Friday, 24 November 2017

The next phase

I loved the milky babies, days out with toddlers to play farms and forests. I loved the relative freedom  of them starting school and being able to discover horses again for myself. I loved them growing up and developing strong characters and dislikes. Of them still believing in Father Christmas and needing to sleep in our bed if a nightmare arrived. I think I loved it all, but the memory is a marvellous thing and filters out the mundane and the boring. The photos taken are of happy times and milestones, like the first solid food and wobbly ride of a bike, they fool us into remembering a content and peaceful time. I really loved being a mum to little children. I'm just not sure I'm doing a good job of the next bit.

A is nearly 12, developing into a young woman at great speed. Her character from toddler-dom is still there, a kind and empathetic child, a loather of pain, a messy eater with a wide infectious smile for all. She tries hard at school, loves her pony with passion and has many friends.

And now she has a phone. And Instagram. And I don't like it, I don't like it at all.

It's not the amount of time spent staring at the screen, we are all guilty of that I'm afraid, but the influences and messages which pollute her child-like brain.

Maybe I am feeling a loss of control. The beginning of letting go, the start of her finding her own path with it's steep drops and craggy rocks on the way.

I try and help her with her friendship issues, I encourage her to talk about her worries, we discuss what to ignore and what to confront and we spend time together in silence - just brushing the horses or mucking out the stables. I want her to fit in and stand out as different. I want her to be strong but caring. I would like her to work hard at school but not to the detriment of her pleasures. I would like her to have a special friend but be kind to the whole class.

And of course I hope, hope so much, that she is happy.

Mallorca or Sussex, being a Mama is one of the hardest jobs of them all. 

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