Friday, November 19, 2010

One and a half decades later ...

This is about the fifteen year old. I fell pregnant with him when I was 28 and the circumstances weren't brilliant. I had just bought a little house (on my own) and his Dad and I weren't living together. We fought a lot.

I had a roof to put over this baby's head. It seemed that simple.

The nine months passed and I veered between a kind of bovine contentment and terrified panic. My pet budgie died and I thought that if I couldn't even keep a budgie alive my ability to keep a whole human alive was probably questionable.

I listened to the Pixies album, Trompe le Monde, incessantly. I painted The Whole House. I tore up the carpet. I sanded the floors with my Dad. The vacuum bag for collecting dust from the floor sander blew off and my Dad copped a giant cloud of dust in his sweaty face and was jarrah-coloured for the remainder of the day. We stopped at a pharmacy on the way back to his house, a filthy middle aged man covered in dust and his equally dust-covered pregnant daughter. We looked like something out of Deliverance. I wanted bath salts, thinking baths salts might wash away the dust and my abject terror. I was eight months pregnant.

I remember thinking that I had a due date to fall in love, that no matter what else was going on, this parcel of love would arrive sometime near the end of February.

I grew up because of him.

Early this week he approached me with a request to go to a gathering where there was to be no adult supervision. There would be alcohol. His gaze was frank and steady and he maintains this gaze while I fly around the room like a rapidly deflating balloon - exhaling panic.

Without spelling it out he is asking me to trust him. He knows he needs to sit back and endure my furrowed brow, the tightness of my smile - he lets me waver. He knows it will be a death-knock yes or no. He knows that I know who he is, his faith in that is strong.

He is sensible. He is honest and kind. He has humour in his bones.

All week I feel like a fish pulled from the comfort of water. I talk to other parents whose views rainbow from outright prohibition to a weary resignation - a knowing look on the pain of letting go.

I make one last stop, the Mother of a friend of his - her knowledge of him soundly objective. She describes my sensible, kind, funny, honest son to me. It's reassuring that he presents the same self to everyone - that he has nothing to hide.

"This is about faith isn't it?"
"And trust?"
"He'll be fine, right?"

I call him and give him the go-ahead. And because I am nowhere near as cool as he is I get all shrill and spell out "This is about me trusting you, okay?".

I want to surround him with a magical, protective forcefield. One that repels dick-heads and danger.

"Ily," he says. I can hear the smile in it.
"Ily too,"

So right now it's 9am the next day and I imagine he's sleeping, maybe he watched the sun come up with his friends. And the only way I can get through this bit is to write about it.

I remember being fifteen, the years wouldn't go fast enough. It was impossible to imagine a time when I might wish they would slow down.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wherein My Boobs Combat The Forces Of Darkness

I decide I need an outlet to write and then I have enough wine to puff up my faith in my ability to do so and then I do it and then I spend the next hundred hours tied up in knots that this is a roooolly narcissistic forum/space/format and who gives a shit what I think anyway? Blogging ...definitively defined by Gravel Farm thus: Blogging has an effect on society, very much like walking through a crowded shopping mall whilst wind-milling full nappies at arms length and shouting "LISTEN TO ME!" at the top of your shrill, shrill voice.

And then to prove how fucking narcissistic I am I check and check and check the stats page and run around the house shouting about my growing fan base in South Korea!! And Russia!! All this after the page views peaked at 6. Yes, 6, apart from that day they went up to 37, which, when illustrated in graph form, makes all the 6 days look like crap by comparison and then I decide to stick to writing doggerel on kitchen paper. And sucking my thumb.

But here's a bit of news anyway.

The fifteen year old spent most of Friday hurling, all 6'2" of him folded (concertina'd?) into the loo, knees at odd angles, making that hhhhhherrr(sploosh)noise. Then roaring temperature, then sleep.

And because I worked in a newsroom for nearly twenty years I am instantly able to diagnose this as a terrible case of Imminent Death. So I lie awake upstairs wondering if Imminent Death is quiet. My Ability To Worry Unnecessarily collides with my Horror At Making A Fuss and the two of them wrestle me into a fitful sleep ... and then ...


the sound of terrible gasping and thundering footsteps and a giraffe-like, semi-nude 15 y/o has escaped its enclosure and is leaking nightmares all over the house. A sight slightly less alarming than the looby-boobed, semi-nude mother who runs downstairs, making a mental note that her tits 'clap' when unrestrained and in a hurry.

So the two of us parents coral the still asleep kid into the kitchen while he remains in the grip of unseen forces of darkness (using his super-swearing-power for defense). In my distress I hug him and am smartly told that if the kid wakes up while his semi-nude, looby-boobed mother is hugging him, the forces of darkness currently terrifying him are going to seem like Mary Poppins by comparison.

So I wait until the morning to tell him all about it, especially the 'clapping' part -just to make sure he appreciates the good days.