NBF hung on as we jumped waves and got hysterics. She gripped it, the way I used to hang on to my own mother's. This prompted great affection, but also grief. It's still only just over two months
since mum died and there's still bitter/sweet in most memories and experiences.
When people ask me about how I feel about not having kids, a question that really very few should ask unless
they know you well. My standard reply:' sad, but I do have lots of children in my life'. I do, and we rub along well. This reply is genuine, but it can sound hollow if I'm in a vulnerable place. I'd rather do a one liner than dwell on the gut wrench
that kicks in sometimes. I will never know how MY mother felt about being a mum, I can only hazard an intuitive guess.
After 6 year old M and I had done our jumping for the day,
I had a cry on the Hello Kitty rug and M's own mother gave me a hug.
If you're a parent you'll know more than me about the way a child's hand feels when it grips you in part terror and part joy;
the way they can look right into you and love you, and then tantrum for an hour a short time later. (Tantrum is now a verb and can also be applied to grown ups).
I am not sentimental about the
baby/child business, but I'd have liked to have seen my body do what it was, in part, designed for. I made no career/child choice, the child free bit just happened, more to do with relationship circumstances, than anything else.
My mum always said, 'it's interesting to see what comes out, when you have a baby'. She wasn't preparing herself for a newborn puppy, but meant that she found the genetic mix intriguing.
My mum's love of 'Milly Molly Mandy', (the children's book) has also been passed on from me to my new friend. The language IS old fashioned, but my 6 year old friend loves it. Her dad really made me laugh, though. He has been reading
it as a night time story - for his child, not himself - and is a little disappointed. 'The sentences are making me lose the will to live!'
A rough round up: 'So Millie, and little friend
Susan, and Mr Smith at the shop, and Mr Smith's wife who was very quiet but kind........' and so on, until the whole village's got name check. Democratic and fair, but not exactly Harry Potter.
'She loves it, but I can't get my head around all those NAMES, repeated again and again, on EVERY bloody page'. Perhaps keeping it simple keeps us all childlike. Even the language of real life adult feelings tends to be basic: 'I really
like/hate/can't stand you. I mean, well perhaps, could we......??????'
Fill in the blank as you choose.
Let's leave it there and
return to our farmyard friends .........And Millie and best friend Susan were happy that the fence had been built, and everyone in the village could let their dogs out, without the ducks getting upset. Then everyone went back to surf the net. It was the
end of a very special day.