Yesterday Idgy left for school camp. Oh how my girl has longed for this moment, it has been the star on her tree ever since she entered primary seven last Autumn – the big P7 Barcaple Camp.
She has been packed and ready for the past month. Her clothes folded neatly (oh yes), shoes, toothbrush (don't forget it), book, toys (minimal!), camera (disposable) and tuck box (of course) all ready to go in the biggest bag imaginable. Something Ryan Air would love on account of their excess baggage charges.
She fairly scampered off into the open jaws of the tour bus. Her 26 companions all equally excited and the accompanying teachers bearing a stressed look that can only get worse by the day. I envy my daughter her fun time, I do not envy those teachers.
So there I was in an empty house last night, empty bar a little package and card left in the kitchen 'for Mothers Day'. It made me think.
I am in that position now where I am a multi mother. I am mother to my daughter still a little girl who needs me so much, and I am now mother to my own mother, who has now become the child she was so many, many years ago. If you want to really add in some extra ingredients Colin needs me too, I am acting mother for him too.
Too much motherhood, it is smothering me. Think back Karon to years gone by. I never had those mumsy dreams, had you asked the young me what I wanted in life, I would never have uttered the children word. I was just not maternal. My friend Louise married when I was 30. A few years later she had her first baby. 'Can you hold him while I put this in the car?', what a simple question. I was horrified, I had never held a baby and didn't know how. Something that sticks in my memory.
(this photo taken in 2007)
I adore my darling daughter and love her so much, she is my special person, my star on the tree of life. But I am still not the maternal type, I find all this mothering business very difficult, so not me.
At the moment it is all enclosing. Like Valentines Day the media jumps on Mothers Day like a dog on a bone , as a cat would chase a mouse, it attacks the subject from every angle and just won't let it go (at least until next Monday). What are you giving your Mother on mothers Day, where are you taking her, buy her this, make her that, isn't she special, what has she done, where does she go, 10 kids what- a star, a foster mum – even better, fighting the system, a Mum on the edge, best mum contests, the works.
Mothering is everywhere, it is what life is all about, it is life for it makes life go on. But sometimes it is just too much. For someone who never wanted to be one, I am now in that multi-mothering place, a scary place, a land in which I never wished to travel. How silly then that I didn't even realise I had bought a ticket for this train.
There will be those of you out there who will call me selfish, childish, whatever you will. I should be grateful for my motherhood in all its forms, it is a gift. Yes I know all that, but it feels as if right now I am all tangled up in the wrapping paper of that gift, struggling with the ribbons that hold it all together.
So what will I be doing on Mothers Day this year? I'll be off to France for a few days. A quick break with friends and sunshine before Colin's next test date. I am sneaking off, running away. I am a teenager running away from home. Should I have a spotty hanky tied on a stick with all my goodies inside? No, dear reader, see me at the airport on Thursday morning clutching my flight bag, it is less than half the size of Idgy's luggage for the school trip, Ryan Air will make no excess baggage money out of me.