Friday, 21 March 2014

My World in a Pot of Jam

Felt a little despondent today.

There was a time when I dared to swing so high my bottom left the seat and I risked going over the bar. I would spend long moments running so fast I'd feel my ribcage rattling up into my throat and I would be the first to leap off the wall not knowing what was on the other side.


Now I dare myself  to hoover over a button, I won't run faster than a jaunty jog and as for any wall jumping - the very thought of it makes my back twinge in protest.

Everything suddenly seemed overwhelming and potentially dangerous. Even adding a little of Lloyd Grossman's Putenesca (can't spell it!) sauce to the leftovers resulted in diabolical diarrhea all over the garden (I should mention that I gave the leftovers to the dog - I don't shit in the garden), now even the dog is restricted to plain toast crusts and nothing else.

I felt sad dwelling on these self preservation barriers I've imposed upon myself. I felt like an old pot of jam, sealed beneath dust and rust, old but perfectly safe.

How did I become like this? Am I old before my time, or is it my time to be old?

Then I realised the answer - I became a mum.

Since becoming a mum I have watched my world shrink to fit in that jam jar, wishing it to be preserved just as it is, right now, watching the little ones safe and playing in their bedroom.

I didn't feel old and restricted anymore.

For when I looked upon the nape of my babe's back, his curly head bent as he scrutinised a piece of fluff in the carpet, it hit home how truly vulnerable these dear little ones are and how many little and apparently innocuous things can harm them.

In light of that, it's no wonder that I'm terrified of hurting my back leaping off a wall - how will I pick up and cuddle my tiddliwinks? If I don't hoover the button will they choke on it? And a garden showered in dog mess is not a safe playground anymore.

When I look at my babies I would gladly climb in the jar and screw the lid on myself if it meant they are safe and protected.

I'm not old, I'm not neurotic, I'm a mum.

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