Sometimes I’m lonely. I know you wouldn’t understand it, and it is difficult to explain. How could I possibly be lonely when you are with me for most of the day, saying my name on repeat, letting me know that you are always there for me? It is a funny sort of lonely. It is a lonely that craves adult attention. I am convinced, most days, adults have nothing that interesting to say. Most, certainly, won’t begin a conversation by asking me how many stars are in the sky, or informing me of all the species of butterflies in the garden, still, sometimes, on days when I haven’t left the house, I miss the nothing that adults speak of. The loneliness is at its worst when you are sick, and Daddy isn’t home. On those days I want someone holding my hand as I hold yours, telling me that you will be fine, just as I whisper it in your ear, some days I need a grown up as much as you do. Sometimes I’m lonely
Sometimes I’m annoyed. I stand at the bottom of the stairs and shout your names, declaring the living room looks like a bomb has hit it. I huff, and I puff, and I won’t chill out until you are tucked up in bed and the mess in my head has been put away, just like your toys. Please don’t be worried when I am like that, getting annoyed is part of being human, I know you get annoyed with each other too. My siblings drove me mad when we were growing up, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every day it strengthened our relationship and I miss them always, just like one day you will grow up and leave me, and I will miss you every day too. But sometimes I do get annoyed.
Sometimes I’m tired. You wake up in the night and urgently call my name, I get heart palpitations jumping out of bed to heed your call. You throw your little arms around my neck and hold on for dear life. I stroke your head until your arms soften, and you slowly drift off once more. The next morning my head is fuzzy, I stayed awake too long, I pick up a load of laundry and put it in the dishwasher instead. I used to feel tired, before you. I would come home from work ‘knackered’ and collapse into an idle mess on the sofa until bedtime. These days I wish was that tired once more. The bags under my eyes are the tattoos of Motherhood, and I am proud of the Mother I have become. But, sometimes, I’m tired.
Sometimes I’m sick. I have stood over you, waiting for a fever to break, or with a bucket in one hand, until you have recovered, then it hits me like a brick wall. You may pass me a tissue, or tell me to feel better, but you still need me there when you finish school. No one will cook your dinner if Mummy is down and Daddy away, so I will cook, and I will clean, and I will be your rock till you go to sleep, then I will drop, tired and emotional, because, sometimes, I’m sick.
Sometimes I fantasise. I dream of a day to myself. A sandy beach perhaps, or just a bathtub with a book, don’t get me wrong, I love the days you sail your dingy through the bubbles, but on those days, my book gets wet. I would love to stay up all night with calorific snacks, the type I never let you have, and Netflix without worrying about the aftermath. I fantasise about an immaculately clean house, a chef in my kitchen, wine in the fridge. I fantasise about clothes that fit in all the right places. A bed with no crumbs, an empty laundry basket. Sometimes I fantasise.
But I will never regret. I don’t regret the sleepless nights. I don’t regret the cause of the mess. I will never regret having no time for ‘me’. I will apologise, on the days I lose my shit. The days I worked too late and have my mind on other things, I will apologise for not always being there, but I will always try to be there. You are the best of my life, you are what I wake for every day. Your sloppy kisses in the morning, your tired arms around my neck. I may get grumpy, upset, stressed. But you are the things I could never, ever, regret.