the thorny subject of the Pater
Testing for human kindness

being mammy

The Horse Show has for a long time been a regular August haunt for me and my family, going back to the ponylove days where I and my cousins would fantasize passionately about how a "bee" would sting Eddie Macken and one of us would be asked to ride Boomerang in the Aga Khan Nations Cup. Oh, the elaborate and endless games we'd play in the garden, jumping over poles and slapping our sides as we galloped around the grass. Later on, we'd get our own ponies and although that was tremendous fun, that longing and dreaming was gone, and with it a entire chapter of our youth was closed.
Today I and the JB had our stroll around the RDS, on a crowded family Sunday. To me the old magic was there, if in a dilute, moderate, adult form. As for J, who can know how it might have been to step into that foreign world? At first I was slightly disappointed that he didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I did, but I think I am learning something about how his separateness from me - how I am not responsible for him, for his entertainment, or his diet or his behaviour. I feel better for it too. It was a bit of an epiphany in a way. One minute, I was investing huge energy in trying to bend him my way, be ready on time, not wear his sandals (in my defence, they are orthopedic) or put on the fan or behave in a certain e-approved way, when it dawned slowly on me there was no reason for it, and I was just wearing myself out and distracting myself when it was me I should be working on.
And so I put down the (self-inflicted) burden of being The Mammy.


Speaking of Mammies, last night we had dinner with OldFriend (she of the many children). Honestly. How. Exhausting. That. Was. You sit at the table marvelling at the many, many variations of type, pitch and frequency of Noise that can be generated by small children, and the squabbles, and the playing, and the games, as the Mammy (OF) and Daddy (husband of OF) talk (rather bossily) to you as if you are a late addition to the family, just another (rather overgrown) son/daughter. It is like a very benign dictatorship, their parenting style. It's become an unbreakable habit, they've been at it so long, it's like their natural form of discourse.
We ran away from home in the end, to Dublin.

I am praticising yoga a little these days, trying to get a bit of strength up before I go back to class. It does take a long time. My arms were water-strength. Now, they are more like a weak tonic. Working towards a stinging G+T...


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