Tag Archives: MS hands

Welcome To The Future

nestThe other day, The Teenager was fiddling around with his phone, sighing loudly.

Nothing new there, but this went on and on and I was trying to rewire a plug. With MS hands.

Eventually I chucked the screwdriver down and said, ‘What? What?’

He looked up. ‘Oh, I’m just writing a packing list for Uni. How many pairs of jeans do you think I’ll need? Should I sell my X-Box or keep it?’

Right. Of course.

Through gritted teeth I said, ‘You won’t be starting Uni until 2017. The end of 2017.’

‘Yeah, I know, like, durr.’

‘Sooooo? It’s like, almost two years away?’

‘Mum, would you stop saying ‘like‘, it’s like, sad, y’know?’

I sulked for a couple of minutes as I’m so grown-up, then asked him what the urgency was.

He laid his phone down gently, gave it a little stroke and turned towards me before saying, ‘Mum. I’ve read about this EmptyNesty Syndrome. Do you think perhaps you might have this? Would you like to talk about it?’

I knew it was a mistake for him to study psychology at A level.

Later on that evening, I had a think. I’ve always prided myself on encouraging The Teenager to get out into the world, explore, make mistakes, learn from them. When I was 17, I backpacked round Norway and Scotland for six weeks by myself and I wanted to pass this sense of adventure on to him.

Even though MS has been a feature of his life from the age of 11, I’ve tried my utmost to ensure it hasn’t impinged on it to any lasting degree. I hope he’s gained an appreciation of what it’s like to live with a life-changing event but also to turn it around and make the best of it.

So do I have ‘EmptyNesty Syndrome’? Two years early? I doubt it. Of course, it will be weird living on my own, in any capacity, but I’ll adjust. Life will re-shape itself to accommodate a new way of living and I will be bursting with pride as The Teenager takes his first tentative steps into adulthood.

Now that he can be left on his own for a few hours without setting fire to the house or advertising a party on Facebook, I’ve enjoyed going out with friends, expanding my horizons once more. Last week I went to an open-mic poetry session, next week I’m going to an ‘experimental evening of visual and performance art’ and am in the throes of deciding which scarf and jewellery to wear.

For both of us, life will open up in new ways; I will buy more scarves and he will finally understand that clean clothes don’t magically appear in his bedroom. Result.

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Take An Old Bag Shopping…

shopping bagI do, honestly.

In Wales, you’re charged 5p for a flimsy slice of super-thin polythene (could be white or red/blue stripes), guaranteed to spill your groceries/loo-roll/hi-juice  or worse onto any pavement right outside the supermarket.

And not in a good rom-com kinda way, avocados and mangoes (of course) rolling artfully towards a hunky-chunky-monkey of a man, just ready to pick up your tumbling food and a lot more besides. Whay hey.

So I am a bag lady. ‘Wanna bag?’ is met with a smug , ‘Tch, brought my own, fumble, fumble, dontcha know.’ Carefully selected from the Orla Kiely range at Tesco and independent book-stalls in New York. Natch.

Anyway, I am armed and prepared for Serious Supermarket Shopping to subsidise my meagre Ocado order. I can’t resist a sneeky peek at the sensational offers I’m missing out on

Sad salads, miserable mince, tacky tacos and cheap cereals. Two for one on coffee. Buy one get one free on curry sauce. Eww. Snagging the last of the asparagus bundles, I head to the check-out.

And here is where the fun starts. My hands refuse to play ball. The check-out-meister whizzes through my shopping with obscene speed. Everything is flying everywhere. ‘Having a nice weekend?’ he asks, smirking, flinging my solitary can of beans westward, way beyond my reach.

I have long given up asking The Teenager to accompany me. Apparently he would rather wear a skirt to school than walk next to me, trolley trundling behind. When the price is barked at me, I take a step back, fumble with cash/card and finish packing. Picking up my cucumber from the floor as gracefully as I can.

This is why I shop on the internet. I have a succession of lovely men knocking my door, holding out parcels. Heaven. All I have to do is laugh off the jokes that my name is spookily similar to an American singer/actress. Never heard that one before, lol. Lol.

On a happier note, I have just cooked a rather marvelous chicken meal for Sunday dinner. The Teenager responded by telling me he would prefer to starve. A likely story. Apparently he would rather have a pie. Which we have had forever until he asked for a cooked chicken Sunday dinner.

It’s me. Isn’t it?

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