Reunited – 7 Years apart
This is the time of year I reflect as its always a time of change. Every Christmas for years i always felt a gap in my life, now however, now I love this time of year. Getting prepared for Christmas. I love coming home from work, closing the curtains at 4.30pm and sitting around the dinner table eating warm winter food with my family………
Have you lived apart from any of your children?
I remember patiently waiting at the airport. My heart was racing, my body felt numb. I didn’t know where to stand, sit, look. My big baby was coming home for good. Yes home…..for good 😉
The decision to send him to live with his Grand Parents in the West Indies didn’t come easily. The plan was for him to attend private school and receive private education from his grandmother, and his father & I would start an empire which would benefit us all. Oh I do remember the day his father took him. I felt the same way as I explained above, numb and my heart was racing, didn’t know where to look, sit or stand. I do remember thinking have I made the right decision? That doubt didn’t last long. I knew he would be safe and happy. I kept comparing it to parents who send their children to boarding school and other parents who work away where the grandparents became the main carers. How about those parents who feel that they are are not coping and ask for Social Care support. It must all be a similar feeling, right? You are living your daily life without your children.
To constantly explain your decisions to others is like being unsure of making them.
The amount of people who told me that I made the wrong decision and ‘how could I do that as a mother’. Those comments really hurt; all I wanted was support not criticism. The nights I spent staring into my sons room thinking ‘what have I done’ then remembering he’s happy and to be honest what a lovely experience for him. Three years of age is a good age for a child to transition and and learn something new.
How can you feel so close to someone but yet so far?
I visited my son often and each time was difficult. We always had a close bond (moms and their sons) but yet I felt so far away from him. His emotions and daily needs were being met but not by me. This was so difficult to comprehend. I visited as his mother always stocking up his wardrobe and taking him to hotels in the school holidays and we had so much fun however, there were always something missing. I mean how can I lay down the law and put rules in place to a child I don’t live with. How can I make MY son laugh or know how to comfort him when I don’t live with him. How? Each year felt harder and each year I questioned the decision – this was selfish of me I know but naturally you would, right?
The preparation was fun. On Valentines day my partner (who my son had not met yet) and I were putting up his bed – i’ll rephrase that – my partner was putting up his bed and I was drinking prosecco whilst eating strawberries listening to 80’s music. We decorated his room six months before he was coming home. I know I am a super organised person but my thought process was that if his room is ready it will all feel real.
You have to listen to your gut and your children
My son had told me on my last visit that he wanted to come home – the words
‘I want to come home to be with you mommy’
These words were like music to my ears – the warmth I felt. At that time of my life I did not have my own home and I was living a single life. My partner and I spent 2 hours nearly every day at the gym, I worked full time and I went on trips and holidays when I wished. Thinking back it was all filling an empty space. I had to rethink and get my act together. Searching for a home was the biggest obstacle as I knew where I wanted to live and I knew which school I wanted but it all seemed unachievable.
Thoughts are Things.
I achieved everything I needed to months before. It took two jobs and perseverance but it happened.
My boy – My boy is home
The moment he walked through the airport he looked lost and unsettled. He must have felt like an alien on a different planet. He didn’t look like my son – how could he when he hadn’t lived with me for 7 years. I needed a second to process – I had flashbacks of when I gave birth and the first 3 years of his life to that moment – I felt lost and unsettled. Ok what do I do, what do I say? How do I start this new relationship? I don’t want him to feel overwhelmed but I want to remain consistent with my approach. I wanted it to be right, to be perfect at once. We are talking about humans here – not going to happen is it?
24 months later and it has been a rollercoaster ride – this is another Blog in itself but for now I will say the best decision of my life or should I say the best request of his life. I always tell him that he is special and has experienced something a lot of people want and to embrace.
Life isn’t black and white we should all remember that.