Thursday, 3 January 2019

Everything I am, everything I'm not

I've been asked recently why I stopped writing, and to be honest, I'm not really sure. To dip my toe in once again, here is something I wrote almost two years ago and never published. I'm not quite sure why I didn't. 


I remember when Lil-lil was a week old, I held her in my arms as she screamed her little lungs out, her face beet red with anger. I clearly remember thinking "My god, I've broken her. It was going to happen eventually but this must be a world record, one week and I've already stuffed her up!"

Now with hindsight, I know these were the thoughts of a brand-new sleep deprived mum who had dreams of having the perfect child. What I didn't know then, but I do now, is that she was perfect and she still is. She has faults, some she was born with, and no doubt some I've probably given her. But she's perfect. She's so like me in so many ways, and in so many ways she's not.

She's long and she's gangly and she's all arms and legs, which I've never been and will never be. But she lives in her head, just like me. She talks to herself, just like I do. She's quiet and shuts down and thinks that her thoughts some times controls the world, just like me. All she wants is the romantic ideal of life, just like me.

Then there's Goosey. She's fiery and angry, not like me. She's more determined than anyone, not like me. She's full of self-belief, not like me. But she's compassionate, she's empathetic, and she knows her feelings affect those around her. She worries and feels and takes things on. She'll act to change if she can.

Then there's Darbs. Calm and controlled and funny and full of charm, not like me. Affectionate and kind and insightful beyond his years. Oh so secure. I told him tonight: "I love you more than anything!" and his reply: "Even more than your great-great- grandfather?" He's the most trusting soul I've ever come across and that in some ways reminds me of me. Maybe it's a third child thing. You just know there's some kind of safety net waiting to catch you.

I remember hearing my whole life "Try your best, that's all you can ask for." Until today, I think that's always been a bit of a cliche or a platitude. Try your best. That's for losers. I saw my girls run the cross country and they tried, their absolute best. I saw how much they were hurting and they didn't give up. I saw how much they wanted to give up and they didn't. I'm not afraid to say I welled up. I've never been prouder. Sure they didn't win, but as far as I'm concerned they did.

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