This Charming Teenager


What to write. Gas fire on, washing machine chugging. Laundry draped against hot radiator. Cars passing. The cars woke me, I can now sense the time dependent on its flow. Humans are habitual.

Syd is better, least better enough to go back to school. His test results came back and thankfully no meningitus virus and iron levels just a little lower than normal. He has to have more tests for vitamin D, but I am just so relieved.

Today I hope to be released from caring captivity.

He worked hard on playing his new electric and  by the evening had sussed The Smiths, This Charming Man. I was subjected to the same rifts and chords all day. It drives me loopy, but the results are awesome. He loves a challenge, Johnny Marr is notoriously tricky and complicated he keeps reminding me. I listen and I congratulate. Patrick is amazed. We are so proud of Syd.

Naoise just wants to play and play and play, cop-copter, mine craft. He has built a treehouse just for me and him to live in, two comfy beds, a view out to the sea and loads of chickens laying eggs in the basement. Patrick is rather envious of our reduced family unit home.

We have been watching Boyhood in small chunks. The boys enjoy it. Naoise rewinds the DVD so that I can notice the cutesy baby sleeping in the car seat.

Bedtime always a battle. However ordered, however much I schedule and prepare its always hard. A battle of wills and warm milk and coercing. Syd is really pissed off with me as I fall to sleep after reading to Naoise, it must be a around nine. He keeps trying to shake me awake. He really demands my attention. He needs it in the evening but I just feel so exhausted, I struggle just to tuck Naoise in and read him to sleep. I must try to find some more space for Syd at night, its hard.

Naoise is starting to read everything, signs on the road, packets of food, titles of films, everything. He takes my phone and sends a message to my friend requesting that her son come and play at his house. The phonics spelling is just so adorable, makes me smile. This is what he wrote;







I find it hard to throw away scraps of his writing. I threw away a shopping list he had written for us, wine was vine, chicken korma was chikun Korma. He is learning fast.


I had a strange day, went for a slightly shorter walk up the hill at Lumbutts and back down Rock Terrace. Just far enough to see the hills and the lay of the land. All the snow has gone. Small piles where once snow cats and snow men stood. I spend the rest of the day sorting through photographs and small pieces of video. I find a ten minute video that I had made of collecting Syd from primary school. Its really great, the dialogue, the strange over the shoulder footage. I asked Syd if I could publish it but he was resistant, he didn’t even want to watch himself. I think I need to unpick some of the ethics of working with my children. Give all this some thought. I could just ignore him, but that would feel like a betrayal. Perhaps I will type out the dialogue see where that leads too. He may feel more comfortable if its just text, and there were parts of the film where he is just a shadow, a hand or a pair of feet. I maybe able to edit it so he is happy for me to show it.



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