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It’s late-ish on Saturday night and post two of the day is here, and it is 100% related to this post from the other day.
‘I’ll do whatever it takes, I’ll make a million mistakes’
I had made a mistake.
That mistake being that I had completely forgotten that I wasn’t alone anymore. I had responsibilities now. Responsibilities that grew attachments and asked questions.
And called people ‘Dada’.
Mia noticed. Of course she did. He went from being around to being nowhere pretty much overnight. Scott and Lydia knew something was up, they were close to no longer believing that Josh was ‘busy’ anymore. He was always busy, he was just usually busy in the house. And well Hayden was the cause of all this in the first place and he had definitely noticed. He was no longer content with hugs from just me. He wanted Josh.
That made 2 of us. Probably 5 actually.
Mia came home one day alone and I knew there was no more avoiding the situation. I was partially surprised she let it go on for nearly a month.
‘Where are the kids?’ I asked as a way to break the thick silence that had settled between us as she walked into my office.
‘At Nan’s. They’re fine. Excited even. Almost jealous of them.’
‘Then why are you here?’
‘Because I needed to talk to you about a few things and you always have the excuse of the kids as to why you can’t give me your undivided attention. So I removed them from the equation.’ She stated.
‘Plus I don’t need Lydia calling us out on out language, I’m broke enough as it is.’ She interrupted and laughed without humour.
‘So what do you wanna talk about?’ I figured playing dumb would help me avoid the conversation I knew was coming for just a little bit longer.
‘That’s a trick question right?’
‘Nicola!’ Mia raised her voice, the change in tone shocked us both into a brief silence.
‘Okay, well talk.’
‘You know I talk to him right?’ She started softly.
‘I figured as much.’ I finally flipped my laptop shut.
‘Well he’s really confused about your radio silence and to be honest so am I. I mean you were good right? The two of you?’ Mia walked further into the room and sat down in one of Dad’s old armchairs, well worn brown leather that she sunk into almost comically given the situation.
‘I mean, yeah. But it just won’t go anywhere.’ I shrugged.
‘And why is that? Because from where I was standing it looked pretty legit.’
‘Well you would think that.’ I snapped.
‘And why is that?’ She replied, calmly in comparison to me.
‘Just that you’re young. You sill have a romanticised view on the world. But it just wasn’t practical.’ I knew I was clutching at short straws, but I knew that we both knew that I was doing this out of a place of fear and nothing else.
‘I’m gonna choose to ignore the condescension there and tell you you’re being stupid.’
‘Hayden called him Dada.’ I offered weakly, desperate to have some kind of defence.
‘Yeah he also does that with Lydia and his Mickey Mouse toy and about 70% of the cartoon characters that he sees. Please tell me you haven’t stopped talking to Josh because of that, because that without a shadow of a doubt is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard you say.’
‘It’s not the reason. It just reminded me of some things that I lost sight of.’
‘If that is us then you’re a bit late with that one.’ She shot back.
‘I shouldn’t have brought him around the kids that quickly. Just in case.’
‘You know that’s sort of a defeatist attitude to take?’
‘Mia, I’m serious.’ Although even to my own ears the defence was weak.
‘I know you are. I think you’re being stupid but I can just about get my head around your thought process. But the fact of the matter is Nix, that you did bring him around. A lot. We got used to him being here. And then you cut that off. You see how that is more damaging then bringing him around in the first place?’
And well she had a point. I hadn’t really though of that. Strike two against me.
‘No, you make a good point.’
‘You’re damn right I do Nix.’
‘I’m just scared.’ I admitted for the first time out loud.
‘What and he’s not? Nicola he met you because a child that belonged to you attached themselves to his leg. He went and had that feeling about someone with a mountain of responsibility. He’s not an idiot, he knew he couldn’t take that on lightly. But he did. As unprepared and scared as you are, he’s right there with you. Maybe not quite to the same extent, but he’s there.’
‘Until he’s not.’ I muttered, but not quietly enough.
‘Have you always been this fucking pessimistic and I’ve just never noticed or is this a new thing?’ She threw her hands up and let them fall heavily onto the arms of the chair.
‘No, it’s pretty normal for me.’ I admitted.
‘Jeez, is it not exhausting?’
‘Hypothetically say he’s your lobster or penguin or whatever, you’re gonna give that up because you’re scared?”
‘Hypothetically it’s more likely that he’s not. So…’ I trailed off and shrugged.
‘Oh shut up Nicola! Okay so maybe he isn’t, but if he leaves because it’s not right, it’s not the end of the fucking world. You’ve been through worse. You’ve gotten out of way worse things then a fucking boy leaving. I don’t know if you’ve noticed Nicola, but you’re a mother now. You have 3 kids who look to you as their mother figure. You get a phone call in the middle of the night and upon receiving some of the worst news possible you, without hesitation, took in 4 kids, one of which might as well have been a newborn. I know you, kids have never been in your plan, but there you were. Are. A mother figure. You have dealt with 3 people grieving and lashing out at you just because even though you’re there you are not who they want you to be. You have nurtured and cared for and loved people who sometimes want nothing to do with you because you’re the “wrong” person. You lost your fucking parents, two of your Musketeers. You lost them and if that wasn’t hard enough you became a parent and had everything you knew thrown totally up in the air. And you know what Nix? You got through it. Scott has friends. Lydia is some sort of genius. Hayden’s alive and running around and calling people Dada. And you can’t take credit for this, but I just found out that I got into Harvard on a scholarship, and like I’m pretty fine. We’re all pretty fine. I just look around and notice that you aren’t. You’re allowed to be fine. And happy. And to have time to yourself. Lord knows you need it more than the rest of us in this house. And you’re allowed to be scared. Shit is scary. But nothing can be scarier than what you’ve already been through. Everything else is probably gonna be a walk in the park. Now, I’m going back to Nan’s because she promised to make lasagna and you’re gonna call Josh. Or not. I personally think you should, but it’s your life so do what you want. I’ve said my piece and can do no more.’ She shrugged and pushed herself out of the chair to walk out of the room.
‘Hey Mia.’ I called after her, she swivelled her head back to look at me.
‘Thanks.’ I said sincerely.
‘And congrats on Harvard. That’s amazing.’ Her face broke out into a huge grin.
‘I know. We’ll be back around 10 tomorrow. Please use that time wisely.’ She tapped the doorjamb once and walked out, leaving me to my thoughts once again.
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