Just enough time
Sometimes there is only ten minutes, and that will just have to be enough time. Always time chasing. Always trying to fill life will all the things that I have to do, I need to do, I want to do, I try to do in-between the mothering, the interruptions, the house work, the keeping well work.
I am sitting outside in the back yard. Its a pleasant place, beside a river banked by a high retaining wall. The sound of the river runs in one direction. The sound of the cars traveling on the main road run in both. Lorries and heavier vehicles are louder. Then there is the train, every half an hour.
Woosh it runs past.
The yard is filled with a second load of washing drying in the spring sun. The red japanese maple tree leaves are slowly emerging. Four courgette plants have reared their heads in the little plastic greenhouse, and I can see others are pushing up under the earth.
Naoise is watching Transformers and Syd is meant to be doing his maths homework but I can hear that he is jamming on his guitar. Music always comes first, always. Later he will be going to cricket practice, so I hope the good weather sticks, and I hope that he settles on doing the homework.
I had another difficult morning with Naoise, at the last hurdle, he refused to go to school. All I needed to do was put on his shoes, brush his hair and teeth. He stated; I am unwell mummy, I cannot go to school today mummy, I have a temperature. He is so determined and adamant. I try listening, persuasion, coersion, sympathy, empathy and the strict no-nonsense approach. Each strategy, each parenting methodology failed miserably.
The clock ticked towards nine and I felt compounded to scoop him up and leave the house regardless of his protestations. I certainly did not want a repeat of the previous week when he clutched hold of every chair rail in the front room and refused to budge and kicked and cried and shouted out and got more and more distressed.
I don’t want that again.
So I slid outside the blue plastic front door with my very annoyed and red faced child. He hurt my back as he angrily fought against me. I stopped momentarily on a wall by the bus stop. He wrapped his arms around mine, and held me close and the wall so tight that I could not move. I managed to prise his fingers free so that I could walk on again.
Beep beep beep beep thats the oven buzzer so have to get the kids there tea. Its fish fingers and garlic bread a weird combination, but it will do.
Maybe I will find another ten minutes to write later.
The children didn’t mind the yellow/orange carbohydrate dinner, in fact they loved it. So much conflict, always a battle for my attention. Syd wanting me to listen to his latest song while Naoise did every thing he could to disrupt Syd from playing. He held onto the neck of the guitar, he tried to delete his lyrics from his iPad, he pulled faces and said that he didn’t think that his new song was any good. So much for brotherly love, sibling rivalry on constant. It winds me up so much, I hate it, its boring and depressing and exhausting. There is no where to escape the onslaught. Ignore> negotiation> ignore. Walk away to where?
Its cold. There is a cold breeze blowing, and the sky is turing grey. I spoke to mum on the phone from the car park whilst waiting to collect Syd from school. It’s been snowing in Scotland. She said she woke to a blanket of snow. All white but melting slowly in the sun. Perhaps the cold is moving down the country. I have gotten used to the sun, and I had been thinking of an evening walk. I will go regardless of the weather. I need some height, I need to see the hills and see the sheep and the lambs. I need to see the skip and the play and the joy.
I notice the pink of the cherry blossom flowers. I recall as a child placing the flowers behind my ear and slipping the maroon stalks into the rubber band of my yellow pony tail. I Imagined that I was the prettiest flower fairy ever as I walked to school. I loved the pink. The intense pink and the fold upon fold of petals. They didn’t look lovely for long. The flowers quickly drooped, faded and fell, but for a brief few weeks the trees provided the best hair decorations there ever were.
Mum its running out of charge! Mum. MUM Can you come in here mum. Its running out of charge mum.
I imagine now cutting bunches of the pink blossom from the trees holding them close to my bare sagging breasts. Perhaps lying on a lime green sheet to set off the pink of the flowers and the peach of my skin. Why. I have no idea why. Just a thought. A visual thought. Perhaps too sweet, too sweet, too romantic, too sentimental?
A young girl. A middle aged woman.
Yesterday was black today feels pink. Pink is hopeful, moving forward with pink. Pink of nipple and vulva. Pink of pride. Pink of purpose. Pink of protection. Pink of private. Pink of principles. Pink of promise. Pink of petal. Pink of practicality.
Walking home was good. Naoise wanted to go home, he didnt want to play in the willow scrub. He wanted to come home with me. Straight away home. Home along the canal bank. Walking back Naoise needed to do a wee. He wanted to wee in the canal water. I told him that would be dangerous.
Naoise:Why mummy because it would hurt the fish?
Me: No Naoise because you might fall in!
I see how differently we see the world. Him and Me. Son and Mother. I see all danger befalling him. He sees all danger elsewhere. Out there. Over there. Not here. To him there is no risk. To me the risks are constant, everywhere, right here, now.
I am overly anxious and I know that this is a failing as the children pick up on my anxieties. I try. I try. I try to be more pink than black dog, but the anxiety creeps and jumps out at me, sometimes when I least expect it.