Married to a very patient husband Harry, and mother to Edie, four
As Mum lies in a hospital bed having an epiphany, I am having a mini one of my own. Edie has started school and I have realised, with sudden clarity, that I am an adult. A grown-up. A proper grown-up at that. Perhaps it’s the combination of having a child at school and a mother in hospital that I think actually makes me a midult, or a member of the squeezed middle, or something similarly mature-sounding. Next stop: retirement.
But seriously... I think until Edie put on her ill-fitting school uniform and hung her book bag off her tiny shoulders, I could convince myself I was still playing at being a parent. That the past four years have all been a dress rehearsal, really – an extended chance to get used to the fact I have a child. And I still haven’t got it right. When I took her to school on her first day, I went to the wrong playground – who knew there was more than one playground? – which meant we were late. Turns out it’s not just Edie who needs lessons – it’s me, too. Her teacher was charming and wiped away my tears as I said goodbye, while Edie skipped off happily to the ‘creative corner’, whatever that is.
On the way out, I found myself in a group of other snivelling mothers and we all made our way to a nearby café, where, within about five minutes, I had become the cliché of a school mum I had previously loved to hate. (I would call Mum and ask her if this is normal, but she is too high on tramadol to make any real sense.) You know the type: flat whites, muffins, a long discussion about whether or not we should volunteer to be the class rep. The general consensus was no, are you mad? To which I could only answer: well yes, actually, I am. So why not? It’s the grown-up thing to do, after all, and Mum will be so proud.
Her teacher was charming and wiped away my tears as I said goodbye to Edie