New routines and old friends

We’ve got through the first week of A starting secondary school and T going in with his leg cast. It’s been hard going. I don’t embrace change (unless it’s a new coat or pair of shoes) and hate changes to my routine so it’s been a bit of a battle in my own head to get through the first week.

A is very organised (as I suspected she would be) and I don’t (yet) have to supervise her packing her bag like is did with T when he first started. I suspect when she has more and more books then she may need some assistance getting everything she needs sorted for the next day but so far she is on it and it hasn’t even occurred to her to ask me to check. The hard part for me is not asking dozens of questions. The first 2 days she was full of beans when she came home and told us every minute detail of her day and her lessons without any prompting. This tapered off as the week went on as I think she was so tired that she didn’t have the energy to relive it all. I’ve had to stop myself asking about who she had lunch with, who she sits next to, who she likes and who she isn’t sure of yet. She’s not a bottler upper and she will tell me if she has any worries. She was tired on Thursday night and a bit teary so we had a long cuddle and I told her that I know it’s a lot to take in and that it’s tough having to be super organised and attentive in lessons and taking it all in is knackering. She seemed reassured that it was OK to feel knackered and a bit anxious but that it would soon be second nature. She’s still a bit tetchy but that’s pretty normal for her (that sounds horrible but she is a bundle of hormones and pre-pre- menstrual tension) so I am trying to keep a lid on it and play it down.

T has been coping on his crutches OK. He has insisted each day when I pick him up that he’s been “fine, completely fine”. He admitted on Saturday that he had some pain in is leg when he was getting up to standing position. I suspect that this is due to spending lots of time on his crutches as opposed to just using them in the house to get around (and it’s not a big house!). He’s rested up as much as possible this weekend and has promised me that he will use the wheelchair at school if he feels the pain returning during the course of the day. His next appointment is still a week and a half away and it seems like months. I will be relieved to see another x-ray and (hopefully) be told that all is still progressing well. It’s a big worry, but again I am trying to play it down and keep it to myself.

K is being brilliant, helping with the new early morning routine, getting breakfasts made and making me tea so that I can get them out the house for 7.40am. And the kids are fine, they are managing OK and having good days. I’ll soon have my head straight and will soon be used to the new way of doing things and the plaster cast will be off before we know it and life will return to normal. But at the moment I am feeling shattered and a bit overwhelmed.

Yesterday, I was buying a loaf of bread when I saw a lady that looked very like someone that I used to work with over 16 years ago at Douwe Egberts. I wasn’t 100% certain that it was her but A persuaded me to go and loiter near her in the off chance that she would look up and perhaps recognise me. She did and I was so pleased that I had listened to my wise young daughter. We chatted for ages and it was so lovely to see her. She seemed equally pleased and we have agreed to try and meet up with another mutual friend for a proper catch up. It made me think about how different all our lives are and what a lot we will have to talk about (them more than me as my life is relatively uneventful – just the way I like it – whereas they are both in new relationships and have had lots of stuff going on).

And then today I nipped to the card shop after dropping the kids at school and bumped into another old friend that I haven’t seen for a very long time. She used to live next door to my parents and we became friends – we were both pregnant quite close together (her eldest is about 8 months younger than T) and we used to see each other fairly regularly. She had a late-term still birth when I was pregnant with A and our friendship floundered in the aftermath. She was naturally devastated and I knew I would just compound her grief with my big pregnant tummy and then my new-born little girl (her baby was a girl too). I felt (and still feel) an overwhelming guilt that I couldn’t help her or comfort her through her terrible sadness – I could see how hard she found it to be around me and I couldn’t do anything to change it. They moved house soon after and I saw her a few times, but it was always quite hard, even after the birth of her son a couple of  years later, and we lost touch. Today, she couldn’t have been happier to see me or me her. We chatted for ages and have agreed to meet up when she has moved house (again) in a few weeks time and hopefully we can build on it and be in touch again.






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