I’m writing this because I think we need a record of the horrendous things you had to endure in your childhood, the things that sent you reeling through the house in flails and wails of grief; the horrific events that had you bearing your teeth in retribution and declaring war on all and sundry; the terrible acts of violence inflicted on you that saw you collapse and writhe in agony. A catalogue of events that should – as all injustices should – be recorded and never forgotten. Here goes (brace yourself for painful flashbacks):
- Your brother took your shard of glass. I know my darling, you had been saving this tiny fragment of brownish glass to give to your friend – you PINKIE PROMISED in fact, to give it to her (even though it would likely wound her) and it is now the very end of the world that your brother found it lying in the driveway and has claimed it as his own.
- Your sister touched your library book. Yes, it was the precious Moshie Monster one that you hadn’t thought about until you saw your sister reading it, but the mere thought of her grimy fingers on your (the school’s) property was too much and had you stomping to your room.
- You don’t want lasagne. Yes, you’re so right, that delicious layering of pasta and cheese and tasty sauces (okay yes a few hidden vegetables) is DISGUSTING and deserves a tantrum at gymnastics.
- Your brother fed your fish. I can’t remember the last time you fed your own fish, but you’re right, he should NEVER feed them in case you’ve already fed them and they POP LIKE WEASELS. His actions warrant a good old tirade and a bit of a wallop.
- You DON’T LIKE THIS SONG TURN IT OVER! There was only a few seconds left until the end of the song and the potential for a better song to come on the radio but it’s melody was definitely slightly grating and certainly deserved a good in-car screeching to tense up the driver and put everyone in jeopardy.
- Mum laughed. Yes, Mum did a little laugh at something that popped very privately into her mind. She should never do this, never ever, because people might think she is laughing at them and that would trigger a terribly debilitating, possibly violent attack of low self esteem that may well see you into a lifetime of therapy. Heaven forbid anyone accidentally LAUGH.
- Your sister looked at you. OH. MY. GOD, she didn’t. How very DARE she look at you over your rice bubbles. Unforgivably unfeeling and callous. Leave you to your rice bubbles I say.
- Dad put lotion on your itchy skin. GASP. Unthinkable. It’s just so greasy and cold and traumatic and you might never recover.
- Mum put sunscreen on you. (See point 8).
- The dog farted. I know, it was unforgivably nasty that smell and may well have poisoned you dead, which is why you had every reason to run screaming from the couch and tell the dog you HATE him.
- This one is very hard to write, I feel slightly sickened by it, but it must – in the name of accurate history – be recorded. Someone touched your….tennis racquet. Enough said, the horror contained within this unspeakable act speaks for itself.
- I left you in the car while I went into the bottle shop. It was one of those drive in bottle shops and I was in full view of the car and the window was open so that the whole shop could hear you screech, “Muuuuuuuuuummmmmmyyyy” like an evacuee of wartime metropolitan England, but I fear I may have scarred you for life. I would (nearly) give that bottle of Sauv Blanc back if it would save you from such hideous despair.
- Sorry, GORE ALERT! but it has to be catalogued – you nicked your finger on the edge of the pineapple tin. I KNOW, you were lucky not to lose your finger AND you don’t even like pineapple on your pizza.
These things are very painful for me to write, and you should know that the process has hurt me greatly. If you look at me you will see the effect of these events etched into my face (see those two deep lines between my eyebrows that look a bit like someone has long ago cut me with a stanley knife, they are the scars of your trauma).
But perhaps we will one day be able to look back and see that these things have made us stronger people, more resilient, better able to empathise, more patient. Already you’ve shown me you are capable of strength – you didn’t seem too bothered when your great grandmother died, nor did you bat an eyelid when you split your head on the corner of the table and needed stitches. But those are mere trifles in comparison to all the heinous acts of human injustice listed above.
And when it all got too much for me and my temper spilled out into the car that day and I thumped and screeched and yelled and then cried from guilt and exhaustion, you were nothing but sympathetic and loving. So perhaps the trauma of your everyday lives won’t ruin the light within. I can only hope.
Perhaps one day we will read this and realise how very bloody lucky we really are.
With much love, always,
Tags: motherhood, Parenting, Perspective
Oh Meg… This is platinum. I fear that my mother has compiled a similar list about me and adds to it daily. The thing is, I DO realise how bloody lucky we are. Uppercase, bold, underlined and emoticonned. Life: so hard to get it right. (p.s. I love lasagne)
I love lasagne too, I thought everyone did dammit. xx