Monday, 18 March 2013

Stretching the Umbilical Cord

I am spreading myself rather thinly at the moment - or, at least, that is how it feels. I am not ever in favour of turning blogs into an excuse for either a moan or a rant (though I may have slipped into either genre at one or two points over the last few years) but there is a lot of stuff going on, most of which I have no control over, but in which my presence is somehow required. Much of it is child-related and this has to take precedence over all the other stuff which is, as they say, easier said than done.

About eighteen months ago I organised with my friend Louise (the pioneering, fundraising, torch-bearing, utterly brilliant inspiration behind the Acorn Charity) to take our mothers to the Lake District to stay with Basil and Sybil at Low Graythwaite Hall, the fabulous and fantastic B&B run by our chums. We had a great time and the two grannies absolutely loved it. So we agreed to repeat the venture and booked to go away this week immediately after Mothering Sunday when the intrepid granny would be in residence in any case at the little house on the prairie. Actually, the brief was to see 'a host of golden daffodils' as per William Wordsworth's poem but the English weather being what it is, booking for daffodil-viewing could be any time between the middle of February in a good year to sometime nearer June!

Anyway we set off on Monday, having grannied all day Sunday with mothers from both sides here for a big feed cooked by my beloved with modest assistance from 3 and 4. And it was wonderful to be back up in the beautiful Lake District with the snow-capped mountains in the distance and, obviously, scarcely a daffodil on view. However, when I had booked the trip, I had not factored in the activities of the offspring who are:

In a play in Ireland which has now successfully opened but last weekend was a source of tremendous nerves and panic, and dare I say it, a little homesickness.

Making major career changes and needing support. She does not need our opinions but just needs to talk about the pros and cons - a lot.

And two who got the results for their first round of AS modules last week and, as with GCSEs, attempted to use every letter in the alphabet for their grades.

I am also working rather hard at the moment which is a good thing from a financial point of view but not necessarily so from a laundry/domestic viewpoint. So skipping off amongst the only-just-in-bud daffodils wasn't entirely convenient but the grannies enjoyed it again and we Beatrix-Pottered for a whole day on Tuesday and what I don't know about Peter Rabbit and his pals is simply not worth knowing. And I am back now and attempting to deal with work (backing up), laundry (beyond the backing up stage and now turning into mountains of clean but un-ironed garments in nearly every room downstairs) and finding all the things children 3 and 4 lost or left somewhere in the three days I was away.

I have a number of friends whose children have disappeared off to far-flung corners of the Empire and I consider myself fortunate that three quarters of my brood are comparatively nearby. I am sure these friends too feel the stretching of the umbilical cord but I suspect, like me, they would like to introduce some sort of turns system whereby the children do not all require assistance at once. But all my offspring sent me wonderful Mothering Sunday cards (including the Barnsley lodger) so I will continue to be absolutely there for them whenever, wherever and whatever and I think they know that.

Postscript: In case you wondered, I got my first rejection letter for TFN or The Rule of Three as it is properly known. It was, in fact, very helpful and detailed and has not burst my bubble so we will be pressing on when all of the stuff mentioned above has calmed down a bit. JKR got 46 rejections before someone saw the light about Harry Potter so I remain undaunted!

Mrs Tiggy Winkle doing the laundry - an ever-present theme in my life!

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