Tim, Max, Dave, and Rocco
My stepson Tim calls me "Fakemum." I love it, and tell him he is my best and most favourite Fakeson I have ever had. He turns 20 next week, all he wants is money for a new tattoo.
My stepdaughter Phoebe terrifies me.
She is fifteen, beautiful, thoughtful. A creative force of fire. Last year she came to live with us full-time, and I have fumbled along with no guidelines or rulebooks. I don't know how to do girls! How am I supposed to nurture and guide her? It's hard.
On Saturday we all went to her school performance. I had ragey PMS and a short temper, but as soon as Phoebe came onstage I was spellbound. And really proud.
She had a stage presence that blew us away. I keep telling her how utterly beautiful and amazing she is. I hope she believes me.
The concert was seriously amazing. I was struck by these talented, fresh, spirited teenagers. Life hasn't beaten the shit out of them yet! They sang and danced and laughed. Watching them just be who they are, gave me this strange sense of faith in the future.
Rocco, 4. Max, 10. It's never too early to appreciate a tea ceremony.
Parenting four children between the ages of four and twenty is no mean feat. As a family unit, we are only as happy as our unhappiest child. Identifying each need and where all the kids are at and worrying about how they are in the microcosm of the family and if they're being appropriately heard? Yeah. EXHAUSTING. I look back to my own violent, alcoholic upbringing and think, sorry kids. You got it easy, now do as I say. (My husband spent time growing up in boys homes, so he completely agrees.)