Tilly2Tone Says
its nearly happy birthday

My damn life got in the way again and this correspondence is so overdue it might as well have been posted in the 19forties without a stamp. Even striking postmen or postwomen (do postwomen strike?) couldn't have delayed it for much longer.

So George sang all those years ago reflecting on his life, and his belief in the truth that all u need is love. I believe too George, your mates wrote some cracking songs and the underlying message was always the same.

At the end of the long day, if u can put the keys in and open your door, and have someone tell u they have missed u and love u, what else matters. Thats not a question (see any question mark?), it is a statement.

I have that.

I am a very lucky fuzzbomb and tilly2tone is a beautiful vegemite sandwich.

I am luckier still.

Between tilly2tone and me, (I don't use I), we have 4 children. Lets pretend that when I walk in thru the door each evening, those 4 cherubs run 2 me and jump into my arms and we struggle to the sofa giggling.

They sit and tell me about their day. Excited by their school friend interactions. We kick the ball around or play catch in the back yard for a while. The sun sinks lower and the temperature drops to something more bearable. Dinner is ready, and we all chat; and laugh; and eat everything in sight.

tilly2tone and I (sigh) are happy that they are happy, and we all wander to each of our favourite places in our home settling into the evening.

Scratch that paragraph - Well I did say pretend - Rewind and rewrite.

I am luckier still.

Between tilly2tone and me, (I seldom use I), we have 4 children. When I walk in thru the door each evening, those 4 cherubs are scattered throughout our home. Their presence confirmed by a variety of loud music, running water, and half drunk glasses of cordial. All of which will still be there, albeit a lot warmer, at bedtime.

I pop my head around whatever door each is hiding behind and welcome myself into their afternoon. I usually get a hi dad. Always a cuddle from the younger ones (they'll soon start resisting that impulse), and I am quickly, implicitly dismissed by a turn of the head. They resume whatever activity they were concentrating on before I interrupted.

Unless it's homework.

My current quest in life is to discover how kids can circumnavigate internet parental controls; create a multitude of online accounts, personas and avatars; and are able to do endless research on topics that actually interest them. Yet still claim they can't do their homework because its too hard.

Dinner is ready, and we all chat or grunt our way thru to half eaten meals. Each asks to be excused before the evenings allotted pc time expires.

tilly2tone and I sigh, but are happy that they are happy. And we wander to the sofa with a glass of wine (each of course) and settle into each others arms for the evening.

Children get older.

I'm getting older

tilly2tone isn't. Shes forever 32. Her age when I first met her.

Love doesn't age either. And where our children are concerned it is eternal and unconditional.

what do you want

My daughter currently thinks I'm an idiot because I restrict her use of makeup. Socialising on a school night. And disapprove of a boy who is 2 years older than her. She has a school detention this Friday because she chose to ignore uniform rules.

Who's the idiot?

My eldest son is struggling with himself and his own disinterest in the final year of school. He needs help which I'm finding it difficult to give as I can't distinguish between teenage arrogant laziness, and teenage depression.

Don't worry, I've asked for help.

He has no motivation. Thinks his friends and he are cool at failing school. And he has more bravado and front than mick jagger. He thinks I'm an idiot for trying to sort his life out and open his eyes to his responsibilities for his own future.

Unbeknownst to him, his mates have been secretly catching up with school work, and progressing into the final year at school. He has burnt that bridge to a cinder and has no option but to redo the entire year - in another school.

Whos the idiot?

My youngest son is yet to enter teenageville, and is active, social and interested.

My youngest, newest daughter still watches the skies for Santa on Christmas Eve.

If I am as relaxed a parent as I have been with the older 2 - evidence for that being not following through with consequences to misbehaviour, being charmed by their apologies and company, being misled by the fear of being hated for all time - then I will accept that I am an idiot.

It's not too late to be a good parent. Never too late in fact. Boundaries, rules, discipline and consequences are all foundations of being one. Along with kindness, support, attention and love.

It is so hard.

And I still, frequently make mistakes when I am not strong enough to be firm. But I am trying. And I am getting better.

Right tilly2tone?

you are so difficult to buy for Leek o x o {now go and listen to something lovely: george harrison all those years ago