And as she sleepily suckles in lazy rhythm, her eyelashes tickling their sun stained cheeks you reflect. Sprawled across you, their fingers in lyrical twitches to the song of sleep, play soaked feet claiming your nearest available limb. The fluttering punch of their heart that through luck or fate or cosmic bollocks has aligned atop of yours. You reflect. The pulsating fury that claimed your veins is now the puddle of tears that smudge away the punctuation of your regret. Breath in. Breath out. Breath. I love you, you whisper. Words sloppy and wet like rain drops or bird shit. You inhale them in their sleep as your heart aches with the ode to your remorse. Minutes pass and then the latch breaks, just for this, to say “love you more mama” . And bamf. Just like that, they’re asleep again. Just like that, you’re a little more whole again.
When your child has driven you up the fucking wall all morning…… But then it’s nap time and they actually sleep, flopped out on you and you try and think about everything they do from their point of view and thus feel like an awful parent. You’re no longer sure which is the rational reality, the reactive you or the reflective you. One powered by anger and irritation and the other by guilt and self loathing.
I’m a firm believer in living reality and keeping it real, regardless of the negatives and positives that occur. You can’t live each moment in some constructed idealism. It’s like, if you constantly create situations for your child you rob them of the ability to create their own. If you’re constantly socially, mentally and emotionally engaging and directing them in activities they don’t discover their inner independence and creativity. Because life can be boring and lonely and that’s okay. No matter how loved you are you can’t always have 100% of someone’s attention. It’s real life. You can’t pretend it isn’t. It’s in those moments they discover themselves .
The world could end and you could remember that I wouldn’t blow bubbles for you because I was hanging up washing or that I got cross when you walked across something twice that I’d asked you four times not to. Or that you wanted to constantly feed and for a short while I said no, later. That I yelled when you did something I’d told you not to.
Or maybe you’ll remember I gave you my crisps because you wanted them, ib didn’t bollock you when you smooshed and grabbed my dinner with your hands, i kissed your booboos better, I cradle you whilst you slept, i whisper Dr suess to you in the dark, i pretend to be clean up pretend wee from your toys, I count your breaths when you’re poorly… That i said sorry. That I love you.
You can’t be extra tolerant/benign/understanding every minute just in case it’s the last or your last or theirs. That’s just not real. If you have to tell yourself how to react or think in every given situation then you’re not actually reacting or thinking, it’s all premeditated faux realism, it’s not living. It’s not being. Forcing yourself to be something or someone you’re not in actions or words is actually delivering a disservice to those we are trying to protect from seeing our true selves, by not trusting them enough to display our inner ugliness; our inner human. To not allow them to learn how to interact and react with it. hi
Because, humans are beautiful. And they’re ugly. Would they be one without the other? Is it not our vulnerability to be ugly that makes us beautifully human?
When does the filter become a whole new person that we try to contain ourselves within? A perfect shaped hole but a human shaped peg.
Is this guise a better humanity or is it that which merely erodes true humanity?
When we try so hard to be what we believe is a better person/spouse/parent that we erase our true self. We try too hard to become what we’re told is psychologically appropriate and beneficial for others. Surely there is no right without wrong? No beauty without ugliness? No calm without tempest?
If you have to try so hard to be a certain way, behave a certain way and live a certain way then is it even real?
Life in an emotional straightjacket.
We need to be wrong.
It’s okay to fuck up?
It’s okay to be horrible and mean and awful when the albeit trivial moments and actions of others momentarily overwhelm us?
It’s okay to make others feel bad when they piss you off
Because then, and only then, do we get to reflect. To regret. To apologise. To appreciate. To organically adjust our behavior.
It’s living. It’s being. It’s…..
Because we see and hear and feel it’s impact. On others and through them ourselves.
They, granted sometimes it’s unintentional, push and push until we explode. They feel sad. We then feel bad for exploding.
It doesn’t change what they did or what we did. It’s not ideal. Nobody wants their child to remember them as the pissed off monster. Nobody willingly wants to feel pissed off at their child.
What if we realise they’re just being a child and that’s okay.
What if we realise we were just being a not-child and that’s okay too?
Because life isn’t an unconditional fucking fairytale and trying to create one for a child’s benefit is robbing them of growing coping mechanisms and understanding of others. Of life.
To dispel the myth that we’re not perfect and neither are they.
That there is no perfect.
Sometimes we try so hard to be the adult that we forget to be a person too, which can give children an unrealistic expectation of others tolerance for them and a total lack of understanding on how they’re pissing you off. That sometimes, we overreact. That we’re sorry.
Yes I’m a mum. I’m also a human. Some days I fail at being both.
If today was my last day, I hope they’d remember me in-spite of my failings and not because of them.
That I could be horrible.
That I try to change but can only be me.
That I love them.
That sorry isn’t just a sound it’s also a thought and a touch. A silence.
That we’re all essentially dickheads.
You can fill the plate or you can empty it. It’s up to you.
Is it all merely a matter of perspective? You can fill it with nourishment and enrichment heaping upon it lashings of faith and fat sweet dollops of encouragement. You can fill it with the burdening residue of your own failing self worth in tatty proverbial suitcases and your personal rejected luggage. You can empty it through the tender soothsay of reassurance as the unwavering unconditionally of your love eats through their fears. You can empty it with the fiery malice of discontent as you glutton upon their confidence and beauty leaving nothing but smears of who they were and who they could have been.
The plate can break yet be repaired, a little weaker and not as pretty.
It’s fragility can be ignored by its temerity as it’s broken again and again changing its shape, editing its design. It’s resilience is both captivating and terrifying. Piece by piece, chip by chip until it’s unrecognisable. Until it’s irreparable.
Sometimes I’m the plate.
Sometimes I’m the hand that throws it.
Rewriting the autobiographies of our souls with glue.
Kneeling on the shards.
That moment, when you realise you’re about to fall. That slither of time when it could have been prevented, when you could have been saved, evaporated. It’s inevitable.
What if that moment, is continual? Looped. Frozen. A perpetual state of falling.
The moment you realise you’re drowning, too far gone to resurface yet paralyzed with the inevitability.
It’s like waiting to die.
It’s like waiting to live.
Parenting on a tightrope.
Why must it be a battle of push and shove? The petrifying grab or let go?
That tango of wills daring each other to the edge.
I’m terrified I can’t save you.
And that you can’t save yourself.
From being pushed.
Unable to decipher the intentions of my flailing arms.
I’m desperate for them to save you.
I’m stupefied they’ll let you go.
It’s not supposed to be this hard.
To love you.
If you’re waiting for me to stop
I can’t not love you.
I won’t not love you.
People are all losing their shit over the Dr’s genitals and creaming their pants over GoT and I’m just over here pondering why my nose has turned into village of the spots again whilst looking for thundercats t-shirts
One of the worst symptoms of M.E and various mental health issues for me is the brain fog. I used to have an iota of intelligence; of written eloquence. I was reliably articulate. Now I mentally stutter and stumble through paraphrasia and a mild relative of aphasia. I literally sit here hitting my head with my hand trying to knock and shake the words back into my Stream of thought. I know they’re there. Somewhere. Only for them to disappear again before I can catch them. It’s so frustrating. I know what I’m trying to say, the definition and meanings but the actual words? They’re fucking hiding. Words have always played a massive part in who I am. I have so much more to say yet the words quite literally run away.
(That’s also why I edit a lot. That and the fact my thumb magically inputs random words in the middle of my sentences)
So if I don’t make sense, now you know why.
Do you remember? When Casually dressed in that practised nonchalance you’d slip a tape into their hand with awkward shrugs and sentences that were shot with holes (of all the things you couldn’t say) but y’know. It’s cool. It’s all cool.
It’s just some tunes you, err, thought, uhm, they might like.
And as you walked away, they never did see the streamers of string, frazzled and taut, that lead from the tape to your heart circumventing to the deeper, the darker, patient pools within.
You never told them….
That you’d be sat waiting.
Toes dipped in moonlight. Soul trapped in headlights.
In that beautiful agony.
It’s just some tunes.
That they might like to hear.
To the inside of you.
They never knew that you stopped breathing as you walked away.
They’d find you, between the music and the words.
And did you ever know, I’d doodle about you.
In my favourite colour biro.
Beneath the lines
And over the margins
Three pages from the back
& Upside down.
I gave you a key once, wrapped in words and taped with double edged silences.
I hid it within you.
Because I knew it’d be safe.
I’m at the door.
No need to get up.
I’ll put the door mat back in place.
Don’t get up.
Listening doesn’t mean agreeing.
Disagreeing doesn’t mean I’m not listening.
I’m allowed to disagree.
I don’t need your permission. I grant it to myself.
I don’t agree
But I listened.
I am listening