Sometimes parenting is so breathtakingly difficult, and the consequences of things going awry so utterly terrifying, that I don’t know how people continue to do this day after day. I don’t know how I ever had the audacity to attempt it once, let alone four times!
And it was just such an unexpected crisis today. I went to visit Benita at the hospital and spent an hour with a tiny, perfect newborn in my arms, and then came home to find my oldest boy a wreck, all about things that make his tiny, perfect newborn days feel a million years ago. Babies are hard work, but big kids…the hard work, and that particular terror you feel about something hurting your baby, never ends.
I’m sorry about the vagueness. It’s Nicholai’s issue, and it’s not really something I have any right to make public in any detail. Suffice to say he learned today that someone he knows on the internet is not exactly who they purported to be, and it has hit him hard.
As far as being the mum (and dad) in this situation, it’s just so fucking hard! What do you do? I can’t ban him from the internet, and I don’t want to in any case. Navigating the internet is part of today’s world, and at fifteen Nicholai isn’t exactly a child- it’s time for him to explore and make some of his own choices. And I have ‘met’ some beautiful people online, that have made very real and positive differences in my life, so in itself that isn’t something I’m against. But when the ugly side of the internet encroaches on my children, on our family…it’s very hard to know what to do.
At least in this case, Nicholai has done nothing wrong. We’ve talked about internet safety a lot, and he understands the risks and has followed the rules quite sensibly. I just hate to see him unhappy.
I also can’t help that retrospective panic over what COULD have happened. It didn’t, and I think this has been a strong lesson for Nicholai, but damn.
Anyway, apart from all that… The day was lovely! We started out with a family breakfast at Lazy Moe’s, which the kids have wanted to go to ever since they first saw it on Google maps as being near our new house and then checked it out to find a whole menu dedicated to pancakes. The reviews said the serves were huge, but I still was not quite prepared for what we were faced with! I never thought I’d meet a pancake that Emma couldn’t eat all of, but this one this morning defeated her. Actually, none of the kids finished all of their meals, but they certainly made a pretty good fists of it.
Admittedly Emma isn’t entirely well. It might be different if she had tackled this pancake in her usual good health, but she is still fighting this cold. She was feeling a little more cheerful today than yesterday, but she’s still got a cough and an awfully runny nose. Soren is much the same, so I really hope they both sleep well and are ready to face their new schools tomorrow.
I went to visit Benita after lunch, and it was lovely to see her and baby Alby. I gave her some knits and stayed for a chat, and then came home again. Dealt with Nicholai for a little bit, and then Troy and I took him with us to Bunnings, so that he could help move heavy things (metal fire pit and concrete pavers to put it on) and get his mind off things. I’m not sure how successful that was (as he’s not really a fan of being made to help move things!) but at least we got what we wanted.
With all the kids pretty keyed up about school tomorrow we wanted to keep the night as low-key and relaxing as possible, so we had toast and crumpets and soup for dinner while we watched Big Hero 6 on dvd. It was good- I really love looking at my family all snuggled up in blankets on the couch together. Fingers crossed that they all have a good day tomorrow!