The Best Laid Plans...

Wednesday November 25, 2015

We had my son Tom and his Jenny home for the weekend.

(Long pause.)

Yes – we never realised how calm and ordered our life was until Tom joined our family. He arrives and chaos rushes in right on his heels! My moderately tidy house suddenly has clothes and sporting equipment scattered everywhere. My fridge is raided. His sisters acquire new pets. Fortunately this time he did actually ask first, so it was stick insects only and not the snake he had contemplated bringing.

So yes, we had plans for the weekend. But – as my lovely son says, with a huge grin on his face. "Mum – you make plans, but then I happen!"

And of course, he had ideas of his own. And as the chaos that follows him has the force of a hurricane, those ideas happen – somehow - and we all get swept along for the ride.

Don't get me wrong – it's a great ride! I just didn't plan on spending my Saturday in the snowdome at Milton Keynes rushing down an icy slope on a toboggan about the size of a ten pence piece! I'd planned all our meals and shopped carefully but instead we all ended up grazing our way through the weekend, or having meals a lot later than scheduled and eating different things to those on the menu.

There are two ways of dealing with Tom. You can fight him and get incredibly stressed or you can relax and go with the flow.

The second way is usually best. Because while Tom is a hurricane, he is also incredibly centred and the calm eye of the storm.

He will listen – but you have to let him know clearly what you want to do, why you want to do it and why it's important. We all have to compromise. So Sunday lunch with my mother was ordered and civilized. (phew!)

We knew when we adopted Tom that there would be turbulent times ahead. He is an adult, and he has his own way of doing things. Because we didn't have any part in his upbringing, his ways are foreign to us, just as much as if he were a refugee from another country. Our ways are foreign to him.

So when he's not with us our life is moderately calm and placid – a smoothly running river. With Tom it's a thrilling, exhilarating, white water ride.

We love having him in the family. Everything is better with Tom around. He shakes us out of our rut and comfort zone. We give him the security and solidity of knowing he is totally loved and accepted. We're incredibly good for each other.

Even if he did leave his roller skates behind that I had to post back to him this morning!

A Moodscope member.

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