29 Dec 2011


I was a skater boy.

Ha! In my dreams!

I spent most of the time between the ages of 15 and 22 wishing that I could skate. Alas, I have neither the balance nor skill to stand on a wheeled board and whizz around town, let alone make the thing jump and flip. I have spent my life since the age of 22 wishing that I could do free running.
I am 26. I have had two children. I weigh...too much, according to my BMI and indeed, clothing size. I will never be a free runner.

But it is with the skate scene that I have always most strongly identified. I wore the big, baggy jeans, the skate trainers, the band shirts. I still do, most of the time, though my jeans have become more fitted at the waist and my shirts less immense. I used to bleach my (already fair) hair regularly, until one day it went horribly wrong, and I dyed it bright purple to cover up the...greyness. This left me with a pinkish tinge for about six months and put me off dying my hair. I did recently dye it bright red. It looks awesome, but damn it's high maintenance. I will never be as scene as I used to be. This should be a blessing.

At school, I knew everyone, had very few real friends and a whole LEGION of bullies. I had that sort of face, you know - an ugly one. I grew into it eventually, but it took til I was about 16 for most boys to recognise that I was actually a woman, by which time I was in my DOOMED relationship with my future husband. I put my faith in computer games and books. Still do.

It wasn't until I met my future husband's peer group (and thus, him) that I found myself fitting in at all. I had two lives for a time, half with my exciting, punkrock boyfriend and company, half with my intensely academic schoolfriends. Then I ditched school at 17, and gave myself wholeheartedly to the skate scene and accompanying music. It was the first adult decision I ever made.

I still sit, from time to time, belting out Strung Out and Lagwagon, wishing that I could keep putting on gigs, meeting people from across the country, feeling part of my social group to the extent that I was the heart of it. Instead, I bring up my two kids, read far too much, cook and spend evenings looking at psychology courses on openlearn. Which is what I'm doing this evening, reading about how we classify ourselves into 'us' and 'them'.

As a teen, 'we' were the skaters, the misunderstood, the heroic and the artless. 'They' were literally everyone else. Parents, chavs, goths, adults, disapproving, accusing, wanting us to change, never understanding that to do so would be to deny ourselves.
Now, 'we' are the mothers, the homemakers, the people bedding into lives that we like to believe are solid and then crack open at a moment's notice. 'They' are the free, unshackled by children, by bills, responsibility and obligation.

Sometimes, I pity the teenaged for their lack of experience, and insight. Mainly I miss being that age myself, with the freedom and opportunity to do exactly what I wanted without fear of what might be.

I'm only 26. I feel twice that.

5 Dec 2011

Mental obstacle

I haven't written in an age!

It's December. I've started recieving OU emails on an almost daily basis. My course materials are despatched on 13th January. That's like...six weeks.
My Christmas shopping is complete. My 7ft Christmas tree is arriving this week. The access arrangements with the boys' father are sorted.
Oh, and my eldest is having his tonsils out on the 30th.

You see, everything else takes a backseat when you have surgery looming. He is 2 and a half. He seems quite grown up, compared to his baby brother. But he is not. He is tiny. He can count to 13. He can speak reasonably coherantly. But he has no idea what is looming.
He's already anxious about Christmas - A MAN IS COMING DOWN THE CHIMNEY? EH? - even though he simultaneously is excited. His favourite thing is Mickey Mouse. He's only just sleeping in his own bed every night and still regularly falls out. He is still in nappies.

And they are going to induce a coma, intubate him and stick a scalpel down his throat.

It's worrying on so many levels for me, and I can't let him see. He has no idea. He gets scared when he has to go to the doctors anyway (he's had tonsillitis 15 times in two years) and isn't fond of hospitals. He's never been operated on before. It's best that he knows nothing. And I will be there, every step of the way, as will his father. I have had a tonsillectomy myself, I know the procedure well and I am not especially anxious about that objectively. But he is my baby. Subjectively, I'm shitting myself.

Meanwhile, his breastfed, clingy baby brother will have to be looked after by family while I'm stuck at PCH for two days.

It's not going to ruin Christmas, and I shall be bloody glad to get rid of the infectious, insidious things for the new year. But it's a massive mental barrier blocking my ability to ready myself for study, or indeed anything else.