Life on the Frontline


A weekly blog from a family made by adoption, warmed by the laughter, broken by the sadness, held together by love with a big dollop of hope, oh, and often soaked in mummy tears.

Having an uneventful half term was joyful. Our family settled back into our comfortable patterns of doing not very much, especially if we didn’t want to do it. The boys got on really well, most of the time, which I feel has developed and become more common since they no longer attend the same school.

So as always, although not a big surprise, in fact totally expected, the involvement of school in our lives will always upset this calm apple cart.

Tall particularly, also as expected really, had a wobbly start to the week.

Monday – he swore at a teacher.

Tuesday – he didn’t manage many lessons.

Wednesday – he stormed out of Tutor Group, for which he now has a detention.

Thursday – Him and I started DDP therapy together and we had a really close shave at home in the evening. More on this day in a moment.

Friday – He was reported to have had one of the best days he’s ever had in high school. Go figure?

So Thursday saw the start of DDP, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy for Tall and I. I reassured Tall that it would probably not be too heavy on our first appointment, I advise him incorrectly.

Within the first ten minutes the therapist was surmising on what life would have been like for Tall when he lived with birth mum. Tall shifted most uncomfortably on his chair and redirected the conversation onto a different topic. I happily took the bait to recall happier, funnier times, only to be headed off by the therapist and brought back around to the uncomfortable matters at hand.

The hour saw Tall fold himself further in on himself. Shoes off, his knees were drawn into his chest and then his head burrowed further and further into the dark space between knees and chest. Finally he rolled over on his side and placed his head in my lap and I cuddled him.

Afterwards I took him home, to observe and work out whether he was up to an afternoon at school. He did go in and all went well.

That evening dad was not due back until late and therefore when Tall started to be difficult with me and then aggressive and very confrontational, I became very worried. I breathed deeply a lot and tried not to be drawn in, he really did seem to want a fight, and I most certainly didn’t.

Part of the argument was about “cod”. He didn’t want to eat it. I decided cod was not worth the fight and made him something else.

With Tall, once the agitated adolescent has gone the vulnerably, needy child is present. I struggled through his demands for my attention, not fully over the near miss of a much more violent episode. And then I fell at the final hurdle. I lost it over something little.

Friday morning he was moody and uncertain, having gone to bed with a shouting mother in his ear. I had apologised but he had, understandably, given me the silent treatment.

So I sent him off to school with a massive cloud of uncertainty hanging over my head. Who knows how Friday turned out as Friday did for him, but it was brilliant to see his beaming face come through the door at three fifteen.

“Best day ever in high school she said” he gushed excitedly.

“How do you know, he’s definitely had such a good day? Have you had a phone call from school?” asked dad.

“Tall can’t fake pure emotion like that, the sparkle in his eyes, he genuinely feels proud of himself” I knowingly replied.


In Other News

Small has had a good first week back. He brought home some impressive test results for French. Whilst he tells you he hates it, he obviously has a natural flare for all languages.

I taught my first two yoga classes this week and loved it.

I’m counting my blessing on having so many really kind, loving and wonderful friends in my life.

One thought on “Life on the Frontline

  1. Newmum

    It’s simply hard to think what some children go through in early years. Your description of your son curling into himself is really moving its made me cry. It’s great that you are there for him and I hope the therapy can help him to move away from painful memories and patterns.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *