Staying overnight in a party city, full of hen and stag parties, made me feel very old as as we were returning after our concert back to the hotel, groups of young, glamourous girls were leaving the hotel, just going out for the night. I was yawning my head off and reaching for a cup of tea before bed and they were certainly looking to drink something stronger. Even when I was a teenager in the 1980s, I could not party like that and so now, there is even less chance. Even when I did go out with my friends back then, we could not afford to get drunk and we never went to city nightclubs in high heels – the only clubs that I frequented were Student nights when we were at university and even then, looking back, we did not dress up for the occasion. It was a time when I thought my legwarmers and sheep jumper, like Lady Di’s, was trendy!
Joshua does not choose his own clothes or dress himself, so he cannot express his individual style through his fashion. He has not been able to join the skinny jeans trend as those trousers are so skin-tight on his legs, that they will not slide over his splints and enormous boots. I have had to cut him out of trousers before now that would not come off. I like him in blue and so he tends to wear a lot of blue, but I do not know if he has a favourite colour. I have always joked that he is not interested in such things as fashion, but I do not really know if that is true. When he was younger and more vocal, Joshua, whenever he had something new to wear or even admired a new haircut in the mirror, he would repeat that he looked ‘smarty’ and be very proud of himself.
Having the independence to select his own clothes and dress himself to go out in his own style, is something else that Joshua has been robbed of. I must offer him some more choices so that he is not simply the boy who is dressed by his mum, so that he has the opportunity to express himself. A 15 year old would not necessarily choose his smartest shirt and jumper to wear to family gatherings, but I always try to dress him up beyond his casual jogging bottoms on such occasions. Thinking about it now, I have never offered him a choice of outfit and given that I am trying to encourage him to make more choices for himself, how he dresses would be an obvious step for this control-freak mum to make.