Saturday, 6 April 2013

History is written by the winners....

The following isn't meant to promote a debate that my family has had many times over the years - it's just a point I am trying to make.

I always remember my education when I am confronted with the title of this post... I was brought up in England, and went to English schools, the IRA was presented as a terrorist organisation which did terrible things for no real reasons. My cousin was brought up and educated in Eire, and her Southern Irish school presented the IRA as freedom fighters. Neither viewpoint was entirely correct or incorrect, but two sides of a very passionate debate.

So we've written boy-o's life story book. We've had to - for all the reasons that I gave on my last past - right or wrong doesn't matter it's just the fact. But it does mean that we've edited the information that we wanted boy-o to have at the moment. There are facts in his past that matter a lot, but that he will not understand at the moment; so we've brushed them under the carpet.... 'there will be time for that' was the point we made.

But in the middle of the night, in one of my insomniac moments - it struck me... 'history is written by the winners' and my boy's story has been written by us. We have presented the information in the way that we want him to have it. We have glossed over some incredibly difficult information.... there are things that I don't want to explain to him until he is a great deal older. We have left out some information that is impossible to comprehend for a 4 year old, actually it's still a little incomprehensible for us to understand.

We've tried to write it with sympathy towards his birth mum, because that is our/my over-riding feeling towards her. I always look at her life story, and think, 'there but for the grace of God', and I know some of my friends have struggled with that fact. I have no bitterness towards her, just great pity. I've met her, she is ruled by a life of hardship and has lived through things that I can't imagine - not just having children removed by social services.

But I still get stuck at the point that we've written it. It is a book for now, and as M has just reminded me, the plan is to go back and add to it at a later stage. We have a roll of lining paper in the loft where we transcribed his report into some sort of date order. We have his report. We have numerous other reports. It's not that we are keeping secrets - but trying to give him a basic story, that we can all build on in future.

But I hope we have put the right information in and left the right information out.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

The fact that you are concerned and more over aware of this tells me that you have.

Odd comparision but look at books on sex ranging from pre school to teenage age range - there are things in a teenage book that do not appear in pre school, not because anyone is denying they exist or missing them out to make things sound better but simply because at that age it is not appropriate for discussion. You have provided Boy O with an age appropriate book for now which will grow with him as he grows!