Personal

Bono was right: sometimes we can’t make it on our own

Big sister comes through for her struggling brother

It was just like the beginning of an episode of the Twilight Zone. A phone call. From myself.

At least I was there to pick up.

But there it was, the phone ringing in my pocket, I take it out, and the phone ID reads “Me”.

Of course I answered Me.

Silence.

But then what was I expecting …

“Hello, Enda, this is your future, more intelligent, less stressed self, are you free for a mind exchange … you know, that elevated communication thing you were talking about last week … ?”

You see, I have a phone messages setting “Me” which I use when a thought or phrase pops into my head and I immediately note and store.

And send it on to myself.

Works for me!

The odd post has even started from one of these Messages From The Great Inside.

Now, I have no idea how half the things on my phone work, and I certainly have no idea how I managed to ring myself.

But it got me thinking: was I trying to tell Me something really important, just nothing was coming through?

Or maybe I just haven’t figured out the frequency thingie and I was actually sending out an amazing telepathic message to myself, and it was only a matter of adjustment.

Maybe I could Google it …

In fairness, I and Me have been working through a lot of things recently, trying to get ourselves into some kind of cosmic balance.

I have written recently about some of the things going on for us: Me as recovering shouter, and our O being bullied in school.

I haven’t shouted at the kids since, even though the impulse to do so has been activated more than once. I have contained it and walked away when I was not capable of reframing or turning the situation into a positive.

That’s the deal with kids; we, the adults, sometimes have to be able to take the bullshit being thrown at us and put it in the bin for them. Not fling it right back at them.

And maybe one day they will learn to use the bin themselves. When they find it.

You know the way teenagers can never find anything to do with school or clean socks?

As for O, I have been both amazed at his resilience and fortitude in dealing with all that has been going on for him, and heart-scalded that a 13-year-old lad has had to do so.

It’s all come together in a perfect storm of bad luck and circumstances for him.

The bullying thing and the epic flipping episode that preceded its revelation were enmeshed with what has been going on for him with his football.

I talked before how he had moved leagues and clubs and how initially it went well.

His new club had a couple of decent early results, and he earned a place on his Premier League’s representative team

A really big deal for him: playing on the representative team of the biggest and best league in Irish schoolboys football, the Dublin and District Schoolboys League (DDSL).

A great achievement.

Then he was called in for regular training with the Ireland National Academy squad for his age-group, Under-13.

Ultimately this squad will become the Ireland Under-15 squad.

But all this has gone awry for him.

His club team has been doing disastrously, getting thumped week in, week out, and this has been really bad for O’s football.

No kid likes getting hockeyed every week and going into their next games expecting more of the same.

Heads are down and they are on their way to relegation from the Premier League.

He has been immense in terms of keeping on keeping on, not getting ratty with team-mates or management.

But that extra spark that gave him his edge has just not been there.

How could it be?

We can talk about how it should be just about the playing at this age, but that’s not how it is at the higher level.

It’s a kind of deal you make with the devil: to get better, or to achieve your potential, you need to be competing, playing with the best against the best.

O’s team have been playing the best, but unfortunately, they aren’t the best themselves. Far from it

And because they are doing so badly, nobody good wants to join, to help them get better, so they are bunched, basically.

And O’s football has suffered.

He has not been called up recently by either his representative team or the National Academy.

It’s the way it is, no allowances for being a kid, no phone calls telling you you’re dropped, or advice on what you can work on to get back in.

Just silence.

Or finding out through Snapchat friends that the DDSL squad and the National Academy are training and playing, and you are not invited.

That’s a lot for a young boy to take.

And then, of course, after a rocky start his old team have gone shooting up their league and things are flying for them.

They are playing at a lower level, but still.

O is in school with some of his old team-mates and, kids being kids, he will have heard all about their fortunes. And his new team’s awful results will be commented on.

In that gentle way that boys do.

Not that O would be any different if the football boot was on the other foot.

He is an internaliser, and all this had been churning away inside, and then he had that bully boy to deal with.

Talk about being hit when you are down.

He has been really low and we have been working hard to build him back up.

But there have been some unexpected positive developments too.

His big sister, who has largely existed independently of O, and the two of them usually at loggerheads when they do speak, well, she has been lovely with him.

They sat down side by side on the couch the other evening and she was saying the nicest things to him, and he wasn’t losing his cool and telling her to piss off. She was just saying lovely, encouraging things, and he was listening.

Then, that night, she slipped a note under the door, which I found when I went to check on him.

The note was full of practical advice and encouragement, beautifully expressed, and telling him at the end how much she loved him.

My wife and read the note in the bathroom, while they were sleeping.

We said nothing, just let the tears flow and off we went to bed.

Yeah, sometimes you can’t make it on your own.

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41 comments on “Bono was right: sometimes we can’t make it on our own

  1. oh the ending of your story, how emotional, what a fabulous sister. Poor O, he really is going through the mill isn’t he, and just at the time when his hormones will be all over the place. Sometimes it’s hard to see that the future will be better, at that age they are living in the moment and not thinking of what the future holds, just focusing on what crap life is throwing their way. He will get through it all though, and I’m pretty sure your bin is going to be full by the time he has worked his way through. Never mind, you can empty the bin anytime, as the adult you’ve got this. And O has his lovely family.

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    • Yeah, it was brilliant to see her come through for him … don’t worry they were soon back to the verbals … but that’s real too. Yeah, i will have to be a big bin, and regularly emptied!!! Thanks for commenting

      Like

  2. It was your robot upgrade calling, to see if you were ready! RUN, ENDA!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s the way it is with siblings, isn’t it? They may argue and even tussle (I have 3 boys, well men now), but if one of them needs a hand, the siblings will be there for them. One of my boys hit a rough patch in his marriage a few months ago, and his 2 brothers came to his rescue in a way that brought tears to my eyes more than once. I remembered them wrestling on the floor when they were young and arguing about who sat where in the car, but when the chips were down, they had each others’ backs. That’s the silver lining of your boy’s story, too. Finding out he has a sister who will look out for him!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh this brought tears to my eyes. It is so so horrible having to watch your children struggle. You are obviously doing something very right as parents to have raised such a wonderful and emotionally intelligent young lady. #mixitup

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  5. What a lovely thing for your daughter to do! It’s comforting to know that at least they are getting on at home well. #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  6. adashofoliveoil

    Tears flowing here too. A hug to all of you

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks Maggi, hope you are all well

    Like

  8. Very cool thing your daughter is doing. Bless her. #TriumphantTales.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely that she is there for him, and that she has been able to be so sensitive in supporting him. It reflects well on their upbringing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This reminds me of my relationship with my brother when we were growing up. We were always at war. But, when he went through a bad period of bullying at school I made sure I walked with him everyday. I hope the bullying stops soon for your son. #TriumphantTales

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Neil … school not easy fpr him,but things do seem to be improving for him. His prespectibve has been skewed by what happened, and we are working on getting him to frame things more positively. And trust people more. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  11. Oh gosh the end is moving, small lathing make a big difference X #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  12. its so hard when our kids are suffering and we can’t take that pain from them. Thats a damn fine moment at the end though, and one that you should be proud of. Empathy is one of the most important things that we can teach our children. #triumphanttales

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  13. My boys bicker all the time but I’ve witnessed acts of fierce protectiveness and support for each other when needed. I pray that the bullying stops soon for your son.

    #BloggerClubUK

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  14. Oh you always get me thinking with your posts. You are a deep thinker and feeler which makes you the sort of person I like. So sorry to hear about the troubles with your son – it is so scary when they are going through that sort of thing I know from experience with my daughter. You and your wife clearly love him so he should be OK and how lovely that his sister has stepped up. The fact that he keeps on keeping on (which ends up being described as inspirational usually) and the fact she is so caring in a crisis suggest you are getting something very right. #BloggerClubUK

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well … let’s say it’s a work in progress! They are still mostly cat and dog, but at least it showed possibility, and gave us hope!

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  15. family eh? How amazing are our children and ho they rally ogether in emotional struggles. And well done you for not shouting – touh one I know but I bet the kids notice xxx #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks Berni

    Like

  17. diynige

    Awesome that they were there for each other great read mate Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

    Like

  18. I argue all the time with my sister but I would be there in a heartbeat if she needed me. I love the idea of leaving messages for blog posts: I have random lists everywhere which get lost easily 😦 Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a fab Sister she is. How did O take the letter? Or did he not mention it? What a wonderful thing to do. I hope things pick up for him soon. Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Teen siblings can be such jerks to each other, but when it really matters they dole out the support! #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Daydreamer mum

    My goodness, what an absolute heart warmer . They do surprise you . I thought my eldest boy and eldest girl didn’t get on much but at a time when the proverbial hit the fan for teen girl she called up her big brother right away for help. Sounds tough with the football , and yeah can’t imagine football types being too kind about the recent results ….#blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

    • No they aren’t … but then we have to admit to whooping with delight when his old team got thumped 7-1 thevother day. They havev the most goals conceded of any team in their league by far. Our boy a defender, hence …

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  22. oh wow amazing such a touching story!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

    Liked by 1 person

  23. #thesatsesh wow, fab ending. I love that through his ‘suffering’ (couldn’t think of the right word?) him and his sisters bond has increased. I think we just need a few tribe members – the rest of society is usually a waste of time. Sounds like you and your wife are raising some cool humans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really was great to see ..not that they haven’t gotten back to dissing each other day to day!!! We hope they turn out okay, cause they sure ain’t anyone’s idea of compliant!. Thanks for your great comments.

      Like

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