I’ve never felt so small in my life. Or so big.
After years of believing I’m in control of my life I realise its fragility, and how, in an instant it can all be over. That’s what happended to my mum. Literally. One minute she is reading her grandchildren a goodnight story, and moments later…Bam! Something explodes in her head and her life ends. It’s just that she’s still alive. Since then I’m terrified of my own demise. I lie in the dark and wonder when and how it will happen. I am shattered by the thought of leaving my girls and not being able to stop it. I don’t feel like I can conquer the world any more….. more like I’m falling off the edge of a cliff. I feel small in the shadow of all that I do not control. It’s a strange sensation and I suddenly dread the forthcoming birthdays, each one closer to my last. The very first blog I wrote was about the sudden accidental death of one of my peers – it was inconceiveable then that life could just end. It is no longer inconceiveable and that makes me feel very small indeed.
And that smallness is making me feel big. Because I can never be that little girl in my mum’s arms again. Even as a mum, I have always been able to still be that little girl. Even the night before she left me (for her stroke did make her leave me) I was her little girl when she cuddled me as I cuddled my newborn, reassuring me and making me strong. For that’s what my mum did. She kept me strong. And now I am alone. I will have to make myself strong. I have to always be the adult now. I have to finally grow up. Small and big. Big and small. All at the same time.
I have to start being strong. And I’m going to start here. I’ve been reading back over my early blogs – my life filled with the wonder of womanhood, of writing and the marvel of motherhood. In honour of my mum and all that she taught me, I must live that life again. So for the first time in a long while, I’m writing a story makes me feel good. And strong.
Today Poppy had her first ballet lesson. She’s very little and lovely and based on her elder sister’s reluctance to embrace new experiences, I wasn’t sure which way this would go. I dressed her up in her petite ballet dress and off we set, my nerves wrecked before we even got there. There’s something so vulnerable about Poppy, my heart is always breaking for her. I’m still not uber confident about walking into a room full of strangers; how was my little three year old going to fare? Like a little trouper is how. Without a backward glance she joined the group of dancers and proceeded to dance her little feet off. She never hesitated, she never looked lost, she bore a confidence that made my heart swell. After, Daisy (who’d lasted half a dance class last year before refusing to ever return) asked for Popcorn. As I was feeding RubyI gave her the money and told her to go and ask the girl behind the counter. She refused, too shy. ‘That’s ok’ I said. But not for Poppy. Despite the fact she didn’t come anywhere close to the top of the counter, Poppy strode off to ask for popcorn. She may be small, but she is unbelieveably big. Small and big, both at the same time….
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