Sunday, 26 April 2009

All out of sorts

Oh dear. All out of sorts today. Sobbed over the breakfast bagel. Grizzled into my coffee (not the usual decaf so this blog may speed up over the next few minutes and become unintelligible). Crying and low because I’m off on an all-expenses paid trip to Florida? Eh? Well, no. Crying and low because as I waved my boy off to school I could see him grapple with his emotions and bite back his own tears. He couldn’t wave because his arm was in a sling.
Why is it that something always happens just when you’re set to go away somewhere?
Yesterday I should have been packing but it was the last rugby match of the season and a tournament to boot. James loves rugby and is a hugely physical player. He tackles tough and hard and so often ends up at the bottom of a pile of boys. Boys who are getting bigger and heavier with bigger and heavier feet.
As a brief aside I’m getting really concerned about boys’ feet. A classmate of James’ has size 8s (he’s only nine years old). Having a chance conversation with the man in Clarks the other day he said that a sixteen year old came in with size sixteen feet. It’s getting a bit scary really.
But anyhow…..back to the rugby. Third game. Tough match. James took the legs of some massive child and thudded to the ground. Barrel of boys jumped on top. Eventually clambered out and came off limping with a line of stud marks across his thigh. But it was his hand that really hurt. St John’s Ambulance said take him to casualty so we shot off down the motorway and played tag with the various A&E departments. Went to Tiverton (‘it’s further but will be less crowded than Taunton’). Waited ages. Needed X-ray but not open after 4pm on Sundays. They put him in plaster and dispatched us to Taunton. Back up the motorway. Waited ages. They took off the plaster. Examined him again. He needed an X-ray (really?). X-ray inconclusive. Plastered him again and told us we needed to see the fracture specialist. In Tiverton.

Poor lad is distraught. While he had been quite sanguine about my going away when feeling well and with several cricket matches to look forward to, the prospect of my leaving when he was bandaged up and in pain was quite different. He sobbed. Came into bed with me and I sat and stroked his forehead. And felt like a heel. As I’ve said before, I never consider myself the archetypal maternal type but I love my boy to bits. So fiercely that it hurts and never more than when he hurts. It’s a cliché but I really would take on his pain and, while pretty cowardly in the main, would give up my life in a second if it meant he survived.
‘Get a grip,’ said Adrian, ever the pragmatist. ‘He’s hurt his thumb. You’re acting like he’d been given a week to live. At least he wasn’t stretchered off like that other boy, with his neck in a cast.’ True. More to the point, he wasn’t taken off with blood pouring from his mouth and a wobbling front tooth, like his team mate. Ever since I knocked out a tooth at a nightclub (don’t ask), I go cold at the thought of teeth flying. (I know, I know, this sounds like Hermione in Harry Potter - 'we could die or, even worse, be expelled' bit.)

But I live to worry and, having been ridiculed out of concern about his (possibly fractured) thumb, my ever-inventive mind turned elsewhere.
‘Mexican swine fever,’ I said, forlornly. ‘I’m flying to the US.’
‘Florida,’ said Adrian. ‘Not Mexico.’
‘Gulf of Mexico. Close enough. I could catch it and bring it back and infect the whole of Exmoor.’
He rolled his eyes. ‘Go and pack.’
Half an hour later I came down wailing again.
‘For God’s sake. What now?’
‘Nothing fits. Nothing goes with anything else. It’s a disaster.’
He bit his lip and I could see him mentally counting to ten.
‘I don’t think I should go.’
‘What? Because the boy has hurt his thumb; because of swine fever or because you feel fat in what passes for your summer wardrobe? Honestly?’
Honestly? I’m tempted to be flippant for the sake of a cheap laugh but truthfully I will miss my little boy. I had been feeling like a fraud about this trip as I don’t think of myself as a ‘mummy blogger’ but hey, maybe I am after all.

PS – will miss Adrian as well, of course….(hi darling! Know he reads this from time to time). Pic is of my two boys whittling (how right and proper is that?)


Milla said...

oh how sweet. Good old Adrian and his get a grip, very funny. Am alarmed that there are boys even bigger than James in his rugby. What is wrong with the ones up here!! Even T12 is smaller than James, I must feed them on industrial strength porridge or something to help them catch up. Although someone in T's class has SIZE 11 feet!!! T has 4, I think, very Chinese hobble.
DO hope James' thumb is better; hey, thumbs have feelings, too, Adrian! He can refer to it as a war wound. T would, he'd make a whole documentary about it, he always does, the mapping of wounds. Exhausting. F, on the other hand (ho ho) could have his thumb bitten off and wouldn't notice.
I feel I've been internettally waving you off on this trip for months, this is the last have a good time I'm going to do, yah boo. xxx

maddie said...

Aw, Jane, I feel for you I really do. My boy is coming up to 20 now and he's still the little baby I gazed at in wonder when I'd just had him in hospital. This is one of those 'testing' moments. But it'll be fine while you're away. Lots of male bonding between father and son, the novelty (for a while) of a plaster cast and the knowledge that you'll come back wearing Mickey Mouse ears and laden with gifts and lots of stories.
You would have felt like this about going, anyway, with or without the rugby injury. It just compounds it, that's all. Gives you a reason to chicken out. Just do it...
Chin up old girl and have fun.

Minnie said...

Bon voyage, Jane - if it's not too late. I love Maddie Grigg's comments about J's injury etc.: bet they turn out to be prescient as well as helpful. Bonds likely to end up stronger all round (absence, and all that).
Have a great time.

Pipany said...

Oh Jane, I would be EXACTLY the same. I can't even go into town on my own for fear they are feeling left out!!! Drive them and Dave mad, but when they are hurt it is you they want - right up until the very second you disappear from sight! It's not that they are manipulative, just that you are the preferred option, but they are quite happy with the alternative if that's what they get (while you have an entire trip riddled with bloody guilt for a change).
Go, try to enjoy and he will be fine. Hate rugby anyway...far too rough xx

Mopsa said...

Home is always best, and a trip away does wonders for appreciating home and all its people and things even more. And anyway, it's raining so you dont have to worry about the summer wardrobe yet, and everyone in Florida will be HUGE, and you'll be teeny tiny..

mountainear said...

Go. Now. And enjoy. They'll be fine and so will you.

Tell us all about it when you come back. x

Cat said...

You could not have a chosen a better month to go. They'll be fine. I go thru this all the time and it's just the Mom thing. Have a good time.


Ah, whittling - now that takes me back... Poor old James, but still, I think it's a right of passage of sorts to be taken to casualty with a rugby injury (and, yes - thank goodness it wasn't of the blood-gushing, teeth-spitting or neck brace variety). And it always seems to happen at a point when you're going to feel maximum guilt. Honestly, he will be fine. Bring him back something ghastly from Florida and tell him what a grim time you had without him and he'll roll his eyes and forgive you in a trice, if not sooner. But really, did that boy have size 16 feet? Good grief!

DD's Diary said...

Know just how you feel - woke up at 3am thinking how ridiculously self-indulgent the trip is, while my poor children are being shuttled between friends a result, am knackered and the packing is pretty random ... but I have a feeling we'll have fun. Maybe, like L'Oreal says, we're worth it! And it's certainly not every day ....see you tomorrow anyway!

Frances said...

Hello Jane,

Bet that you are already on your way to the airport as I type this. All the same, I will continue typing, to say how much I like the photo of the whittlers. It is a classic.

It must indeed be hard to leave your lads, but I'll agree with others' comments. They will muddle through, and you will get a huge welcome home.

Have fun on your trip! xo

Sally Townsend said...

You want me to step in at the last moment, is that it ? x

Lindsay said...

You will probably be back home by the time this reaches you - hope you had a good time - bet you did!

My boy (now 40) broke 3 ankles in the space of 3 years playing rugby. Looking back on it I think it was a good thing because he had "strange" weak knees inherited from me and consequently did them no damage and has not needed the 20 or so ops that I have had on mine!

S said...

They'll be fine...some real quality father and son time. They'll probably have as many tales to tell as you when you return!!


Faith said...

I know it's awful to leave them when there are ill, but this is the stuff that makes a little man of a boy I suppose! I don't know, I've only got girls! What I'm intrigued is how you got an all expenses paid trip? Feet do stop growing by the way - when my daughter got to 7's when she was only 12 I was worried, but there she stopped. Have a great trip!

(the word veri is 'snati' - do I sound a bit snati, sorry if I do!)

Tessa said...

Poor injured soldier, poor injured you because of it. He will be fine after you've left. I know...usless saying that to devoted Mum, but he will.

Kitty said...

Oh Jane - I know exactly how you feel. I'm a non-maternal mother-of-an-only-son and that is a scary phrase. It equals fierce.
And The very phrase Mummy Blogger - Mummy anything, in fact - brings me out in a rash, but Mummies we are, and being a Mummy is the most important thing on this earth while they're still needing us to be their Mummies in such a way.
I hope you're in the air now, on your way, and you will have a lovely time and come back with Minnie and Mickey matching ears for you and Adrian and a whole bag full of hideous tat for James.

Size 16? Phew. H at 9 is 4, his classmate at (just) 10 is 9. Still, on the bright side, I get H's old crocs now for garden shoes!

Jane Le Galloudec said...

Being a mum of two lads who both have canal boats for shoes, I sympathise. My two girls are one size bigger than me too. It must be an evolution thing... oh and the boys will have a whale of a time without you so don't give them more than a fleeting glance... go have a ball!!

Fennie said...

Just go. And forget. Give him a chance to manage without you. To show you that he's now a big brave soldier. Of course you feel bad but it's your end of his broken arm (or thumb that's hurting): it will mend. We shall all be rooting for you and for James. Have a hug - a berludy big hug if you are in the market for hugs - give James a hug too. Then put the guilt in a bottle and leave it behind. You both will be fine. Worse things happen at sea.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Oh I know jane, I do. I had a rugby playing son too and it is heart in the mouth stuff. Btw, did I mention how extraordinarily beautiful your boy is? One of the best looking boys I have ever seen, including my own. It must be good genes.
Have a great time and come back laden with pressies and full of the love of home!

Carah Boden said...

Right you, I'm going to give you a talking too. Have had crap day - all pathetic, tired and weepy too. Feel a complete failure. All this set off by missing the bus REALLY badly this morning (I have taken pride in only missing it a handful of times in 3 years and only missing it by a LITTLE bit when I'm renowned for my lateness) and then learning that my unathletic friend has completed the London Marathon in 5 hours and doesn't even seem tired today (I would be polaxed) AND that our friend in common, my youngest's Godmother, is going on a blogger/journo press trip to.....DISNEY. Yes, woman, my great mate and you are SO MUCH MORE SUCCESSFUL BLOGGERS (let alone journalist, in your case) that you are going to have a hilarious time together in Disney, getting to know eachother, when you have been my 'friend' for far longer and I've never even met you. I AM COMPLETELY DISTRAUGHT and have been weeping into a friend's arms for the past three hours cursing the unfairness of it all!!! I cannot believe you two are going to meet eachother. AND in Florida sunshine AND I was more of a freelance journo than she ever was (she had the glitzy music biz career that I was ALSO jealous of), let alone the sort of PR who organised press trips like this, yet despite all these impressive credentials, I'm stuck up here in the rain in the peak district crying into my soup (to keep me warm). Stomp, stomp, door slam, door slam. Petulant teenager feeling sorry for herself act.
Ps: have hairy toes and fingers too. Thought I was alone in the world with this. Hurts when you wax them. Have moustache as well. Likewise hate the idea of Disney but everyone tells me it's great...will have to take the plunge one day I guess. And yes, you will seem sylph-like compared to the average Floridian. Think I've just made that word up. Confusing references to your previous posts. Sorry. Am too distraught and jealous to be coherent! Know what you mean about children being hurt and you abandoning them for own pleasures. Always makes you feel crap. STILL CANNOT BELIEVE YOU AND L ARE ON THIS TRIP TOGETHER!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Aw Jane, hard times with boys growing up and beating the hell out of each other in the rucks. But I think this does conclusively prove that you are indeed a mummy-blogger!
Have a wonderful time - and mind those pigs... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Eat chocolate quick!

When you bring him all the stuff back he'll be glad you went.

Have a smashing time and tell us all about it when you get back,


claire p said...

We are so alike. I worry about Jamie even when there's nothing to worry about, hell I just worry!

I haven't got my summer wardrobe out yet, everytime I threaten to it rains. But I'm dreading it.

Jamie is 5 and has child size 11 feet. Mind you that's the sotos (affect their growth so they tend to be bigger).

Hope James is better soon and that you have a good time in spite of yourself.

Jan said...

Yours sounds a very nice lot.
Several members of my family have 2 feet ( OK, Yes, I know!) but several have one foot a whole size bigger than t'other.
My brother has had this enscibed on his passport for years.
But I don't think anyone has ever checked it out..

Nutty Gnome said...

Sounds to me like you're the one doing the whittling!!! I guess you would have felt like this about going away even without James' thumb injury, but at least James can boast about his roughty-toughty rugby injury and be all recovered by the time you get back!

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful, wonderful time! The trip will be great for you and for your boys - and just think of the welcome home you're going to get!

Calico Kate said...

And you let him use a knife to whittle......!!!!!!!!
Sorry! You are so right. But you also need to go.
Have a blast.

Anonymous said...