I know that the boys need me; they need to see how far they can push me away and to make sure that I will still be there. This became very apparent when I was ill and off work last year. It was nothing serious, but I did spend time moping around the house. The boys’ world fell apart; they must have thought I was going to die. They never said it, but I’m sure, they feared it deep inside. There were incidents every day I was off work. one tried to run away, he was seen racing across a field. I was hardly able to drive, but I managed to track him on the mobile phone, locate him and pick him up. He didn’t really want to run away, he needed to know I would rescue him. A couple of days later school had seen an email and warned me one of them had arranged to meet someone and buy drugs from them. I had to get him off the school bus: One of them wrote a suicide note in class and made it so obvious that his teacher noticed and took it off him to see what it was. I went to school to collect him – to show that I was still there for him. I went back to work, and the urgent calls from school stopped. I sent them text messages, emails, left post-it notes in their school planners. To show I was thinking of them. To show them I was still around.