Growing Pains....

I am the legal Guardian of Teen Twin Angels...I know, I know, how the hell did that happen!!! In my defence, I am excellent with children, cuddly to the point of irritating, get vast quantities of enjoyment from listening to them and discipline is not one of my strong suits...Perfect for the Guardian-ees, I can hear you say...not so perfect for the parents when needing back-up...Ah but I can respond to that....While the parents are still legally in charge, instead of having to play the parent and all the angst that goes with it, I can merrily be the 'fun' one. The comforter when all hell has been let loose, the face of calm when the parents have been irritated beyond rational thought, and the one, who when faced with a potential teen party as soon as the parents have gone away for a week of R&R, can rationally and calmly (on the face of it) point out the reasons why, using the excellent movie 'Project X' as a prime example it would be a thoroughly BAD idea...



Twin Angel and My Youngest Cherub - Example of Potential Project X...


My Angels turned eighteen last week. When two of my own children turned eighteen, there was such a mixture of emotions. Deep unending love, pride, sad/happy tears, terror and the hollow echoing brain shout of 'OH SHIT, they can legally buy alcohol'. But the feelings are slightly different for a Guardians' Angels. Obviously there is the deep love and the pride and definitely the 'Oh shit they can legally buy alchohol' but the worry and terror belongs to their parents. I have been so lucky to have had such an active part in their lives from when they were in their mums tum right up to the present day. I was honoured to be invited to their 18th birthday party and even though I am still wearing the 'Back Brace of Torture', had to eat standing up and lay on a convenient sofa for a good part of the evening, there was absolutely NO way that I was going to miss it.



Twin Angels 18th Party...


A helping hand came in the shape of a tens machine. Already floating on morphine, fentanyl patches, codeine, paracetamol and ibuprofen and STILL in pain, a friend had a lightbulb moment and provided me with a little machine which when attached by pads to the painful areas of your body, provides you with little mini shocks. I am not really sure why this should even help but although I still felt the pain, I seemed to be distracted away from it by the electric shocks. Especially when I knocked the dial and the ensuing yelp was loud enough to attract several bemused stares. The other thing to note is that after a short time, the strength of the shock needs increasing and as that damn dial is so bloody sensitive, turning it up, even a small amount, can jolt enough to make you outwardly spasm and scream ones head off!



Twin Angel and Father...


The journey to the party was unusual - all dolled up, although tights sadly already laddered due to battling to get them on whilst being unable to bend over AND no heels because I can barely walk in flats - I was bundled into the car - thank god it was a large four-wheel drive -and as I can still not sit, lay down on the back seat. I was rather rumpled on arrival, but quite frankly, who would care anyway? The 'Back Brace of Torture' is not a great look and certainly does nothing to compliment a nice dress...



Twin Angel and Mother...


The party was a roaring success. I managed to take the photos, and although not my best work due to regular bouts of the shakes, from medication, pain and intermittent electric shocks, not too bad at all. The Teens were so civilised! I wasn't expecting that in the slightest! No table dancing, no throwing up, no food fights and lots of pleases and thank-you's. Totally bizarre!!! There were even funny but polite speaches...The Teens were a hundred times better behaved than your average party goers at an 50th birthday bash!




Twin Angels...


Towards the end of the evening and during the flurry of good-bye hugs and kisses, I was grabbed and enfolded in a hug by one of the Teens that I have known for many years. I have to say, I have always adored my childrens friends. I have been very lucky. Each child of mine always invited a constant stream of their friends to our house for weekends, sunday lunches and parties and each and every time I saw them all it was a pleasure and a joy. I have been 'Mummy 2' to many and as each year group left school and went on to university, the sadness I felt at never enjoying their company and those carefree times was overpowering. The Teens at my Guardian-ee Angels party are the last academic year group still at school and in the not too distant future, they too will be heading out into the big wide world. The party was extremely poignant and they all handled themselves with grace, maturity and humility...how disappointing - a bit of bad behaviour and some bouncing off the walls would have been fun to watch...hehehehe...



Twin Angel and My Youngest Cherub Recently....


I still have not got used to feeling so small next to my children and their friends. Having been the tall mother in the past when hugging and being hugged, their heads against my chest and their arms around my waist, I (and it feels like suddenly) have found myself feeling like the child myself! I now get a cricked neck whenever I talk to any of them and have frequently found that giving advice (or trying to give a mild telling off) feels utterly ridiculous when you almost have to shout to be heard because of the towering height difference. Standing in a crowd of them is just hopeless. It is like standing in a forest of American Redwoods, you cannot see the tops of their heads and when you try and contribute to the conversation it sort of echoes back at you...



Example of Height Difference - My Cherubs and Me - Exhibit 1...


So when I was plucked out from the Redwoods and enfolded in a hug by a known and lovely Teen, the first thing I felt was relief. Relief that I had not shrunk to microscopic proportions and that I was still visable to the naked eye. The second thing I felt was that she was wearing a really soft, cosy jacket which my face was pulled into. I hugged her back tightly, my arms around her waist and her arms around my neck, and she whispered into my ear that 'everything was going to be alright, and by the way, I enjoyed reading your blog!'.



Example of Height Difference - My Cherubs and Me - Exhibit 2


How roles have been reversed. How did the years go by so fast and change my role from comforter to comforted? How difficult it is to accept that those I once looked out for were now capable of looking out for me. Difficult, but wonderful. Sad, but joyous. Embarrassing? Well yes, BUT only because I am now the residential short-arse and need to wear stilts in order to look at them eye to eye...





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