While I betray the little boy who would never betray me. Arlo. Happy days.
Arlo has separation anxiety, he is the happiest, most social, caring and full of adventure kid… Until you force him to spend time away from me. Then shit hits the fan.
On the school holidays we moved house. Well we moved cities and are now living in Margaret River, 3 hours south of Perth in the most beautiful place we have ever been to.
The move was always coming, I don’t know how permanent it will be but we have been coming here most weekends to stay with friends for years and have always thought that if we didn’t need to rely so heavily on Bills work we’d make the move.
Now that I am working too and can do it from home, a bit of pressure is off.
I was the driving force behind the move, I want more community for my kids, more nature, less of the locked doors that the city requires. We have lived in our house in Perth for 6 years and I haven’t ever been inside one of my neighbours houses.
I’d never let one of my kids roam the streets to explore or find new friends because it didn’t feel safe. Our neighbours were all lovely people, but cars sometimes hooned down the street, smashed bottles on the weekends and occasional break ins made me feel really uneasy letting my kids out of my sight.
Im not saying that moving to a coastal town will solve any of that but there is a pile of kids playing on the road in the evenings, a short walk to the river and a very welcoming neighbour vibe certainly feels more like what I have always envisioned my kids childhood to look like.. Not to mention real estate is half the price and with the size of our family a big house in Perth was going to equate to a mortgage that my great grand kids will be paying off.
So this move made sense….
There is something else… Bill and I need space, like loads of space. Like he might stay in Perth kind of space.
I thought that space would be good for us, absence makes the heart grow fonder etc etc but as it appears we are both enjoying the space a little too much and feeling resentment, unable to get on at all when we are with each other.
So Bill has spent a lot of time in Perth lately, I have spent a lot of time in Margaret River, we have shared the kids, I haven’t mentioned anything publicly because I don’t know what it is, have we moved or will we return? Is he coming? Have we separated? I don’t know. I cant label us, all I know is that things are changing.
So this brings me back to today. Today is the first day that the kids started their new school, they have never done that before, its nerve racking for me because I feel every single one of their emotions 10 fold.
Bill drove down last night from Perth so that the kids felt strong going to class with both of us by their sides.
Billie-Violet is a Brave Heart who loves girls and just wants to make new friends and be a naughty and rebel against society with a crew. I walk out of her class room feeling strong and proud and capable.
The only way that I could even get Arlo dressed this morning is by promising that I wouldn’t leave him today. I was going to school with Arlo, he needed me to.
He hates all institutions, not just school. He hates doctors and play groups and anywhere that he can’t just live in a tree or skateboard his life away. He’s a physical kid, not so much a mental one. Like his mum concentration isn’t his strong point.
But you have never seen a 5-year-old with his skills, he draws a crowd with how high his tree climbing is, he makes new friends the second he gets to a park, he feeds his little siblings their food if they drop it. He really is a special soul, from a special world.
So I took him to his first day of pre-primary, dressed in his uniform he began to ignore all adults, this is very unlike Arlo, he’s Mr have a chat most of the time but when he feels like he’s about to be ripped away from his mum he turns into someone else, someone shy and withdrawn.
I look to teachers for guidance and they recommended I just go. Which has been the only success I’ve had in the past and I am torn in half with the decision.
So after sitting with him, trying to read him a book and talk to him about his new class, I pried his little fingers from my waist and looked deeply into his eyes, so full of panic, so full of fear. I tried to tell him I would be straight back but he completely lost control and started to scream the school down. The teachers told me to walk outside where I could hear him screaming. Every inch of my heart remained well and truly inside that pre-primary class, screaming alongside him.
Outside the world closed in on me, all of the new faces that I had earlier so desperately wanted to seem to have my shit together in front of were now confronted by the anxious mess that was me.
I turned to Bill and I felt all of our unhappiness bubbling to the surface at that point and I could no longer be strong and burst into tears.
Being alone is less lonely than being in an unhappy relationship.
What a realisation point for both of us, I felt so alone standing at a new school with him and I know he must have too. People change, over the holidays we couldn’t be in the same room without arguing, simple decisions turn into huge fights.
I have a lot of love for the man, I just feel like we have tried everything. We are happy for .05% of the time and fighting for the rest.
Is that the voice of love that I want to be ringing into my kids hearts when they start to form relationships?
So I scurried out of the school, betraying Arlo my little soldier, I called my mum crying my eyes out and walked home alone.
Waiting for the school to call me and tell me that I can pick up my Arlo man and consider home schooling him, maybe that’s our answer. If something feels so incredibly unnatural to him and I maybe it is just wrong?
Or maybe he will be absolutely fine and I need to persevere.
Is my drive to not fuck my kids up going to be the very one thing that does?
Bill has returned back to Perth now and I am going to spend my morning googling separation anxiety. Thanks for listening Queens xxx
Anyone with any experience with children and separation anxiety your advice in the comments would be greatly appreciated.