It's been dawning on me lately just how awesome my kids are. When I think back to what I was like at age 15, I feel so proud of my kids and how totally lovely they are the majority of the time. Sure, they have their moments.... after all they are only human, like the rest of us. But despite their humanity I have to say that they are each remarkable people in their own right. Considering two of them are teenagers, there are rarely any bad moods in the house (apart from my own!), rarely much arguing or shouting, very little door slamming or sulking in general (again, apart from me).
The last few months have opened my eyes to what thoughtful, caring, well mannered young people they are. I am so proud of them, and also so sorry at times that I am not a better mother to them. I wish I was not only human. Anyway, I want to write a little about each one of them.... (obviously these are not their real names, as regular readers of my blog will know)
Badger - Badger is 15 now and in his last year of high school, the GCSE year. He doesn't really like school work, but he has an amazing talent for film making, script writing and such like. I honestly believe he is a Steven Speilberg in the making. He can spend hours, days, or even weeks writing scripts, filming, editing films and adding special features to them. I wish he had the confidence to show people his efforts as they are actually really brilliant. Badger is a very loving person, and extremely caring, especially towards his old mama. He genuinely worries about me, and wants me to be happy. He has an amazing ability to argue his point and not back down on a subject.... only to come back an hour later saying he has thought about things and was in the wrong. He appologises and gives me a hug. I think this is pretty damn amazing for a 15 year old lad! He is way smarter than he realises, and a real likable person. His creativity knows no bounds, and his imagination is just inspirational. For a 15 year old lad he is one of the nicest people I know. And I remember what I was like at 15. I was not one of the nicest people I knew! Badger fills my life with joy in so many ways. He is always happy, always cracking jokes, so full of energy and zest. Sometimes he gets up with Emily in the morning at the weekend so his poor mama can get some sleep. Sometimes he just cleans the kitchen for me, or tidies the living room, without being asked; so that I can get a bit of a rest. He is just lovely. And he gives me lots of hugs.
Tarja - Tarja is going to be 14 next week. She is beautiful, and always has been, inside and out. Tarja does her school work well, behaves at school and always likes to do her best with everything. She is a little perfectionist. She's rarely moody or nasty and mostly just breezes through every day without causing any trouble. She is, like me, an extremely sensitive person. From no age she cared for animals, insects and the planet Earth. I remember that year after year she would spend ages every day saving little flies and creepy crawlies that had fallen into the paddling pool. She has adopted an Elephant and would probably adopt every animal and orphan on the planet if she could. She is like a second Mummy to Rosie. About a million times every day I call out to her for help; things like 'will you make Rosie a bottle?' 'will you put the telly on for Rosie?' 'will you take your baby sister for a minute so that I can cook dinner?' She never, ever complains, and just helps out with a happy heart. To be honest, without Tarja I don't know how I would get things done. She is like a mothers helper to me, and she seems happy enough that way. The love she has for her baby sister is beautiful, and inspiring. Tarja has also gotten up with Rosie some mornings when I've really needed rest. She makes a good friend and is someone people like to be around. This house probably wouldn't run anywhere near as well without her.
Barney - Barney is a huge character, and the best company anyone could wish for. He is totally lovable in every way. His dimples make him even more adorable. Barney showers me with love, and cuddles, kisses and the most loving of words. He must tell me that he loves me about 30 times every day (as does Jimmie). He has a fabulous sense of humour, a very quick and curious mind, and a desire to learn about everything. Barney is absolutely, totally, devoted to and in love with his baby sister. He protects her, entertains her, and cares for her in a way that is deeply touching to see. They have a real bond together and I hope this will always last. She thinks the world of him, and he thinks that she is the world. Barney is one of the bravest people I know. He has faced far more than most children his age and has come through stronger and happier. This is something I really admire in him. He is such a happy child, always full of laughter, song, dance and chatter. He talks more than anyone I know. When Barney is not around I miss him badly. I can't wait to get him back into my arms, and to listen to his chatter. Every day I feel that I gain something so precious from having spent time with him.
Rosie - Rosie simply has to be the best behaved toddler on the planet? She never cries unless she really needs to, and always stops as soon as she receives comfort or her point is made. Seriously, I have never known a baby cry as little. She is extremely well mannered and says please, thankyou much, sorry, excuse me, or dont worry more times every day thank I can count. She adores all her siblings. Her cuddles melt me every time, as does her smile. If ever I feel that I can't cope, or am overwhelmed, a cuddle from Rosie makes everything worth while. The happiness she brings to this family is precious beyond words. We all love her to bits, and she must feel it because she is simply so happy to be alive.
So I am one blessed Mama, and not a single day ever goes by without me realising it. I have more beauty and happiness in my life than I deserve, and I treasure it with my whole heart. The last few months (but especially weeks) have been an extremely difficult time for me. I am always tired, always emotional, stressed out and possibly going slightly nuts. I've been snappy with the kids, impatient, less understanding than usual, and generally grouchy or tearful. I feel so awful that I can't always be the perfect mother for my kids. But through all this hardship I have had my eyes opened to what great little people they have turned out to be. The older two have been a great support to me, and I am so, so proud of the adults they are becoming. Although I am not always the best person I can be at the moment, I am happy to see that I must have done something right somewhere along the line, and that they have the skills they need in life to cope with both the good and the bad.