A Parenting Purple Patch

>> Wednesday, 24 April 2013

I feel as if Husband and I have hit a sweet-spot in The Boys' development.  We are having a moment of calm, in parenting terms.  We're through the nappy years, through the toddler and pre-school years, through the trauma of the first years of school.  Our sons are working hard, playing hard, developing well.  They are healthy, open, affectionate, and - mostly - still listen to us.

It can't last.

There are so many reasons why I blog.  To give myself a mental workout - can I still string two words together?  To stay sane - if I put it down on metaphorical paper, maybe I can organise my thoughts and convince myself that no, I am not crazy...  To reach out - surely, it's not just me?  To pass the time - because oh, I have SO much of that...  And to record moments of life; the good, the bad, the ugly and downright ruddy hilarious.

This is one of those posts.

Being a parent it's easy to get bogged down by the details of everyday life.  What kit do the kids need for school today?  Did I ever get round to washing their swim towels after last Tuesday's session?  Should we take the car or cycle this morning - is it going to rain by this afternoon? Have I got enough bread in the house to make lunch for them tomorrow?  Do they even need lunch tomorrow or is it one of the days they get to eat in the school cafeteria? And so on.  From the moment they arrive in this world - tiny, shouting, blood-smeared and demanding your attention - raising a child, whilst rewarding, fogs your focus.  The volume levels may alter but the end result for parents can be constant static and white noise.

That white noise - it can be very distracting.  You become so busy dealing with it all that you forget to celebrate the good stuff, the moments that remind you it is all worthwhile, that you are living this life for a reason and that two very large parts of that reason are standing right in front of you.

Where to start on how wonderful my sons are at this moment in time, at 9 and 7 years old?  I almost don't dare.  I don't want to jinx it, you see.  I don't want to look back on this post in the future when the world is collapsing around my ears - as no doubt it will when they hit adolescence, if not before - and think 'Ah.  That's where it all started to go wrong.  When you wrote about your love for them, and brought the wrath of the gods down on you for being too proud of them.'

Because I AM proud of them.  I am.  They are not the product of mine or Husbands' endeavours, they are not our projects, they are not mini-me's who's successes or failures are something to be trotted out to friends and family in 'didn't I do well as a parent?' anecdotes and point-scoring exercises.  They are individuals in their own right, with their own personalities, likes and dislikes, passions, faults, moans and gripes, talents and friendships.

They are funny, loving, infuriating, smart, cheeky, affectionate, frustrating, hardworking, tenacious, clumsy, loyal, adventurous, forgiving, ambitious, intrepid, and grounded.

They are loved beyond their understanding.

And they are amazing.

I've been nominated for a BritMums 'Brilliance in Blogging' award in the 'Writing' category.  Click here to see the full short list - and on the badge below to vote.  For me please, if you're feeling moved to do so...



Ned 24 April 2013 at 20:12  

aww.. your post left me with a warm fuzzy feeling. Please keep blogging as you do.. coz I don't care what the reason behind your writing is but I love it as it makes me smile.

Iota 24 April 2013 at 21:44  

'Grounded' as in 'grounded', not as in 'grounded'!

I like the idea of metaphorical paper.

I think this is one of those posts that you will cherish in years to come. A wonderful snapshot of this moment.

21st Century Mummy 25 April 2013 at 06:31  

I was talking about purple patches on my facebook page earlier this week. I'd never heard of the expression before. Now I've heard it used twice in a week.

Clare Taylor 25 April 2013 at 08:25  

Thankyou Ned!

Iota - no 'grounded' comes later, when they hit that tricky adolescent phase I'm dreading. And thankyou.

21stCM, great minds think alike - clearly! (I hadn't heard it since college, but for some reason it popped up when I was writing this post...)

nappy valley girl 25 April 2013 at 19:17  

Lovely post.

I do think this is a really nice age - my boys being just a bit younger than your boys. They are young enough to be sweet and unquestioningly loyal, but old enough to have grown out of most of the annoying stuff.

Mummy of Two 26 April 2013 at 19:54  

What a nice post - so easy to get caught up in the mundane things it is nice to take a step back to appreciate what you have :) Popped over from BYOB

Muddling Along 29 April 2013 at 17:46  

You should be proud and you should savour the moment - well done you !

Melissa 29 April 2013 at 18:54  

Your post has made me so sad. Because my boys are the same age as yours and there are times when I think they are lovely and I keep thinking that this is a good time - after those difficult early years and before the difficult teen years. But sadly, they seem to play tag team in being vile. Every day is an argument. I am exhausted from it. I am hoping I can get those feelings of yours soon

Kate Takes 30 April 2013 at 21:08  

How lovely. I hope it lasts and lasts for you. I always worry that when I get to that stage I will have a rose tinted view of the preceding years and want to turn the clock back. Hopefully I'll be able to appreciate it as fully as you.

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