They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats, Who half the time were soppy-stern And half at one another's throats. Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like a coastal shelf. Get out as early as you can, And don't have any kids yourself.
Philip Larkin’s cheery little poem ”This Be The Verse” kept running through my head last night. As Mother’s Day drew to a close, I wondered how I’ll screw the Sprogs up. What emotional legacy will I pass on to them? Please let them not hate me. Sprog 1 wrote a mesage on her Mother’s Day card that planted a tiny kernel of fear in my heart. It said: “Dear Mum, thank you for giving me cuddles each night. Thank you for working so hard to help me. You are the best mum in the world! Happy Mother’s Day!” Very sweet and brings-a-tear-to-the-eye, but what does she mean by “thank you for working so hard to help me”? Does she think she’s a burden? That can’t be good. Is it because I get all red-faced and furious when we do her maths homework together? Have I made her feel like she’s a hopeless case? Or am I over-thinking it and she merely means thanks for everything I do to help her? I try to make her feel smart, special, wonderful. I do. And I don’t care how she goes in the NAPLANs this week. I don’t. I’ll be giddy with pride if she does well, but I’ll squeeze her tight and tell her she’s brilliant if she doesn’t. Sprog 1 is the most divine creature, she’s so beautiful, complex and quirky. Husband kept asking me what I wanted for Mother’s Day. I kept telling him “nothing”. (It made him nervous, he thought it was a trick.) My gorgeous girls are gift enough. Them loving me, me loving them back. There will be moments in their teens when we’ll push each other to the edge, but the world is a better place with them in it. So I’m going to try my very best not to f@#k them up. I know, good luck with that.
PS That photo of Sprog 1 and I makes me all teary – I can’t believe she was once that small!
PPS I wrote this post after Mother’s Day last year. Scarily, it still rings true. How was your Mother’s Day? Mine involved way too much cooking – I will never learn – and some lovely gifts. Loved it.