Dear BT man,
Thank you for smiling when you saw me having a fun moment with my daughter. We were coming back from a treat hot chocolate and a rare mummy-daughter time together. As the hill towards our house became overbearing, her four year old legs started to ache.
In a hot chocolate fuelled rush of inspiration I recited our Michael Rosen favourite and we commenced on a bear hunt. By the time we reached your van we had hotstepped over lava and crunched our way through an overgrown forest. You heard my recitations and perhaps recognised the verse and a soft smile spread across your face.
‘What joy there is in the world’, you must have thought, ‘for a mother and daughter to feel so free to lark around on a Wednesday afternoon.’
But Mr BT man, I’m not the kind of mother you think I am.
This afternoon I had put together an acceptable and frankly fairly stylish outfit, worn lipstick and maintain the blood sugar levels required to be a fun Mummy.
But Mr BT man, I wasn’t a fun Mummy this morning as the same child you previously observed enthralled by a world of make-believe was howling about my choice of shoe for the day’s outing. My lack of any significant breakfast, paired with another smaller child refusing raisins because she’d spotted cake in the cupboard, pushed me to my limit.
You wouldn’t have smiled then, Mr BT man, as I lost my temper with my four year old. I wasn’t a fun Mummy then, I was an angry Mummy.
If you stick around our road on your telecoms business long enough you’ll see my many Mummy incarnations: Stressy Mummy, Flustered Mummy, Run-ragged Mummy or even the About-to-meltdown-here-on-the-roadside Mummy.
What I’d ask is that whichever Katie-Mummy you meet, you greet me with a smile as our paths cross. Be it a smile of encouragement or empathy, please remember that what you are witnessing is no less beautiful than a fun Mummy hunting bears on a Wednesday afternoon.
What you are witnessing is a love beyond any that I’ve ever encountered. The very fact that I continue day by day, even though many of my motherhood manifestations are not the mother I’d planned to be, is out of love. It’s a love so deep that despite the stresses and strains, there’s no avoiding it. I can’t go over it, I certainly can’t go under it. I have to go through it.
What you are witnessing is a persevering, can’t shake it off love for my children.
And that, Mr BT man, is worth a smile.