ABC Wednesday already? So many words to choose that begin with the letter 'R' - even more difficult than last week's 'Q'!!!
R is for....the ability to form........
In spite of my own very jaded, entirely dysfunctional, relationship with my mother, my primary concern with Emily was that she should be able to forge a very strong and healthy set of relationships within our family circle (Which comprises of Lesley's relatives, not mine.) My family life left me with a lot of baggage - very shy, very withdrawn, very difficult to get to know, very scarred by my early relationships - I could have quite easily drifted into a life of solitude had it not been for Lesley. Because of my upbringing I find forming friendships very difficult, relationships even more so.
I never knew my father, he was off the scene soon after we returned from Cyprus when he and mother divorced. I had a close bond with Peter, my mother's second husband, but he soon got sick of mother's ways and eventually he too was off the scene - I stayed in touch for a while but eventually he found himself a new life with children of his own.
Mother alienated herself further from us and married for a third time. After that she became a distant memory for a long time, then she was back after the birth of my daughter, briefly, and now she's gone again.
My strongest relationship from childhood was that with my Nana and Grandad- mother seemed keen for them to look after me (probably because she couldn't be bothered.) - and they took up the gauntlet with gusto. Sadly Grandad died in 1976 - three days before my eleventh birthday (I've still got the card he had already signed) After that Nana put most of her efforts into raising me. I became the son she never had and she was the only constant in my life until her death in 2005. (Well, almost - but that's a different story to be told some other time!)
We wanted Emily's family life to be so very different from my early experiences - and in the main I think we've succeeded - Lesley and Emily are the only people who see the true me and I hope that Emily will feel a thousand times more safe and secure and loved than I ever did as a child. She seems happy enough now - but only time will tell I suppose - but strong relationships can only be built over time, so there's a way to go yet.