By 12 July 2012 No Comments

If I’d read my horoscope this week I’m sure the advice would have been to stay in bed and avoid all human contact. From about lunchtime on Wednesday onwards it’s been downhill all the way and by the time I got home yesterday conflict, confrontations and a parking ticket had me thinking it would be best for all concerned if I found a black hole to crawl into.

“Can’t do right for doing wrong,” my Grandma used to say and that pretty much sums up the mood of the last few days. But I’m a big girl and can handle a few days of tummy twisting emotional discomfort and that horrible feeling of not being safe in the world. What’s harder to deal with is seeing one of the children suffering in some way and unfortunately, keeping me company on the week’s downward spiral was Jake. Without going into all the whys and wherefores last night I had to break the news that the holiday planned for him with his father’s family in France would not be happening quite as he thought. I’d been dropping hints for the last few days that maybe things wouldn’t quite be as he expected but in his typical sunny, optimistic, nine year olds way he brushed aside my tentative words and continued to presume that the original plans were still in place. It was for me, as always, to break the news to him that certain key people in his life wouldn’t be with him on this trip. He crumbled in a way I’ve so rarely seen him do. He was inconsolable and all I could do was hold him tight, let him cry and hope that I was somehow taking all the pain away. Of course I wasn’t and couldn’t, so hot chocolate and biscuits in bed seemed like the obvious next stage in the recovery process. And then something in me flipped. The tigeress reared her head and silently roared. I wasn’t having this. Okay, so I’m not in a position to take the children away myself but, goddammit, I was going to make sure he had one hell of a summer. “A list,” I declared defiantly. “Jake, we’re going to make a list.” And so, we snuggled up in my big bed with a notepad, pen and biscuit crumbs and set to work writing down all the fun things we could do over the next six weeks. It felt great. Jake’s mood instantly brightened,as did mine and it felt so good to know that we had taken back a bit of control and were masters of our own destiny. Our list didn’t involve overseas travel and Disneyland style fairy tales but a day trip here and a sleepover there and a decent looking August was starting to take shape. ‘Our Plan B for the best summer holidays ever ‘ we called it, even going so far as to sign our names at the bottom of the page, thereby committing ourselves to making these nice things happen. Jake fell asleep a much happier boy and I drifted off thinking about what I’d put on my list, if I had one.

Today has been a much better day – onwards and upwards, best foot forward and all that. We’ve both had to roll with the punches this week and, on some level, it’s probably done us good. What’s that they say about life, lemons and lemonade? Cheers…

Emma Campbell

Author Emma Campbell

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