This week’s #WASO theme is ‘Freedom’ and in many ways I should be able to write a wonderful post about how liberating this word is for my family and myself, but for some reason I am struggling to do this.
I can sit here and write about how Beeswax will repeatedly demand to be able to do what he wants, when he wants, and throw in our faces, as often as possible, his history of being given as much ‘freedom’ as he wanted and being able to do as he pleased when he was living with his birth family. Personally, I don’t see allowing a 5 year old to roam the streets unattended all hours of the day to be a good thing. But hey, in his mind that is what all parents should be doing and not putting in rules and boundaries for his safety.
Beeswax would have people believe that he is locked in a tower and never given anything, especially the Xbox – OK when it comes to computer time I am pretty strict on the amount of time either of my boys are allowed on it (Beeswax especially is absolutely horrible during and after playing on it for even 30 minutes).
Now Buzzbee – well ‘freedom’ for him would probably involve spending copious amounts of time climbing trees, building dens in the woods or getting to run around without having the words like “slow down”, “Watch out”, “Please be careful” constantly being said to him.
One of the boys’ favourite places to go for ‘freedom’ is a local adventure playground, which is situated in a large private estate, where not only is there all the fantastic climbing frames, zip wires and death slides, but there is vast open space for them to play football, have stick battles and use the trees and hedges as hideouts. Best of all, is this is one of the few places we can take the boys and know that they can run around and not have to be in our eye line all of the time.
They are ‘free’ to play and relax! Which means mummy and daddy, on a good day, also have some time to relax too.
As for Bumble, well, there are people who cannot understand or believe how much ‘freedom’ I give him. Let me explain. Once a month Bumble visits his friends (and usually his family the night before) and spends the weekend playing board games and role playing (Yes, I am a roleplay widow). Now what some find difficult to understand is that, no matter how much I am struggling or the boys may be in a state for one reason or another, I still almost always make Bumble go. The same goes for if there is an evening out friends have invited us too, or Bumble has been asked to be involved with the next show his amateur dramatics/operatic group are doing.
To most it looks like I let him do what he wants and I stay at home like the good wifey keeping house and looking after the children. This is complete nonsense! Bumble always tries to fight me on them and often feels guilty about how much he gets to do, and I do not go out very much simply because I am not always comfortable in social settings, although I do love a nice black tie event.
There are 2 main reasons Bumble does the things he does. 1: I nag him until he agrees to accept invites or agrees to go for his weekends. 2: It is what he needs and it is what I need for him. A stressed out Bumble is not helpful, whereas a Bumble who is relaxed and refreshed is worth his weight in gold.
So rather than, as most people see it, Bumble being selfish, the truth is the selfish one is ME! I need Bumble on top form so he can support me when I need it.
Ok this post is waffling, but I think I kind of know where I am going with this now.
There is part of me that loathes the word ‘freedom’ and maybe it is just my depression speaking, but for me, I have heard it used one too many times when people are trying to be nice or justify something they have said or done.
There is one particular sentence, which I have heard so many times recently, that has me gritting my teeth while having to smile and agree with them – “It must feel wonderful to be free from living out of the social services microscope, now that you have formally adopted the boys and they are legally yours”
I want to scream “Yes, but I don’t feel free and sometimes I can’t help thinking I will never really be free!”
- Will I ever be free from worrying that I will say or do something that will be misinterpreted again and used against me?
- Will I ever feel free enough to allow myself to imagine a future where my little family feels like a real family and not like a warring coalition?
- Will I ever be free from my memories?
- Will I ever feel free to show Beeswax how much I care from him, without being afraid of what object, limb or verbal abuse will come flying my way?
- Will I ever feel free and truly happy ever again or will the depression keep coming and coming?
- Will I ever feel free to be open with my feelings again and not feel that I have to keep them locked inside away from all who don’t/won’t understand?
Ok that list could go on for quite some time and I definitely don’t want to end this post on a sour/negative note.
So this is one area where I am very much like my boys – I love the ‘freedom’ of the outdoors. I am definitely no tree climber and as for high up slides or climbing frames – well let’s just say the boys would be rescuing me not the other way around. One of the beauties of living in a rural area is there is so much open space. I love the early morning walks with Beedog, listening to the birds singing and the gentle distant rumbling of the cars on the motorway – it is one of the few moments in my day when everything feels so peaceful and calm. Being brought up in a part of the country that, not only has the sea, but beautiful moorlands, rivers and lakes, I am drawn to places of natural beauty even if very close by there is a busy road or noisy factory. I like to find my own piece of heaven, to regroup. For years before I moved away from my family home, this was a little secluded jetty near an estuary underneath a busy road and train bridge that connected two counties together. Again I could still hear the rumbling of traffic on the bridge, but underneath that bridge, on that jetty watching the water gently lapping on the sides of the boats and rocks, I felt a million miles away and ‘FREE’.