I’m talking to you on the phone as I walk up the hill from the station and towards home. There are plenty of people about even though its past midnight, but I know you won’t rest until you have seen me home. That’s the thing with you mum, you are able to keep me safe by holding me in mind, being present in spirit and keeping anything bad away. I remember the first time I flew on a plane when I was 12 and went to Romania on a school trip. You sat down that morning at the kitchen table and willed that plane to stay in the air, you didn’t move until you were sure it had touched down, I knew you were holding it up. It was years ago and before we all had mobiles so you never got the message I had landed, you just knew.
I recognise the importance of an attentive parent responding to a child’s needs in infancy as being crucial to the child’s development and that being held in mind is connected to a child’s ability to know that a parent is there for them even when they are not physically present but mum I’m 50!
I’m not complaining really, being held in mind by you has always been wonderful. It has kept me safe and also given me extra strength along the way. Any doubts I have experienced in my ability to do something have often been blown away when I remembered you believed I could do it. Its been this way all my life, from the moment I was born you have believed in me, worried for me and beyond anything else loved me no matter what. I can’t think of a time in life you haven’t been with me, you have seen me through the best and worst of experiences. My life lessons have all involved you. When I have taken the longer path you have walked it with me, however hard you knew I would find the right way in the end. But on occasion if I’m honest mum, this preoccupation with my safety has driven me a little mad.
I remember when I had my son and you were interviewed for Woman’s Hour on becoming a grandparent. You told the presenter that by having a baby it made me vulnerable as from that day forward I could be hurt like I had never been hurt before if anything happened to my child. It makes perfect sense to me, your right our worries about our children are our biggest and most frightening but we also have to let them live.
You often worry about things that are never going to happen, its very unlikely that terrorists will get on the plane I am flying on, a bomb will go off on the tube I’m travelling in or my car will break down and be buried in a blizzard. That’s not to say I don’t take your advice and carry a blanket in the boot mum, rest assured.
I know you touch my picture every night before you go to sleep and I know you think of me on waking and all through the day. I know you like to share my worries so that I don’t suffer the stress of them on my own, but doesn’t that just add to your worries. Now I’m worrying about you worrying about me and it worries me!
I put my key in the door and tell you I’m home safe, I want you to relax now. I’m a big girl and your the vulnerable one now, let me worry about you, take responsibility and hold you in my thoughts now.