I don’t think that anything could have prepared me for how difficult parenting is. I had no idea how tired I would be those early months, how my emotions would run riot and how much I would worry over looking after this tiny little person. I couldn’t have known how completely he would change my life, how I would look at everything differently and how he would make me better person. I never imagined that over three years later I would still find it every bit as challenging as I did the first night I brought him home. It is still just as emotional; there are things he does that make me want to scream, moments when I have to take a minute before I can carry on, times when he makes me question everything about myself. Then he can bring tears to my eyes just by the simplest of things, by stroking my cheek, softly telling me he loves me and smiling when I say it in return.
The truth is I have found the last few months with Lucas incredibly difficult, he is strong-willed, determined, stubborn and independent. He wants to do everything on his terms and now he can express himself more and more he has no problem letting us know exactly what the problem is. Sometimes I think he doesn’t even know why he does it but it is just in him to push me on everything, to test the boundaries and to seek control. He is sensitive and takes in so much more than he lets anyone see but he will always stand up for himself and others when he wants to.
It hasn’t been an easy year for him, there is no doubt that having two little brothers has been difficult. There are times when he hasn’t been given the attention he deserves and moments that I wish I could have done things differently. He is trying to find his place in our family and in the wider world. He doesn’t seem to lack confidence yet he seeks it often, he needs a hand to hold and a familiar face. We went through the terrible twos but they have nothing on the threenager! I have never questioned myself more as a parent as I have this last few months. I’ve never felt more like I’m getting it wrong even when I know I am doing the best I can. I wish I could give him more time, more of myself but as much as I try most days I can’t.
That’s why those moments that come along when I have the chance to give Lucas that time are extra special even when we are doing something completely ordinary. Yesterday I took him with me into Liverpool; me and my mum were meeting up with some of the lovely ladies of my family and I thought it would be a good chance to spend some time with him. When we got there a little early I asked him what he’d like to do and he said ‘Go to a cafe’ then told me a little story how he had dreamt about a cafe, when he was asleep. These little things he comes out with always makes me smile. We took him to Central Perk, which I love and managed to get on the orange couch which I loved even more. Lucas stripped out of his jacket and tried to take off his shoes, we had cake and tea (juice for Lucas) and talked, I just love how we can go out now and pass the time by having a conversation. We met up with my Nana, Auntie and cousin for some lunch and he was just perfectly behaved. It was a true joy to be out with him, to talk to him without interruptions, to really see all the changes in him as he suddenly seems really very grown up. We wandered off to the Disney shop for a treat before we came home.
This was something I did a lot as a child, we always met up with family in Liverpool and it always made me feel quite special to be out with the grown ups and to get all the attention. Lucas is just the same, he loves all the cuddles and kisses and he kept making us all hold hands in a big line. This age has been such hard work and yet it has also been the most fun, this day was just a little reminder about how amazing it is when it is good. This was a day when I felt like maybe we are getting it right and we have the most fantastic boy to show for it.