Thursday, November 13, 2008


We’re missing our boy, who was home for a week but has now gone back to his distant new home, leaving a boy-shaped hole in our house.

And we are as usual worried about one daughter’s long-distance relationship with a touring actor (we wish he’d just get an ordinary job like anyone else) and our other daughter, married to a nice chap who suffers from depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which combine to make his working days somewhat sporadic.

Of course, I shouldn’t moan to friends and colleagues about such things. But I sometimes do, and below are two things that people tend to say – with the best of intentions - and they’re not really helpful.

Scene 1

Me: Son has gone back to Dumfries and we really miss him.
Friend or colleague [brightly]: Well, it’s just natural, you know. It’s good for children to leave home.
Me [inwardly]: I know that! But I don’t have to like it!

Scene 2

Me: I wish Daughter 2 wasn’t going out with this actor chap.
Friend or colleague [sagely]: Well, you can’t do anything about it.
Me: [inwardly]: I know that! But that makes it worse, not better!


Still, to counteract my hmmm, I thought I should post some kitten pictures of the catlets.


  1. You have a right to miss your son, you go right ahead and say what you want to us blogger friends, we have all had similar problems, so why not let us help you feel better. These are genuine conserns and I like the cat photo.

  2. The "helpful" comments you quoted gave me a bit of a chuckle.

    Regarding moaning, I don't think voicing one's concerns to friends or bouncing ideas off them now and then is such a bad thing. While I don't like to be nosy or intrusive, I do like to know how people are doing. Sometimes, if one knows something of others' situations, it's possible to lend a hand. I also think all of us occasionally need the relief of a calm and non-critical ear.

    It certainly isn't the case that you're boring. In addition to natural concerns about loved ones, you appear to lead a fascinating life, pictures and descriptions of which you're gracious enough to share with the rest of us.

  3. I totally agree - you are quite right to feel how you do about your (grown up) children, I'm exactly the same. Can't change how you feel!

  4. Well, you just have to nod your head and listen to the things people say. (To which you reply: I know that! But I don't like it.)

    Sorry, I thought I could be an unhelpful person for a moment.

    Sadly, we'll never stop worrying about our children. I'm in your same boat with son(s). They're so far away and I fear they'll never come home. There's not much here to draw them back. (They might be interested in living in your area though ;-) )

    As for actor boyfriend, although I don't condone violence, perhaps all your bloggy friends should rally around and beat some sense into him?

    So, that was unhelpful. Sorry. Hopefully, just worrying and saying it out loud helped just the littlest big. You know how your adoring fans hate to see you so sad. Wrap up tightly in the quilt so you can feel my big hug!

  5. Maybe you should test those people out. I wonder how they'd respond to these:

    a) Son has gone back to Dumfries, thank goodness.
    b) Do you think it's too late to return him?
    c) I think daughter 2 should throw in her job and travel with her actor boyfriend.

    It could be fun watching them search for the appropriate platitude.

    On a serious note, I love the cat photos, particularly the first one. Thank you.

  6. I find those responses unhelpful too, but people do feel like they must solve it when presented with a problem. Personally I prefer people who say you poor thing, that must be hard, preferably if they say it while making me a cup of tea.

  7. Oh I firmly believe moaning to friends is essential for maintaining sanity. I'm sorry some people have been less than ideal in their responses.

    I'm sure I will miss my kids awfully when they leave home, no matter what age they are. And I will worry about them until I fall off my perch.

    Hope your 'hmmm' gets better soon :-)

  8. Awww, Your inward comments sound like what would go on in my head! I agree, it's good to get those feelings out, and let those comments go in one ear and out the other. Let your blog friends say "oh, you are so right to miss them and worry about them! You're their mom!" :) I hope you're feeling better today. Hugs!

  9. If it is any consolation, I am still working on that list of eligible batchelors in the Edinburgh legal fraternity for you, just in case, you know, the actor doesn't work out.....

  10. Maybe it's a British thing [Do Scots count themselves as Brits?If not, I guess I'm inserting foot in mouth---again!]to try to jolly people along, to get them to "Buck up, old girl!" and "snap out of it!" The stiff upper lip is a British invention, n'est pas?

    I find annoying comments, such as those you mentioned, come mostly from the male gender, who, if you share a problem, or a small moan with them, think they are required to come up with a solution.

    Noooooo! I enjoy a little misery and an accompanying little moan once in a while!

    I find my female friends much more understanding---"oh, poor you!" as Stomper said. Which is much more gratifying than all the solutions in the world! Now if only someone could crack the code on how to convey this to the OC.....

    Enjoy your moan Isabelle. Here's a pat on the back and some vigorous nodding from me.

  11. Yes, those 'lack of compassion' comments are frightfully annoying, aren't they?
    It is sad when the offspring are too far away to see very often. Lovely when they visit, but sad when they leave. And we're always concerned for them...even though we know we must let them live their own lives.
    That's the way we mothers are. So have a little, whine whenever you need to dear Isabelle :) We're happy to listen!

  12. Oh, I keep forgetting to comment on those adorable catlets. Beautiful photos :)

  13. Oh dear...Not having any children, I tend to have foot in mouth disease when responding to friends who are sad about some aspect of their children. I don't mean to be hurtful or noncaring, but it's hard to know what they want to hear. I've been both astonished and remorseful when someone has turned on me after I've commented on something to do with their kids! Like, OOPS.
    Love the cats though. Can't do much wrong there!