Too early for a review of 2009?

Yeah, probably but …

Wow! What a fooking year this has been! Happy families to a family at war, new friends, old friends rediscovered … hey, new life, how about that?

November 2008, where were we? We were just a week away from an amazing family holiday to Disneyland Resort Paris. Yeah, that was a year ago this week, amazing what can happen in just one short year. What did we know? Daisy and James were a happy couple. James was mad, as always (tis why we love him) but, I think, really happy. Soon after we came back (I think it was) was when I was thought to have died, that was a laugh. (For the record, I didn’t)

Was it all rosy? No, of course not, when is life ever? Things were hard work especially with getting things sorted for James and I am sure we were probably soon into decorating and rearranging like mad things.

2009 started, two great house parties at the end of 2008 “Your kids don’t deserve you” was hysterical …. “Steve is a great dad” was touching … those who know those quotes, know. Billy smiled, Anna lusted after Daisy, a punch up on the lawn, Alex stuck in the toilet asleep, Matt not lasting past 9pm! Wow, that was fun  🙂

In February, or thereabouts, I got ‘Hopscotch’ which those who wrote it will know about. I am going to keep that letter always because I think it was a time when we were all being totally honest with each other, a time when we knew how each other felt.

We discovered Daisy was expecting … boy that was a big one to swallow. It’s tough, as a parent, to have a view on something yet to allow our children to make their own decisions. My view was that the pregnancy should be terminated, I didn’t think it was sensible for them to have a child, that it would impact on Daisy’s education, would place to great a strain on their relationship. I did need though to not enforce my views on what had to be the decision of those with the right to decide, Daisy and James. They chose to keep it and, I remember just how happy they both were about that choice, I had to support them. At the time, despite my concerns, I believed they could both be great parents. Daisy because I know her well enough and James, because he’s basically a good person with a terrible childhood. I thought seeing the mistakes of his parents he’d not make the same ones. I can only hope for the best in any situation.

By March, Deej and me were arranging our civil partnership, all seemed very low key and somewhat unreal. The plan was also that Daisy and James got married at the same time, it seemed like a good plan.

Later that month I had a week out with a great week over in France with Robin which I enjoyed very much though it was also hard work … I don’t mind hard work.

I had a car accident in April, I still get pain so probably settled too early but hey ho, we live n learn.

In May, things had gone wrong for Daisy and James and their wedding was off. What went wrong doesn’t really matter now, it did and that was that. I think there are regrets there, I hope, by now, some real understanding of what exactly happened and where it went wrong, I may never know.

By June it was all over between Daisy and James, a very unpleasant time. Sean came round to console Daisy and, they both explored their feelings whilst Daisy was in Spain with Matt and Anne. When she got back, they decided they wanted to give a relationship a try.

As per usual, dive in the deep end and, just like James, this relationship started by Sean moving in! I can’t complain, I did the same with both Nick and Deej, well, pretty much with Nick. I can’t imagine that was an easy time for James, it must have hurt like hell and been one of the most confusing experiences of his life. I don’t know, if it were me though I’d be thinking like this:

‘I am in love with this person and everything seems to be OK and, even more amazing, she’s having our baby. I want to be a man and provide for her and the baby, I don’t know how. I am going to use what I know but, it’s all gone horribly wrong. Now she says it’s all over and she’s with someone else, he’ll be there with ‘my’ baby and I won’t.’

Looking back, I don’t think I’d have dealt with that too well back in 1979 when I was that sort of age. James must have felt like the world was against him,  don’t know though, it’s just speculation.

We move on, I had another birthday in there somewhere with a very unpleasant visitor. Those who were there know about that, I have written about it before.

July 10th and we get married, an amazing day surrounded by nearly all those we’d have wanted there with some exceptions which made us quite sad and, if not ‘sad’ there not being there was regrettable.

Honeymoon in Florida (Woop) except we both got sort of ill, me more than Deej to the point that the only sleep we could get was with us being in different rooms. The finale to that holiday was finding out that Freddie had been killed and that we were stuck in Orlando airport for over 24 hours.

A degree of poo hit the fan in late summer, it was not a good time for anyone. I don’t think we’ve yet fully recovered from it. We managed a degree of agreement, things settled for a while and Josh came along toward the end of September

I need to mention, because this is really important, at some point during the year and I have no idea of when, Matt & Anne shared the news that Anne was expecting a baby in December.

Things were amazing for a week after he was born then, it all went wrong again and I don’t know why, I so totally don’t have a clue.

As is usually the case, I was the guy who seems to have taken the blame for it all, I can’t do right for doing wrong it would seem but, I am gonna keep trying all the same.

October Josh met as many family members as wanted to meet him, it is still terribly sad that some have not yet met him, they are missing out on so much. That would be my sister who may already be a great aunt for all I know but she may have enjoyed meeting Josh all the same and, both James parents. At least one set of great grandparents on James side and his uncle Carl met him and that was a lovely visit. It’s not about ‘stuff’ with babies, it’s about time and love.

We all went to see Scrooge in Birmingham in October too with Robin, that was amazing.

How are things now?

Look, I am not going to say things are perfect they are not. I spend most of my life, as does Deej, way too tired, emotionally and physically drained. Daisy has been doing way too much caring for Josh and her ‘A’ levels.Sean too has taken on a huge load. Stepping into a parental role not of his making at 17 is an incredibly difficult thing to do and he deserves masses of respect for it. That he screws up now and then is understandable and forgiveable. Zoey is sort of OK, she is Zoey, as always. She has so enjoyed her experience with Andrew and Louisa I feel she is going to miss it terribly. Josh has a preliminary diagnosis of spherocytosis, I have explained what that is in an earlier entry. I suspect it is going to mean a fair bit of back and forth to the hospital and doctors surgery. James, I don’t know. I want to see the good in him that I know is there, my fear is, he’s gone a little off the rails, I want to be wrong.

How do I want things to be?

Well, we could all get back to November 2008 if we wanted to, we are all the same people with one extra person now to bind us together. We can’t get back to Daisy and James getting together again, that is not going to happen and, neither should it, she and Sean are well suited. Whilst that is going to well, other possibilities cannot even be considered and should not be. But, even so, with the awkwardness there must surely be, we can make this work, can’t we?

Back in the 80’s I was involved in family politics big time, it was one of the worst experiences of my life, I changed my family name over it things got so bad. I lost most of my extended family and my only sibling to assumption and lack of communication. I don’t want anyone in my family to go through that, my ever increasing family. All sort of people who have been a couple can and do manage to get along, come to befriend new partners as part of an extended family, maybe we should do the same?

Am sticking my neck out here … I would like a mad Christmas … on Christmas day I want to see all my kids, I want to see all my grandchildren (both) and their parents too, all of them and to enjoy that experience. On Boxing day I’d like to have as many of them as possible back again in a much calmer atmosphere of silly board games, Xbox mayhem, noise, shitty nappies, mess and general madness. On New Years Eve I’d like to open the doors to friends, see how it goes, chill out a little.

I would very much like to start 2010 as 2008 ended, can we make that happen? How about everyone starts talking, making plans to get it happening? Put aside differences and, even if this is, one last chance of the family as it could be, humour the old man for a few days and see what happens. If it all goes tits up, it’s only one more Christmas, they’ll be another next year (I hope)

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