Social media is a strange thing. It didn’t exist when I was young, this multiple personality society, dishonest, extremely honest, insecurity prompting world where nobody is what they seem, or else everybody is exactly what they seem. It’s a living, functioning animal that will bite you as quickly as it makes you feel loved.
Since adopting, I have used Facebook to share funny little snippets of our life as a family, to make other people, and occasionally ourselves, laugh. But those snippets, those anecdotes, they hide the struggles that have been behind all of those moments, or the struggle it was to get to a situation where we could do the certain activity that enabled us to have funny moments.
We have a little convenience shop within a stone’s throw of our house. Very handy! The first time I took the boys – and bear in mind you can actually see this place from the end of our drive – was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. I had to tie them to me with reins and wrist straps. I had to take one of Mrs S’s friends for moral support. It was a five minute round trip, if that, and I panicked for every second of it.
I remember once, the boys ran off in a car park in opposite directions. My dilemma in that split second was choosing who to chase: Marvin, who was slower and less steady on his feet, bur who was running towards a main road; or Norman, who was a lot quicker and running towards the other moving cars in the car park. I remember the panic, what I can’t remember is who I chased! But we’re all still alive, so I don’t suppose it matters now!
As adoptive parents, we missed so many firsts. I have no idea what either of the boys’ first words were. I didn’t see their first steps, or see them roll over for the first time, or see them crawl or stand up. All of those little milestones that parents look for, the things that prove that they’re doing something right, that their babies are growing. What I’ve come to realise is that “firsts” are happening all the time. Last year we saw Norman step into school for the first time. In two short weeks, we’ll see Marvin do the same. Our babies are growing too, I only have to look at pictures from a year ago to see that. My point is, just because social media tells you your child should be doing a certain thing, or acting a certain way, doesn’t mean you should judge your own parenting skills against that. They grow at their own pace, in their own time. And just because your child says a funny word and you laugh about it on Facebook, it doesn’t mean that ten minutes later they didn’t pee all over your bathroom floor…
What’s on the needles?
Every month I’m knitting a chunk of a blanket, I get a new snippet of the pattern each month, it’s called a Mystery Knit Along… let’s see if I can attach a picture…