‘In my day’ are words I never thought I would say. But I do, a lot. As well as ‘when I was your age’ and ‘because I said so’. When did this happen? It all makes me feel rather…old.
When I was pregnant, I swore that I would never turn into a boring old parent. I would be cool and trendy (these words alone are a dead giveaway of my age).
I would give my child freedom to express themselves, to follow their own dream all the while gently nudging them along the right path. Then he turned into The Teenager and I find myself trudging the same old path as my mum did.
The Teenager and I communicate in single sentences. I say, ‘put your coat on, you’ll get cold’, ‘turn that racket down’, ‘close the fridge, you’re wasting energy’ and ‘I gave you coat hangers for a reason’. He normally replies, ‘yeah, whatever’ with exaggerated rolling of the eyeballs. One day I asked him to turn off his computer and get on with some homework only to be met with ‘like, duh, I’m just emailing it to my teacher.’ What?!
I told him ‘in my day the internet didn’t exist’. He looked momentarily stunned. Wide-eyed, he asked me how I survived, did we have Sky Planner, how did we meet up with friends? Yup, I felt practically prehistoric, a dinosaur.
Now we have MS in the whole equation, it’s slightly tricky to get the balance right. I make up for my bad days with treats. The chip shop will no doubt be sending me a Christmas card this year. I buy little cakes for after school, I let him have more sleepovers than usual and I still wash his rugby boots. I don’t want him to feel his childhood is overshadowed by MS, and luckily for me a lot of my symptoms are invisible.
But for now, we are trucking along just fine. If you’ll excuse me, I’m just off to settle down with my People’s Friend and a cup of tea. Ooh, and a nice Garibaldi biscuit. Lovely.