What do we owe Joshua as our son? I think he deserves to reach his full potential, whatever that might be, and to have rich experiences of life along the way. Joshua is not interested in luxury holidays overseas. I am pretty confident that he enjoyed his fortnight on the Isle of Wight more than any trip he has made to Florida : it is not uncomfortably hot, he sleeps in his familiar bedroom, he could eat chips everyday and he loved the dodgems and basketball game on the pier – so what more did he need?
As Mum got older she began to de-clutter her home and she really did not want ‘things’ for her birthday and Christmas presents. She gave and wanted to receive virtual charitable gifts of hens and goats in Africa. Last Christmas we were both delighted that she asked for a new pair of Hotter shoes as her daily pair had finally worn out. It meant that I could give her a useful thing and she was delighted with them. For her last birthday, my sister and I treated us all to a fabulous weekend away, when we laughed and shared all weekend long. Joshua is already at that stage, he has no real interest in many toys or new DVDs, so unless we can think of a useful thing that will bring joy to his life – like an off road trike, then he has begin to receive experiences, such as trips to the theatre or to concerts. These are life experiences that we can photograph and share and all keep as a precious memory, rather than something unnecessary gathering dust , still in its box from March.
Joshua wants to spend time with us at weekends, going to cafes is one of his favourite treats. He does not want to spend all weekend watching us clean the house or do DIY, which is lucky as neither of those appeal to us either! We give him a comfortable home but if it is scruffy as we do not decorate it – we moved here 24 years ago this weekend and our bedroom and the dining room have never been decorated in that time! – do you think that he cares? We live here with four dogs and a cat, so there will always be an issue with pet hair, but he adores the dogs – he giggled last night when the puppies clambered all over him when he got in, they were all pleased to see each other. Our home is clean but not tidy, as neither of us are tidy people, so we are well suited.
So to answer my own question, what do we owe Joshua as our son?… We owe him opportunities and buckets full of love – he has both of those and always will have xx