures up. But, I just wanted you to know how proud I am of you."

"Thanks. Can I have a Facebook account then?"

"No. And I just wanted to say I'm sorry for completely forgetting to come to the ceremony."

"No problem. When can I get an account?"

"When you're old enough."

"Ok. Well you should probably hold off on posting the pictures till I'm old enough."


"Though by then I could just post them up myself."

"Good idea."

I've kept the pictures on my phone. They remind me that my son has his own story. That the event is not about me forgetting, it's about him achieving.  His skin is not mirrored.

And that it would be pointless posting them anyway.  My parents can't use Facebook.