Tag Archives: sixth form

How We Live Today

how-we-live-todayPeople say the strangest things when you first have a serious illness.

Haven’t we all been promised the earth by those who matter (I’ll be there, just ask). And the moon and sun.

It must be bad?

However, with The Teenager having limited contact with his dad this year (not my choice), raising him has been tough at times, but infinitely rewarding.

Since MS crashed into our lives in 2011, we’ve both altered our perceptions immeasurably. Gone were the ┬ádays when I was the parent who did everything. I now needed help.

Thankfully, my friends were on hand. We got through that dreadful time and came through the other side older and wiser.

And now The Teenager is on the threshold of 18.

As in common with any parent of a teenager, I am still failing. Of course. And he has had more than his fair share of challenges – as the single child of a single parent with a serious illness, he has had no one to share the long evenings (and my MS) with. If you don’t count the yells coming from his bedroom, when he has ten kids in there, all playing the same game.

I’ve been reduced to a cash-dispenser and provider of food. And that’s fine. It’s not the fish fingers that worry me, it’s the MS symptoms and how to work them around an Exploring Teenager.

Fatigue. A problem. Before sixth form, I set an alarm, dossing on the sofa and waking up in time for him to come back from school. It’s not so easy now he’s doing his A Levels. He returns at odd hours, shocked at me sleeping.

Nerve pain. A problem. I’m useless after 5pm. I walk funny. I could be seen as embarrassing.

Speech. My very first symptom. I still get tangled up in English when I’m tired, speaking a mish-mash of languages, the hangover of being tri-lingual.

So how do we live now? Precariously. We are forever on watch for the next relapse. I work, study and look after our house and The Teenager. I am trying my very best but the best is often not enough.

I remember saying, back in 2011, that all I wanted was to get The Teenager to University.

I might just manage it.

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The Sixth Form Disco …

discoThe Teenager went back to school on Tuesday, his last year at High School.

From a tiny child in a funny uniform to a very tall person armed with attitude, the school years have flown by.

I reminded him of his ‘graduation’ ceremony from nursery, aged four, complete with gown, cap and scroll. He claims not to remember and didn’t want to see the photographs. Shame really.

Anyway, we’ve bought the folders, the pens, the whiteboard, the paper.

On his first day back, I eagerly awaited an update;

‘Here, have a cookie, how’d it go?’

The Teenager rolls his eyes and swiftly examines the empty packet, plucked from the bin, and reprimands me for the amount of carbs in one single biscuit.

‘Right, have a protein shake and a banana? How’d it go?’

‘S’aright’.

‘Sounds good, yeah?’

‘S’aright, s’pose. What’s for dinner?’

‘A carb-free delight. How’d it go?’

‘Mum. It was fine. S’good.’

His thumbs flew over his phone as he was speaking to me, intermittently snorting and laughing.

‘Er? Hello?’

‘Mum. I’m all growed up. S’cool. Yeah?’

‘Ok. I’ll just have one of these cookies. Maybe two.’

The week progressed and he ran down my printer ink, depleted my finances and then let me know there was a sixth form party.

‘Right. Party. At someone’s house?’ (fingers crossed)

‘Nah. Town.’

‘Ah. Right.’

‘Mum. Muuuuuum. Everyone’s going. And that girl.’

‘Huh? What girl?’

Fast forward to the evening in question. He produced shoes from nowhere (very smart, very nice), had a haircut, used up my expensive hair serum, pre-loaded himself with fragrance and sat jiggling his feet in the living room, waiting for his lift.

‘Sixth from disco, eh?’

‘Mum. Disco? It’s in a club.’

‘Course’.

‘How’s my hair?’

‘Fab. Can I have my serum back? Ta.’

‘Erm, can we talk about girls? Like, women?’

‘Mum. I’m a cougar magnet, chill.’

I choked on my Diet Coke.

‘Huh?’

‘Joke! It’s fine. Can I have some money?’

After he left, I cast my mind back to my first ever night out in town when I was in sixth form. The ghastly little black dress, the tights, the shoes. The hair! God, the hair.

I reckon he’ll have an easier time. He’s good-looking, tall and has a fabulous mother behind him, lol. I hope he finds that girl/woman he has his eye on. And he will invite her round for coffee so I can interrogate her as to her intentions towards my son.

Joking …

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