Yes, Mother, You Can Still Read This

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So a few weeks ago my son told me he didn’t want to speak to his Grandmother any more. As you may or may not know, my mother lost her mind a few years ago and said and did some awful things to my little family of three. We cut her off completely at that point.

We let her back in with very low contact after she sent me a sincere apology letter. Well, it was sincere but she still laid part of the blame on me because I hadn’t told her something. What I hadn’t told her was none of her business, which she still doesn’t get, and insists that if I’d just told her she never would have done what she did.

So a few weeks ago she and my step father and Adam and I had a live chat on FaceTime*. My mother lamented that she hadn’t spoken to us in months (since Adam’s birthday in June) and why couldn’t we speak more! I didn’t answer her and ended the chat a bit later.

I then said to Adam that I know he wanted to talk to them more, but it took so much out of me to be civil that I didn’t know if I could. He then asked why we talked to them at all then? And I said for him. My mother may have been and continue to be a crap mother, but she was always a fantastic grandmother. The kind of grandmother I wished I had had but never did.

We dropped the conversation then. But the next day Adam said to me that he didn’t want to talk to Grandma any more. I asked him if it was for me? Because that’s not how this works, he doesn’t protect me, I protect him. His reply? “Why would I want to talk to someone who treats their children that way?”

No flies on my boy! So I sent the email telling her that I was cutting her off. For good this time. And I did.

Except that I can’t find the part of this blog where she subscribed to it! It’s like somewhere in the last 15 odd years WordPress has removed it!

So my mother is reading this. She can even comment, if she wants.

But she doesn’t need to. Because I know exactly what she did when read that email.

She blow air upward from her mouth, slumped into her chair and said “She’s finally turned Adam against me. Always so much drama with her!”

Or words to that effect.

But it wasn’t me, Shelley, who turned Adam against you. That was, and is and always has been all on you.

And it’s still none of your business.

*Arthur C Clarke foresaw the end of long distance charges in 2001. He wasn’t too far off.


I was reading a really really good fan fiction series recently. It was Rafael Barba/Sonny Carisi from Law & Order Special Victims Unit. I can link to it if there’s any interest. It’s on AO3.

Anyway, along with being really well written, it had a fantastic timeline. It started with Sonny and Rafi as friends. The first story ends with them dating and admitting how they feel about it each other.

And then it jumps ahead. A year. Eighteen months. Three years. Five and a half years.

And I realised how realistic that is. I mean, sure, some of the inbetween stuff might have been nice to see. Their day to day lives together. Cases worked together and the like.

But the truth is, day to day life isn’t all that interesting. Even if you’re a cop and an ADA.

In real life you don’t ponder every day. You just live it. You meet your mate, live together, maybe marry and start a family. And you don’t really think about the years going by.

Simon and I have been married for 15 years this coming September. Together for 18 years at the end of the year.

And I certainly can’t remember every day. I remember big things. Our first real life meeting. When he asked me to marry him. Our wedding. The day we found out I was pregnant. Our son’s birth. Buying our house.

And some little things. Like the time my sister in law thrust my baby niece into his arms so she could pee and I found him there sort of staring at the baby in his arms, totally perplexed.

Or the time my sister did the same thing with my baby nephew and when she took him back, Simon had left red marks on his legs, he was holding on so tight.

But otherwise, years go by with nothing of note. We do things, of course, but every day things. We go to work and take care of our son and do things around the house and visit people and watch TV. Play games.

And, always, at the base of it is the fact that today is like tomorrow and the next day because we will be together until death do us part.

Maybe it’s taking each other for granted.

But that’s not always a bad thing.


So, He’s Like Me In *Some* Ways…

Adam and I went to the dentist this week. We know how to celebrate half term, let me tell you!

And it turns out both Adam and I have cavities. So yay?

The other thing that was noted was that his 6-year molars have very deep crevices on the inside face as well as deep craters on top. And when they fill his cavity in a few weeks Chris, our dentist, is going to see what he can do about those as well.

Now, anyone who has seen my son and my husband will tell you, without a doubt, that he is Simon’s son. From the colour of his hair to the shape of his face he is Simon’s Mini-Me. Adding glasses on his face just made it more obvious! I often joke that if I hadn’t been there when he came out, I’d doubt he’s mine.

But this is something we have in common. I have a very strong memory, recalled again when the crevices were mentioned, of my childhood dentist telling my mom the same thing about me. I was older than Adam, probably 9 or 10, when it was mentioned and dealt with.

And I have another very clear memory of the sigh my mom gave and the look she gave me when she was told this. I remember asking later ‘Did I do something to make those craters?’ as I had interpreted the look as ‘great, she’s done it again’. My mom said, ‘no, of course not.’

And now, 40ish years on I realized what that sigh and that look meant. It wasn’t ‘Great Robyn’s causing more trouble’ it was ‘Great, more money spent/insurance papers to process/similar adult thing that I couldn’t understand then’.

Not what our dentist is like

By Uncredited WPA photographer 1936 New Orleans. Not what our dentist is like. Thank god! 😀

But I understand now. Because I didn’t sigh or send my son a look, but I did start planning, in my head, the social story I was going to create about getting a tooth drilled and filled. And wondering if I should ring school and let them know and see if they had one available. Adult thoughts. Mother thoughts. I’m not much of a sigher but I might have sighed at this.


My concerns now are different than my mother’s concerns then, since I have the additional challenge of autism in these situations, but a mother’s concerns are all based on the same thing.

Doing everything we can to help our children.

Usually after a moment of ‘oh god, I’m so over this.’


Living The Road Not Taken

I was currently on holiday in Northern California. My brother has lived there for over 20 years and my sister in law, Simon’s sister, moved there late last year.

I also lived there for about 10 years and was living there when I met Simon and moved to Belfast.

When I emigrated, the hard part wasn’t leaving my country, it was leaving my family. My oldest niece was three, her sister just a baby, and I had been a part of their lives since they were born. I more or less saw them everyday. In fact, it was the elder who named me Tee!

And then I was 5,000 miles away.

And now the three year old is 15 and taller than me and the baby is 12 and my height.

And every two years or so I get to experience the road not taken as I come to visit with my family and my mom hires us a house (with her and my step dad) and for a week or two I’m a local.

This year the house is right around the corner from theirs and so there has been a lot of tooing and froing and friends of nieces’ to be fed and engaged with.

And things like this text conversation between the eldest, her mom, her dad and me, as she was coming to our house for dinner after Ballet:




Do I have regrets? A few.

I would love to be part of more text messages like that. Having my nieces, either, both, I don’t care, over for dinner because Mom and Dad are out. Have them over after school because they don’t feel like going home and have a key. Have them babysit Adam occasionally, pick him up from school, maybe, on their way to mine.

Have monthly or so R and Tee days and S and Tee days rather than every two years.

And have, as my brother said, our kids know each other rather than know of each other.

As I was hugging her good-bye, our typical so long, don’t want to let go hug, my niece said ‘Are you sure you don’t want to move back?’

She knows the answer, really. It’s not a want. It’s a fact. We can’t afford the Bay Area. And our lives are here in Belfast.

For the first time I was missing my Belfast friends almost as much as I miss my family when I was there. Adam’s mates mum’s were putting all sorts of things up on Facebook and I was sad he missed A’s birthday and the Superhero day at the park and all that.

Even though I ache to see more of this:

Sara and AdamI made my choice 12 years ago.

And I’m usually  okay with it.


Adam is…

Five, nearly six
50 pounds
Nearly four feet tall

And as of today

Officially Autistic.

It’s nice to have it official.

It’s nice to be able to say “Adam is autistic” rather then “Adam has as yet undiagnosed SEN”.

I used to think ASD was a terrifying thing. That it meant the person was broken, unfixable.

Now I know there is nothing to fix. Just a brain that is wired differently.

He’s in good company. Many people who have accomplished many amazing things are on the spectrum or suspected to be so.

I am sure whatever he becomes, he will be amazing too.

And, yes, you read that right.

He’s 46.8 inches as of a few months ago.

Or the average size of a 7 year old.

My good, big boy, as always.

So, Yesterday…

Was my 46th birthday.

I’ve been struggling quite a lot with this birthday and I’m not really sure why.

I mean, I know part of it is that I’m now officially closer to 50 than 40 and 50 seems huge.

40 wasn’t huge because I was 20 weeks pregnant at the time with the baby that would become my wonderful little boy. So I was huge, but the birthday wasn’t. 😀

me and adam today and yesterday

Adam when he was the baby on the interior and yesterday when he was the boy waiting for the school bus.


I am, for the most part, happy and content with my life. I have a husband and son whom I love. I have more creative energy than I’ve had at any point in my history. And I enjoy what I do every day.

Yes, I’m sore. A lot. My arms ache and my legs ache and I’m tired a lot of the time. Such is life with Fibromayalgia, after all.

But I’ve been spending the time leading up to yesterday trying to figure out why it seems so huge and reflecting on my life.

And I recognize that I am not where I thought I’d be by this time in my life. I thought I’d be a published writer (well, I am, but only on the ‘net) and/or a professional theatre designer or at least fairly high up in the career that I started on at Kaiser about 20 years ago.

All of which was derailed, very firmly, by my first psychotic break at 25.

But I am, as I said, happy and content.

So why is 46 so hard?

It’s not the signs of ageing. I know I don’t look 46, for one thing. And I don’t really mind the signs that do show my age; my grey hair, my laugh and frown lines and the fact that I seem to be getting my mother’s hands, but without her lovely long thin fingers. 😀

So…why is 46 so hard?!

I have no idea…


Lessons From The Not Quite 5 Year Old…

“What did you do today mummy?”

“Well, I walked you to school and then I went to the GP’s office for prescriptions and then to the chemist to get them filled and then to the supermarket for bread and pancakes and cereal bars. And then I came home and had a coffee and did some knitting and then had some lunch and then came to meet your bus. So, really, I did nothing today because I’m not feeling well. Again.”

“But you took me to school and then went to the chemist and the supermarket!”

“True, but I meant I didn’t do any housework today, like I had wanted to.”

“But you knitted! That’s housework!”

“Is it?”

“Yes.” With nearly 5 year old conviction. “You did lots today.”

One Thing I Haven’t Been Not Writing About

is Adam. I don’t have any drafts with his name on them.

There’s a few reasons for that.

Reason one is that he is older now and eventually will find himself on here, using some tech that I can’t even imagine yet, I’m sure. At that point I will remove him, if he so wishes. But I am not going to add much more about him.

Another reason is I’m still processing the fact that my son is developmentally delayed. Possibly Autistic.

I talk about it in real life with no problem. I insist I’m fine. I do everything I can to get him assessed and helped and so on. And things are falling into place, at school and with OT and other help.

But just about a year ago those words were used with regard to my son. Autistic. Delayed. Different. Not neurologically typical, but special needs. Not NT. SN.

From the moment his preschool teacher told me she wasn’t even sure he could talk, as he didn’t say a word for at least the first 2 weeks of school, I knew there was going to be something beyond him being shy. The way a mother knows.

And then the first assessments started happening. And a social and interaction delay was confirmed. And fine and gross motor skills delay was confirmed. And yet, he thrived.

He made friends. He has a gang who have continued into P1 with him.

And he continues to thrive.

And he’s still my funny, sweet, kind, polite little boy.

Who needs some special help.

It’s a banner day here at Tee’s Blog…

I have 5 whole followers! I love you all!

Yes, I’ve been drinking. And trying to ignore Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on the TV. I thought the book was over rated. The film is not much better. Simon is, maybe enjoying it.

Sorry. I’m suppose to be political now, right?

Well, I’m pissed as hell that Obama has said the US won’t boycott Russian Olympics. Fuck off.

I’m none too happy that parades in Belfast always end in violence these days. Fuck off.

I’m just, in general, kinda angry at the world tonight. Fuck off.

In other news, Adam’s new nose spray seems to be easing his snoring. No snoring will, hopefully, mean a better nights sleep and no adenoid removal surgery in his future. It does mean, however, that he’s harder to hear on the monitor.

I should probably get to bed.

Fuck off.