10 June 2012

The boys are back in town...

Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)

As if five is enough...some will be..compressed.

1. John
2. The boys
3. Nicky and hers
4. My Nonna and Nonno (both dead.)
5. The rest of my family, Mrs Hudson, Sally, countless friends. All of you. (I know that's cheating.)

Day Seven: Four turn-offs.
Day Eight: Three turn-ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.

So, yes, we're back. Have a picture of a little sort of...castle-y turret thing. There may have been hiding and snogging inside it, until we were discovered with the announcement 'kissing is SO BORING! There's an owl pellet over here, come and see!'.

Yes, a perfectly good kiss interrupted by seeing the regurgitated remains of a vole, or something...welcome to having kids :)

John's parents were...well, it was interesting to meet them. John's mum, Louisa, has a PhD in disapproving glares. (Yeah, can see where he got that from now. Except his aren't as frequent. Or...icy.)

His Dad's a little easier going, but then, we had things in common to talk about. Or at least, Arsenal in common. I think seeing them briefly was for the best. And maybe if they venture down south they can come and visit us for a day or something.

It's odd, isn't it? I mean, my family is hardly your average clan, and we've got our problems, but our have usually been discussed, loudly, with lots of swearing and accusation and fights. John's family is definitely more the silent-disapproval sort. I don't think either is ideal. I hope we find some middle ground with the boys. Although I don't think it's ever easy.


pandabob said...

People who mean a lot should have been day 1 giving you ten opportunities but it looks like you would have had to group people together anyway which is a rather nice thing :-)

Families are a mystery really and you have to be prepared for the fact that the boys will see some of the things you do as being 'wrong' when they grow up but you can only do what you think is right at the time.

'they screw you up your parents do, they give you all their hang up's and some especially for you' ;-)


Ryo said...

Yeah, there are definitely plenty of ways for families to be dysfunctional... :) Fortunately, people are pretty resilient. I don't have kids myself, but I taught for a while, and it seems to me that you just have accept that you won't be perfect. Try your best, don't be afraid to admit it when you make a mistake, and make it clear that you care about them and things generally work out.

My 5 (agree that it could be much longer, though not having kids or an SO is helpful):

1. Janet
2. Megan
3. Ana
4. Larry
5. My family (lots of people in this category)


Anonymous said...

Maybe next time you meet with John's mum you can get together with her in the kitchen and ask her about making suet pudding. I think you two might have creating good food in common, anyway.

I've been thinking about this day, and have a list, but it is by no means complete! And as for order... pfah! Who needs order?

1. "My" library kids.
2. My direct supervisor.
3. My middle sister.
4. My mom.
5. My best friend.

John H. D. Watson said...

L - thanks. Don't think I would've survived that weekend without you.

Greg Lestrade said...

Mmm. Don't think you'd have done it if I hadn't made you, so... well, thanks. It was...I don't know. I'm glad they've met us. Glad we've met them. Wish it had been easier for you.

John H. D. Watson said...

You didn't make me. It's fine. It's probably all in my head anyway.

Greg Lestrade said...

It's not all in your head. Don't think that's how it works. I'm going into it from nothing, and they're being all super-polite because I'm a stranger.

You're going into with a lifetime of experiences.

It's totally different.

Anonymous said...

Silent disapproval is very difficult to deal with, you can't fight it without making it worse.

Greg Lestrade said...

I don't think any disapproval from parents is that easy, is it?

Anonymous said...

No, it's a proper bugger! I know my parents loved me but I know that in some ways I was a disappointment to them, especially to my dad. What it does do is make you second guess everything you do even though it doesn't help.

Anonymous said...

I was told by my mother that I was too clever for my own good and she didn't like it(therefore me)

being dissapproved of by your parents for being too good at something messes with your head more than it should but at least she told me what it was that bothered her. I can now pretend not to know as much about things she knows about as she does and she can believe she is educating me. That to me is better than her just not liking me and not telling me why, tis still a pain in the neck though!

(I'm not that clever really)

Anon Without A Name said...

I've cheated bit, like you did, Lestrade, by bunching people together:

1. My husband

2. My next-best mate

3. My other close friends

4. My Mum

5. My brothers and their families, brother in law and his family.

Families are, in my experience, weird. All of them, just in different ways. All parental disapproval is painful, but there's some kinds of disapproval you can engage with, debate, and ultimately decide whether to ignore or not; silent disapproval is much more difficult to deal with, just like passive-aggressiveness is.

I just can't imagine what there is to disapprove of, frankly.

Greg Lestrade said...

I think I grew up with a bit of both. Mum, who was entirely happy to point out everyone's faults, loudly and often, and belittle anyone's attempts to better themselves. In my old age, I now presume this was to make herself feel better about her life and choices.

And my Dad, who left. Perhaps the most silent of disapproval? I don't know. I do think about him a lot now, though. Think what it'd be like if I could show him how my life turned out, now that I'm finally proud of it. Think about what I'd say to him, or ask him, about why he left us, now I've got the boys and know I couldn't leave them like that.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother never smiled. Well, almost never. We have exactly one picture of her where her expression could be called a smile and that's because she was being teased by her oldest friend at the time. When I was a child, I thought it was because she didn't really want to be with us. (She came to live with us after my father left.)

Turns out she didn't smile because after she got false teeth someone told her that her smile looked fake. (She also had the kind of face that looks a bit frowny anyway, even in repose, which didn't help. My aunt has the same kind of chin, and she looks crankier than she really is too, but I know her better.)


pandabob said...

Greg - parents don't leave because they dissapprove of their children, it has nothing to do with the children. There is nothing Sherlock or Mycroft could do to make you leave them, their existence on this earth is enough to make you stay right there with them forever whatever they choose to do in their lives and however you feel about their decisions you will love them and be right there beside them supporting and loving them. :-)

Thinking about your dad is understandable when you are enjoying a dad type role with your boys, you should be proud of the life you lead with John and the boys, they are lucky to have such a lovely person as you loving them all and you are just as lucky to be able to experience the truely unconditional love they have for you.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with anonybob on this one. My dad left when I was seven and got back together with my mom when I was fourteen, and it had nothing to do with us kids at all. Either time.


Desert Wanderer said...

Maybe it'd have been easier for you to do five people who aren't important to you? ;)

Yes, a perfectly good kiss interrupted by seeing the regurgitated remains of a vole, or something...welcome to having kids :)

That smile at the end proves you're just an old softie. :)

REReader said...

How's the traveling going, DW--home yet?

Desert Wanderer said...

Yeah, been home for a couple of hours. Feeling a bit...off kilter, though. Like a sea urchin caught up in a washing machine.

REReader said...


Not really surprising though, what with having your circadian cycle flipped on its head and now back again. I hope you are able to catch up on some sleep pretty soon.

Greg Lestrade said...

I'm not suggesting that at 3 years old I had the power to drive my dad away. Bit he had plenty of opportunities to see us when we were growing up, and he never took them up.

I'm glad he left, but is also have liked to have kept in some kind of contact, now. Although since I've been an adult that's as much my fault as his.

Anon Without A Name said...

Although since I've been an adult that's as much my fault as his.

I think it's possible that the word you wanted there was "choice", not "fault". Fault implies that you've done something wrong, and you haven't. It's not like you owe the man anything.

Welcome home, DW :-)

REReader said...

Well said, Nameless.

Desert Wanderer said...

I have to admit, I don't really understand that, Lestrade. Im of the opinion that once you've severed ties emotionally with the family by abandoning it, you have to make the decision to come back; I'm not going to go out of my way to seek you. You're clearly kinder than I.

Anonymous said...

The difference in generations matters, though, DW. I was in my late twenties before I found out that I had half siblings. My father had married his high school sweetheart before he went off to WWII, and they had three kids, thanks to furloughs. But when they tried to live together after the war it didn't work out. By the time my mom met him, my dad was divorced, and his ex-wife had custody of the kids because the psychology of the day said it was better for them. Later, that same consideration came into play when he was asked to give them up on a legal basis so that they could be adopted by his ex's new husband.

My mom said it half-killed him to sign the papers and give up all visitation rights, but he did it, because the advice that he got was that it would be much easier on those children if he cut himself out of their lives entirely.

(When he left us, he did send presents now and then, but that's because my mom wouldn't let him divorce her. They never did more than a legal separation. But he was still very very absent, to the point that I told schoolmates that he was dead because it was easier to explain and stopped the questions.)

In any case, regardless of the advice my father got, my half-sibs clearly resent what happened. My half-sister was in contact for a short while, but her brothers were so angry with her for talking to us that she explained that she really couldn't write us anymore.

I think that happened often enough in the fifties and early sixties that now the psychologists encourage parents to stay in contact with their kids even if they can't really live with their ex-spouse anymore.

Greg Lestrade said...

You're all very kind, bit I think some of you are imagining my reasons for wanting to see him again ate more virtuous than they are.

I'd like to ask him questions, about us, his health, our (inevitable, I think) half brothers and sisters we don't know about.

And there's a certain amount of wanting him to see what Nicky and I have achieved without him.

I wouldn't wish him to be a big part of my.life.

Anonymous said...

It must be more difficult for you L, he didn't exactly leave you in optimal conditions and he must have known that, I think your reasons for wanting to see him are very understandable.

The health thing is a biggy. Friend of mine was adopted and one of the things he found difficult was being asked about health issues that might run in families, he never could answer the questions.

Lancs. Anon

Anonymous said...

five people who mean a lot

1. my kids
2. my family
3. my friend who I see rarely but its like we saw each other yesterday everytime we meet.
4. The people here who always care about each others good times and bad times and are generally lovely to each other.
5. the man I had in my life and let go of due to my own stupidity, he means a lot and we're still in contact but I will never tell him now he's with someone else because his happiness is the most important thing to me.

Anon because I'm too wimpish to put my name to it.

Anonymous said...

I think those are legitimate questions, L. And virtuous, actually, since you seem to have gone past the urge to hunt him down and slug him.

I have kind of an odd view of the whole situation just because my parents did get back together when I was fourteen, and I had a chance to work out some of the resentment toward my dad that my sisters, who left home sooner, didn't get before he died. But the whole discussion is reminding me of him a lot. He wasn't a great parent in a lot of ways. He and my mother both told me, on separate occasions, that what they had was a great love affair and a lousy marriage, though, and I'm kind of glad I had a chance to witness that love for each other when I was old enough to understand and appreciate it.

Greg Lestrade said...

RSF - i cant pretend that the urge to punch him wouldn't appear, fi I did meet him. But all it would do is bring me down to his level.

Lancs. Anon - he didn't, no. Although things were briefly better after he left. At least no one was hitting us for a bit.

Also, I know his father died of prostate cancer. Well, I think i can safely say mine is checked on more thoroughly than most! So at least I dont worry too much about that :)

Anon - there's nothing wimpish about wanting to share, but also wanting the privacy of being Anon, nothing at all. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, my father only ever hit my mother once, and it scared him so much he never did it again. And he never hit us. He was a drunk, but he wasn't a violent drunk. One of the best conversations I ever had with him he was too drunk to get up and go into the house. Which I didn't realize until after we'd talked for twenty minutes.

It also took me far too long to twig to your prostate cancer comment, though, so I'm not the swiftest boat in the puddle. ;)

Anonymous said...

It feels kind of wimpish to say the people here mean a lot to me and then not let them know who I am but thanks :)

I know you didn't come out of your childhood completely unscathed Greg but the fact that you know you would hold back from violence against someone who did the things he did to you is pretty dam impressive!

anon who will now go back to not being anon ;)

Anon Without A Name said...

I wasn't assuming that you had stunningly virtuous reasons for wanting to speak to your Dad, Lestrade; I was just concerned that you seem to be taking on blame where none exists. It's his fault that the two of you aren't in contact; in part because he hasn't made contact, and in part because he was a drunken violent bastard who wasn't missed by his kids.

I can fully understand that you have questions for him, but all of the fault for the current situation lies with him, none of it lies with you.

Greg Lestrade said...

Nameless - thanks. And yeah, you're right, of course. The choice is - partly - mine. The fault isn't.

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