Thanks Mum, but it’s over to me now

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

WELL, I think all of my good in­ten­tions of last week have slightly back-fired. I’ve shot my­self in the foot, thrown out the baby with the bath wa­ter and made a mas­sive faux pas. I gave up my beloved col­umn to my dear Mother, so she could have her right to re­ply to my pre­vi­ous col­umns and to cel­e­brate Moth­er­ing Sun­day, but it’s come back to haunt me and bite me on the back­side. I’ve never had such a re­ac­tion from peo­ple about any of the other pieces I’ve writ­ten and ev­ery sin­gle per­son, bar none, have said how much bet­ter she is at it and will she be do­ing it any­more! Well I can quite cat­e­gor­i­cally state that the an­swer to that is ’no’. Not be­cause she doesn’t want to do one, but be­cause my nose has been put firmly out of joint and I can’t risk be­ing com­pletely usurped and dis­carded, like an old Fleet Street hack. Hav­ing said all that, I too found the piece very en­ter­tain­ing and it did make me chor­tle. It’s funny, I do re­mem­ber be­ing a bit of a pain in the side for the ma­jor­ity of my grow­ing years. If I wasn’t be­ing a sickly tod­dler, then I was car­ry­ing my “ter­ri­ble twos” into my teenage years and then go­ing slightly off the rails af­ter leav­ing school, so she did have to deal with quite a bit. She of­ten says to me to­day that she hopes my own kids give me a lit­tle bit of the trou­ble I gave her, just so I know how she felt. Bring­ing up your kids surely has to be one of the most im­por­tant things you will ever do in your life. There is no rule book printed, no in­struc­tion man­ual to fol­low, you lit­er­ally have to wing it, go with your in­stincts and hope for a bit of luck on the way. We all, of course, learn from our par­ents and learn from our mis­takes along the way, but how do we know if we’ve got it right? No­body hands over a medal and con­grat­u­lates us on what a good job we’ve done at the end of it. It’s a thank­less task. I sup­pose the pay­ment we get from them is the joy they bring along the rocky road. Be­cause of the job I now do, I’ve had the priv­i­lege of meet­ing some kids that haven’t been dealt the best hand, that have had to deal with ill­ness for a lot of their young lives – kids that make you feel hum­ble. That is why we can never take our kids for granted and why we must cher­ish ev­ery mo­ment, the good and the bad, the rough and the smooth.

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