In times of stress

It’s tough going at the moment. There’s a lot of stress for me. My other half is stressed too. I just found out that my mum has a back injury. It’s not good at the moment.

I’ve lived in this house for 5 years (nearly) and in the South for 17 years, yet in times of stress I want my home. My Glen. The Glen. (You’ll only get that reference if you’re from the area).

I want to go for a walk after dinner to the waterfall and drink malt whisky from my hip flask – while sitting on a rock in the middle of the river.

I want to listen to the noise of the Glen. The River. The sheep. The cows. The burn. The fox cries. The silence and then, the banter. There’s always banter in the Glen.

OK, so I’m homesick. I’ve been having a glass or two of wine and I’ve been watching Monarch. They’ve been to the cemetery on the hill. We’ve got one of those. I remember my first hike up there (Kindrogan Hill) to the cemetery. I must have been 13 years old. It was a wild walk. Deepest, dark pine forest – the light struggling through the needles to reach you. The smell of the pine. The worn dirt track, rough underfoot. Warm from the hike, I relished the cool air of the sheltered path to the cemetery where the local ‘laird(s)’ and his family are buried.

Last year, I took my step sons to the very same cemetery (with my Mum along for the walk). It was a trek for them, but they quite liked the history lesson, thanks to Mum. We saw deer, listened to the wildlife and watched a Buzzard do its stuff. But, for me, the sight I found was heartbreaking. The walls of the cemetery overgrown, and the graves not easily distinguishable from the weeds. There are no trees any more. There’s no path. There are no fresh flowers. The forest reached its ‘peak’ and so became a deforestation project for the ‘Forestry Commission’. The resulting landscape is just sad. Bare. The cemetery has lost its mystery. It’s neglected. It’s unloved. It’s forgotten.

I do, of course, have happy memories of the trip with J & B. We picked wild raspberries all the way home. The boys don’t like rasps when I buy them at home in Surrey. But, Scottish rasps? Any time, any place, anywhere… That’s how it should be, right??

We need happy times and happy memories to keep us going in times of stress. The Glen is one of mine.

Haste ye back…

Here we go again

Every year, around about this time, I get a little bit distracted. Not because there’s anything going on with my family, but because it’s close to the birthday of a special girl. I had a dream about her last night. I haven’t seen her for five years – almost to the day. And in one month she’ll be 12 years old.

As her ex-step-mother, I have no right to see her, or any access to be able to see her and I miss her terribly. (I have blogged about her before). I often wonder how she’s doing. I wonder how she’s growing up? Whether she’s enjoying school. Whether she’s a bright spark, a sporty miss or whether she’s just not enjoying it at all. Has she got a boyfriend? But, most of all I wonder whether she’s happy.

Unfortunately, I’ll think about her now every day until after her birthday. A little bit of me wondering if/whether/should I send her a card and if I do will it actually reach her. I know where she lives, but her mother always resented my presence in K’s life. I have my doubts whether the previous cards (birthday and christmas) ever got there.

K has a brother too. I miss him, but my relationship with him wasn’t the same. There wasn’t the same connection between us, as he’d been older when Daddy introduced his new girlfriend. K had been a baby. He was six. He was conflicted and torn between his loyalty to his Mother and the fact that he thought I was cool. Wherever he is, I hope he is happy too.

So, to all you step-parents out there – past and present – I’m sending you hugs. It’s not easy. And it’s hard if you create a bond which you lose. We all know that the rewards are high for step-parents when things are good, but very few blogs I read talk about this side of it.

Happy Birthday Kaiko

Tomorrow, 9th July, it’s the birthday of a very special little girl and I’m unable to celebrate with her, or wish her a very Happy Birthday. So, I’ll blog about her. Tomorrow she’ll be 11 yrs old. I remember meeting her for the first time – a screaming baby, in a car seat, carried by a Dad who was not confident with the screaming child. She and I became friends.

It’s four years since I last saw her, but I think of her often. Such a special girl. She’ll always have a place in my heart.

I can only hope that she remembers me, and remembers the fun, the laughs and the good times.

Miss K Kaiko, I miss you kiddo. Happy Birthday.

I blogged about being a step parent previously here – https://dht240.wordpress.com/2008/12/16/diary-of-a-step-parent/

3bts – cuddles, tea, puddy tats

I haven’t 3bt’d for a while. It’s just not been a great time for it. Life got a bit stressful on the 25th August, but now I’m hoping things are changing – for the better. Here’s my first 3bt of 2009…

1. Getting a cuddle from my step sons before they go to bed. The small one sits on my knee and pats my back as he squeezes me.

2. A cup of refreshing tea, made and drunk while we chat about Twitter and the things people say… 

3. Coming home after a long day out to find both puddy tats waiting for some attention from me. Now, the smallest sits behind my right shoulder, her paws resting on me.

Diary of a step-parent

I’m very fortunate that my BF has two gorgeous little boys. They are adorable. I love spending time with them, and over the years have come to understand that my relationship with ‘step-children’ is something that needs a lot of care and attention. Lucky for me that BF and I have been able to manage the relationship well, and that the boys are so open about their feelings. It gives us a clear view on how to handle any situation. 

I’ve been a ‘step-parent’ before too. But, unfortunately, when the relationship with the ‘real parent’ ended, so did the relationship with the children. It wasn’t a choice I made. It certainly wasn’t something I wanted. But, something I had to accept.

It’s been a while now – several birthdays and Christmas’ have been missed. The kids are older and it’s not easy for me. I haven’t seen them for some time and I often wonder what they think and how they feel.

As an ‘ex-step-parent’ you have no right to any contact with the children once the relationship ends. None whatsoever. I have often thought about the effect that has on the children…Suddenly, a once very prominent figure in their lives is gone forever.

Hmmm.