I have wanted to write for days. I have had so many things I wanted to say but each day things got worse. I actually decided yesterday that I would be closing my blog down tomorrow. I just felt like it was all pointless to be fair. Like….who cares what I think or say when the world is in crisis….but then I remembered that this blog has got me through some hard times and if I am writing for just me…well…so be it. If you had asked me last week how I would have dealt with what is happening now I would have said OK. I would have said that I would just get on with it. But I haven’t. I have not cried this much in many years and for so many reasons. Wave after wave. And many a blog to come.
Today, obviously, is Mother’s Day. Usually my sons will lead on this and will get bits for my 10-year-old daughter to give to me. I love having them all home fussing over me. I usually always end up cooking, but they all do their bit. It also my birthday on the 23rd of March so I had a whole weekend of stuff planned.
A few days ago, it was clear that my oldest would not be coming home. My middle son was never going to come back, but my oldest was. We decided together that it was best he stay with his . I sobbed after. My daughters farther agreed to go out and let her choose a few bits to give me. I don’t care about the gifts. Never have. I just love to see the things they choose to give me and such.
This morning I woke early. I can’t sleep at the moment. I got up and started decorating. My daughter goes up and struggled. She knew it was Mother’s Day, but she struggles to find the word she wants to say at times, so we spent a good 45 minutes just cuddling on the sofa. She gave me my lovely gifts and she was excited to tell me why she had got them. My eldest and his partner had sent me flowers. It felt almost like a normal Mother’s Day. Even with all this going on, Mother’s Day is still a killer. My mum is always my first though when I wake up on Mother’s Day. Even more so this year. My daughter went off to play and I went upstairs to continue painting.
A while later I thought I could hear something downstairs. Crying maybe. Now, my daughter is not good in anyway with emotions, but if she is crying…. you’re going to bloody know about it. If something has bothered her enough to cry, then the whole world knows about it.
I came downstairs and my little girl was standing against the wall in the living room with her hands tightly over her mouth. Her face was bright red and she was crying. Silently sobbing into her own hands. I dropped my paint brush and sort of run at her. In my head I was like “Fuck…. this is bad…what the hell has happened”. I pulled her hands away from her moth and she was distraught. I have never ever seen her cry like this. It was like watching a much older person being upset. I couldn’t get it out of hr for a bit. She kept saying “Your going to be so angry mummy” and then dissolving into tears. I pulled her onto the sofa and just hugged her. Said what ever it was it was OK.
After a few moments she looked up at me, eyes red raw and said, “I have ruined 6 eggs”. I didn’t know what she was talking about so asked what she meant. She started crying and said that she had been trying to make me a birthday cake (This has never happened before) and that the recipe she was following said to separate the eggs. She had no idea how to do this and had been cracking the eggs into a bowl and then trying to remove the egg yolk with a spoon. Every time she had done this the yolk had broken.
Any other time in life I would have laughed and said don’t worry, let sort it out. I would have been amazed that she had put the thought and effort into making me a cake all by herself.
However, my first thought was “Fuck…fuck…. we only have 10 eggs”. I could literally feel my heart banging in my chest. I got up and went to the kitchen and there were 6 bowls …. all with broken eggs in them…. all with broken shell in them. I honest to god didn’t know what to say. I turned around and she was there, right behind me…. bottom lip gone….and she said, “I’m so sorry Mummy, I know we can’t get any more eggs” and her eyes welled up. And in that split second realised that whatever came out of my mouth would have a lasting impact. We had spoken the night before for a long time about what all this meant for her and there had been lots of tears. We had hardly spoken about food other than me saying that she might not get all the stuff she usually has all the time. This panic she was experiencing now was coming from other sources. The news maybe (Not in my house) …friends…family…… But not me. However, inside I was thinking “What am I going to do……I have not been able to get eggs all week…this is too much”. Out of my mouth came “Don’t worry, we can fix this, stop crying, we will get more eggs”. And then I hugged her, and she threw herself into me and sobbed. It took a while to calm her down and when she was calm, we spoke. I told her that she was so clever to try and cook a cake without me and that it was so thoughtful. She was very tearful and said she had ruined everything. I said no way, she had made it very special for me.
We spoke about why there was no eggs in the shop. We spoke about what that means. And we decided that her making me a Mother’s Day cake was very important. So, we googled the easiest way to separate eggs. We found a video where you do it by hand. Usually…if you know my daughter…the reaction would have been “Yuk…no way”. Today she said “I would do it that way mummy, but I don’t want to give you Coronavirus” …Which almost set me off again (That would be like the 28th time this week). I said that as long as she washed her hands it would be fine.
She asked me again, before she set off to make the cake “Are you sure its not a waste of eggs?” and I said that I thought it was the best way to use the eggs ever.
And so, she did. With her eyes puffy and pale as a ghost….my little girl who struggles to follow instructions….separated the eggs….whipped the egg whites until they were stiff ( I had to help with this bit but had to do it with my eyes closed so I didn’t see…..try it…..its a pretty unique experience)
I went back to my painting and kept calling down the stairs to make sure all was well. She asked me how to check it was cooked and we spoke about it and she went back down. Independent…on her own.
An hour or so later she called me. And the cake that opens this blog is the cake she had made. Like a madeira, I guess. She had googled how to make icing and done that. She had then gone and found two cat toys…a mummy and a baby…cleaned them ….and then placed them on top of the cake. She then got the marshmallows and made a repeating pattern of pink and white around it (She pointed out the pattern several times). I just stood there….my dining room and kitchen covered in flour and icing powder…. eggshells all over the side….and a little girl looking up at me with pure pride in her eyes.
I took a picture and then said I needed to quickly go and wash my hands before I tried some. I sat in my bathroom and pulled myself together. I came down and cut a slice. It was pretty good. I hugged her and said I was very proud that she had tried so hard to make today special. She tried to stifle her smile. That sone of the many things that she struggles with…showing emotions like smiles. Then she lent on me….and then somehow ended up kind of planking on my lap, her long blond hair touching the floor. And I rubbed her back. I think that was her way of saying “It’s gonna be Ok”.
Then she went to play and threw a strop because I had misplaced one of her toys.
But she is calm. And will remain so as long as I am involved.
I am not doing OK. The thought of being inside for months is already killing me. Not for me…no…for her. But I’m sure that’s another blog when I can think about such things without crying. I am worried about a million things as are all of us and I am starting to become …petrified is the word I will use…about how all this will pan out.
But I am not going to show that to my daughter. I don’t want her living in fear. That’s my job. I want her to think that life is just a bit different right now and apart from not going out, we can still have a normal life. We have agreed that if she now wants to start cooking then she can, but she needs to check that we have all the ingredients before and if not let me know and give me a couple of days to get stuff. She has also learnt that we don’t give up. If there are eggs and we can make cake…. we make cake!
But most of all I have learnt that our children will be harbouring feelings about all this that we might not know about. I haven’t told her we can’t get eggs…but she knows. What else does she know? SO, I am going to be mindful of that. I can’t protect her from the outside world. I can’t even really protect her from this virus.
But I can continue to be the safe place for her, so that’s what I will do.