“Under segregation, black women were so rigidly excluded from good jobs that 60% of those who were employed in 1940 worked as maids.” The Economist, 30/08/14. Picture fromthe Help (2011)
Note from the editor (that’s me): From now on this blog uses Mumsnet style abbreviations to refer to my dear daughter (‘DD’) and dear partner (‘DP’) to protect them and their current and future careers against my big online mouth. This is a necessary measure taken as a response to a surging popularity among the two family members and five or so spammers who occasionally visit this site.
In the past weeks apart from learning to lip synch to Let It Go (because apparently my voice is annoying), just as important as not holding back is knowing exactly when.
For example, in case you have forgotten, learning to ride a bike without stabilisers is hard work. It’s especially hard if when it comes to the practice of calm mindfulness, your mum is the opposite of a yogi, because she’s yet to get eight weeks off from work to do yoga and eat croissants (after literally – not metaphorically – losing some back bone). And if your dad was around, he would possibly have more patience but only after having exchanged the bike for cannabis.
So my daughter’s inability to ride a bike without training wheels was just a metaphor for the guilt I felt about our incomplete family. Yet her stabilisers hardly touched the ground so I knew she could do it, but she was as confident as the Bank of England. I’d hold and run behind her and then let go without warning. I thought this was commonly practiced pedagogy. “Are you holding? Are you holding?” “Yes! Keep pedalling!” I’d lie. But rather than cycling to the sun set she’d get completely hysterical and probably lost all trust in me for the next ten years.
Then one of these days, I didn’t let go. “Are you holding? ARE YOU HOLDING?” “No! You’re doing it yourself!” I lied. “SERIOUSLY? AM I GOING ON MY OWN? I’M PEDALLING ON MY OWN!” she cheered and the next time she demanded I step aside and just watch as she went by: “I’M THE CYCLING CHAMPIOOOOON!”
The thing about kids is that I suppose one can always plunge them into the water. But if they don’t sink they’ll get back to the surface more bitter than when they went down. I hope I can remember our cycling experience through her childhood and teenage years: Let her go in spirit and think she’s doing it herself.
This is the lesson number two: parenting is not a job for the credit hungry – they’ll never give you that and that’s ok, it shouldn’t be. But maybe when she has her own kids, I will tell her, guess what, I was holding you that whole time. That’s why you didn’t fall.
Superdrug, I don’t think ‘Naughty’ is quite my shade. Don't suppose you have any ‘Promiscuous’ in stock? And look at my friend over here. She needs something leaning towards the shade of a fetish?
The saints come marching in, in their representative lights
“We do have a high performing culture; we’re bright, ambitious, energetic and driven people…”
“…It will mean that we have to work really efficiently and effectively all of the time, and sometimes work at unreasonable and long hours – that’s the deal for any high performing team like ours.”
“…concerned that some people are having an easy or easier life, relying on others to cover for them. The economic and competitive environment is too tough for us to do this.”
“35 hours of activity is not a ceiling! Our best performers at the year end review combine high client utilisation with business development and practice support activities.”
“It’s not acceptable to opt out of this!”
1. the time by which something must be finished, submitted, etc. 2. (formerly) a boundary around a military prison beyond which a prisoner could not venture without risk of being shot by the guards.
I thought this would be my last selfie.
She came last night and brought me a nice present which was chocolate, which she ate. Then she asked if she could take the rest home. I am staring at the smoke rising from a meteorite falling on the spot I had been standing five seconds earlier.