Yesterday we went to the city where I work and we did a bit of shopping. We had to dodge the rain so shopping was the best option. We got Apollo a couple of DVDs as his 20th birthday present. Then we came back home and watched Shrek 4 and a couple of other films.
This morning we walked down the hill and into the village. We got some bread and fed the ducks by the river, wandered up and down the High Street before arriving at the Friday market for a lunchtime burger.
Apollo has left and is now safely on the coach to the South West. Although I warned Apollo that I may cry, I managed not to get too emotional at the train station. Helios and I gave him a big hug before he hopped onto the train. Apollo has kindly texted to keep us updated as to his travel progress. We’re now waiting for his confirmation he’s made it home safely.
Some things I’ve learned about my gorgeous step-son: he talks almost incessantly. No offence Mom, but Apollo rivals you for words per minute! He told me that he talks when he gets excited – so I was delighted when he drew breath and relaxed a bit. I want him to feel comfortable with us.
He is intelligent but lacks confidence. He talks about wanting to go places and do things – learning languages, see the world, etc. However, doesn’t seem to want to try to plan a way to go and see the world. I received a voucher for a Teaching English as a Foreign Language course/qualification and suggested that this might be the way to see the world. Apollo totally shot down the idea; he said he didn’t have the patience to teach. I said that the voucher covered teaching adults as well as children but he still wasn’t interested. There are a number of ways to achieve your lifelong goals and I know that travelling is so much easier when you are young and aren’t tied down with a relationship and a mortgage. I’d probably have bought him the course (as the discount was that significant) just to get him started…
He has a negative outlook. I can’t help but wonder if it’s tied with his lack of confidence. He moans about working but he’s not working full-time. He complained about the swing shift – even though he’s not working through the night. The latest hour his shift ends is2am. Considering my dad worked nights in a factory (If memory serves, it was from midnight to 6am.) I wasn’t impressed that he groaned about going home at 2am. Then when Apollo’s work contacted him to give him more hours, he was negative about that. I said that he must be good at what he does if they’re giving him more hours but he didn’t seem convinced.
He sees things in black and white. While he did try blackberries for the first time with us, he is very particular about his food. He’s a trained chef who doesn’t like nuts, celery, plain yogurt, salmon, risotto, or honey cooked ham. That’s just what I remember off the top of my head. It seemed like any time I turned around he’d say “I don’t like that.” As much as I don’t mind catering for someone who is a bit picky, I find it truly odd that he’s a trained chef and seems to not like food.
At one point I suggested that I take him food shopping and he could choose what to buy and he could cook it. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t take me up on my offer but, bearing in mind his confidence, I didn’t make a big deal of it. Instead we had leftover chicken stroganoff and another nice chat.
It’s not just food that he’s black and white with. He is like this with a lot of things: he’s atheist and won’t consider any religion to have merit; he has no interest in seeing some films even if they come highly recommended; and he only seems to read one genre of book – nothing else is good enough.
Bearing in mind one of the main goals for the visit was just to get to know him, I think we achieved it. For the record, some of this post may sound negative but I’m not judging him harshly. A lack of confidence isn’t insurmountable. He just needs to appreciate what good qualities he has. Getting to know someone requires time and patience. He’s a great house-guest (or should I say tent-guest?) and I’m looking forward to seeing him again.