Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Desperately Seeking Approval

I seek approval from dead people.

I’m not a weirdo. I don’t mean that in a freaky kind of 6th sense ‘I see dead people,’ way.

Since my Mother died I cannot count the number of times that I have asked myself what she would have thought of a particular decision I’d made or a way I’d behaved.

I don’t think there is anything necessarily wrong with that. My Mother was a staunch Catholic but one who put my happiness above any religious beliefs. When I told her in my early teens that I do not believe in God she was clearly disappointed. But she didn’t try and change my mind:

“Make your own decisions,” she told me, “I’m confident that you do not need a God to live as a good man. But God will be there waiting for you to find him again.”

We rarely discussed my lack of Faith after that again.

But as my Mother was a woman of very admirable morals, I like to use her as a benchmark.

“What would Mum think?” I asked my sister again over lunch today (I love my lunch hour when it’s spent with my sister and nephew) as we discussed a few current goings on and talked about how our lives have both changed in recent years.

“She’d think you’d given her two of the most beautiful Grandchildren in the world and that you are a good husband and work hard for your family. And she’d tell you she’s proud and remind you again that all she ever wants is to see you happy.”

It would have been easy to dismiss as ‘something nice your sister says’ were it not for the fact that I know she is saying the exact words my Mother would say. I’ve made mistakes in the past. I’m not perfect. But I think I am doing alright and I think she would think I am too.

Any single time I am faced with a decision I ask myself what she would think. Any time I face a complication I ask the same question. I don’t always follow paths that she herself would follow – in the same way I wouldn’t always agree with her if she were here now. But any time I do make a decision, I like to feel that if it is not one she would approve of, that it is one I can in the very least justify and know that she would understand.

I’d say it’s ‘funny’ or ‘odd’ to live life like that. But it’s not. I used to think it was odd – my need to understand what she would think or the need to apologise to her for mistakes when she is no longer here. But really I suppose it is perfectly normal for a man to want to make his Mother proud. And I'm far from ashamed to admit that is something I certainly want to do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kids Get ALL the Best Colds

I’m feeling sorry for myself today because I have a horrendous cold. My son was off school today he was feeling so ill with it and my baby girl is getting a bit stuffy nosed as well. Chloe is full of it too (and she had to deal with two suffering children all day lol). Me? Well I went to the office for meetings.

By the time I came home at 6, the three of them (and the two dogs) were all snuggled up on the couch with a duvet and, despite being sick, looked absolutely adorable!!

Veggie soup for dinner with fresh baguettes. Now who needs cold and flu remedies when you have that?

So tonight is about crashing in front of the telly with hot drinks.

It seems at this time of the year my son comes home with a different cold every month. Isn’t it delightful how they just go to school and come home with report cards and viruses to share with the whole family? : )

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adam Vs Children

This weekend will be, erm, busy.

I am sending my sister and my wife off to a spa for the weekend. Chloe is exhausted and, well, my sister doesn’t even pretend to need an excuse for a weekend of pampering. The spa weekend will do them BOTH the world of good.

What that means, is that I will be at home with my son (aged 7), my daughter (4 weeks this weekend) and my nephew (2 and half – almost).

Now, the baby on her own is a dream. Yes, she cries. But not all that much really and she’s so adorable when she smiles at you that it’s all ok. My son, alone, is great! He’s well behaved, likes documentaries, movies and playing football (I love all that stuff too). My nephew alone is, well, he’ll keep you busy, let’s say that. He’s an adorable, albeit very cheeky little chap.

But when you put my son and nephew together it becomes utter chaos. And when you add a baby into the mix (a baby who my son thinks he is the sole protector of and who my nephew thinks is his play toy) and well, it’s a stressful job!

But I’m actually looking forward to it. Movies, football, walks and chill time.

My nephew is in bed by 7:30 most nights and my son by 9:30 at weekends. So, subject to my baby girl, I might even have a couple of hours to myself.

Adam vs Children begins this Friday at 5pm live from Manchester.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Little Prince and Tiny Princess

My son is 7 and my daughter is not even 3 weeks old yet. So needless to say, I have been a busy fellow lately. But last night when I got ten minutes of silence before I went to bed I actually realised how much I missed their noise. The rush of the day, the laughing, the crying… the general busy nature of a day with so much to be done.

At the risk of sounding like every other Father on the planet, my little girl is the most beautiful little girl in the world. She has these tiny little fingers and minuscule little toes. She has my wife’s cute little nose and a way of looking entirely confused when she first wakes up. She has this incredible little smile that makes the 2am, 4am and 5:30am wake up calls all perfectly ok. Because sleep isn’t anywhere near as satisfying at watching her smile at me.

From the very first second I held her, I knew I would give anything for her happiness.

She’s developing this little personality. Personally, I think she’s going to be absolutely hilarious, charming, intelligent and utterly creative. But I would say that, wouldn’t I?

Honestly, I don’t wish for personality traits as much as I wish for her to just be happy. I don’t want that little tiny smile to disappear ever.

My boy is a little Gentleman in the making. He has so many characteristics that people say are so much like mine. At 7, he’s into pretty much what every little boy is into – football, climbing trees, running around, video games… But he’s also got an abundance of hobbies that few of his friends have. He loves to write. He’s been a keen writer of rhymes for a couple of years now and more recently has taken to writing little stories to tell his new baby sister.

He’s not always had it easy. I didn’t know he existed until he was four. At the time he was living in Russia with his Mother (a wonderful, beautiful and intelligent Russian woman I had a relationship with while I was at University). Naturally, when I found out about him and it was confirmed that he was indeed mine (the tests only put on paper what I knew the second I laid my eyes on the boy), I wanted to see more of him. His Mother agreed to come and live in the UK and he and I developed an amazing relationship, his English progressed to native level quickly (it’s so easy for them so young). Unfortunately, almost 2 years ago now, his Mother lost her life. That’s a tough shout for a little boy of 5 to deal with and he suffered terribly.

But what came out the other side was a boy with a real sense of gratitude for life, an appreciation of the good things life has to offer him and a truly remarkable way of handling grief.

He’s a Gentleman, he’s so smart and he’s really rather witty. Cheeky, at times, but aren’t all little boys?
Right now, my son is starting his lessons at school. My Daughter is asleep (though probably not for long) and the place is quiet.

Too quiet.

The chaos is, of course, chaotic. But the silence is just a period of waiting for the chaos to begin again. Because that’s our life and we all love it xx