Friday, 8 March 2013

Do you believe in fairies?

We all had a bit of a shock last Sunday. My elder, usually very agile, daughter went head over handlebars on her bike, knocking out her front tooth and cutting her lip. Luckily it was only a baby tooth that was already on the wobble and no serious damage was done, but there was a lot of blood and a lot of crying (enough about me!!!). And to add insult to injury, as she hit the ground, she’d eaten mud.

I'm not convinced this bear is adequately qualified
It was a far cry from the weekend before, when she had been running around in a fetching new party dress, the belle of her birthday sleepover. As she turned seven, and opted for a small gathering rather than a big party, and a green rather than pink outfit, I had begun to realise just how grown up she was getting. And since I’d been watching the parents on ‘Child of Our Time’ rather sadly explaining how their pre-teens really didn’t need them in the same way, thoughts of being dumped by my bigger baby weighed heavily on my mind.

I’ve always considered being a mother is like being caught up in the sickest love story ever. Here is a person that you would instinctively fight tooth and nail to protect, someone that you would die for. And to begin with your baby only has eyes for you. So, you fall hopelessly in love with each other, with everything beyond that barely existing. But if you do your parenting properly, the tiny, perfect bundle you brought into the world merrily leaves you. And you help teach that little turncoat all the things it will need to do just that. Every day of its life, your offspring gets less and less dependent until one day that ‘baby’, packs up its bedroom and leaves you altogether. And you are supposed to applaud each and every step on that journey outta there. Ouch!

Personally the bit I am dreading the most is when my little dreamer gets her heart broken. At the moment she’s so trusting of people and truly believes everyone follows ‘the rules’. I wonder if any young suitor will be safe from my vengeance if I see her sobbing uncontrollably face down on the bed. No seriously, I need a lawyer now to start planning my defence well in advance. I’m learning what I can from TV about forensic evidence already so I can cover my tracks adequately. A rainy day is great day to commit a crime for example because fingerprints are less likely to remain and footprints tend to get blurred (you can have that one for free). It rains a lot in England boys.

But of course I also want her to grow and develop. I want her to travel, and discover skills and talents way beyond those I ever have. I want her to study and love with a passion, to be healthy and happy, take risks and feel exhilarated. But I don’t want her out raving until dawn breaks, vomiting in gutters, wasting her energies on boys that aren’t worth it, trawling developing and dangerous countries and making some seriously bad decisions along the way. So I’m between a rock and a hard place. Oh, and I’m a massive hypocrite.
Even fairies have to grow up...
But last weekend she was definitely my baby again, wrapped up in her duvet on the sofa, with an ice lolly for the swelling, cheering up at the news the tooth fairy would probably rustle up a little something extra because of the trauma. When she went to bed, she wrote the tooth fairy a little note explaining what had happened, hopefully asking for a raise.Of course the tooth fairy wrote back in her teeny, tiny writing, leaving some magic fairy dust along with the bad luck bonus.  And even though she came rushing into my bedroom at 6.20am the next morning to tell me all about it, as long as she still believes in fairies, I’m happy.

Do you long for the days when your child is less dependent – or do you dread an empty nest? Do you fantasise about a time in the not-too-distant future when you can take a ‘comfort break’ alone, but not want your babe to grow up too much too soon? Let me know I’m not the only one with mixed feelings in the comment box below!


  1. love your blog. I have been blogging for a couple of years now. How is Twyford? can't believe we left more than a year ago!!!
    Love gem x x

    1. Hi! Thanks for reading. Twyford is much the same. Although it's snowing today!! What's your blog called?

  2. caleb will turn 1 next month and i have such mixed feelings of excitement and then sadness that my little baby is less baby and more little person!
    just to let you know we've nominated you for a liebster award. the details are on my page :)

    1. Thank you for the nomination...will check out the details. I'd like to say it gets easier, but every birthday is a triumph and a disaster!! (I do always think 'yay me, I've kept that child alive for another year').

  3. I found you through This Little House. We're on the Liebster list together and I wanted to check everyone out. It's lovely to find a blog like yours. WOW, what a sweet post I discovered you on. That last photo is the sweeeetest thing.

    Right now I'm loving that my little man is having more independence. He's 18 months. Now the thought of him out in the world on his own....I'm not going to think about that now! :)


  4. Hi Henna - Thanks for stopping by! Yes, think about the big wide world some other time...

  5. Just read this poem online that sums this stuff up:
    The Last Time

    The father, reading to his girl
    some little tale they always read
    is unaware that this may be
    the last one that she’ll ever need;
    she’s grown past stories softly read
    by daddy sitting on the bed.

    The mother with her muddy son,
    kicking a football in the park,
    cannot sense as they wander home
    through chilly, soft-approaching dark;
    this was the last time they’d come out
    to kick that happy ball about.

    How secret, sneaky-soft they come:
    those last times when we’ll kiss it better,
    hold their hand across the road
    or lift them up to post a letter.
    They pass unmarked, un-noticed; for
    we’re not so needed any more.

    So they abandon fairy tales,
    and nursery rhymes that mummy sings
    and leave behind soft toys – and us -
    and put away their childish things;
    a loss so small. Our loss the greater,
    unmissed, un-mourned, until years later.

    © Lucy Berry