On Monday night, too late and too tired, I filled in all the BA Skyflyer Solo unaccompanied minors’ paperwork for the children’s upcoming trip to the UK.
Have I admitted here on my blog that I will not be with my children this Christmas? Have I declared it or just hinted at it? At book group yesterday, one of the women gasped when I said it. She gasped and clapped her hand to her chest, and said: ‘Oh. Christmas? I couldn’t do that.’ Will I earn a ‘Bad Mother’ award?
My children want, with all their hearts, to be in England this Christmas. They are desperate to see their grandparents, their aunties and uncles, their cousins and their chosen family – the godless parents and ‘godsisters’, although strictly speaking, I think that should also be godlesssisters. I am desperate to do the writing course in Koh Chang. My article writing is going fine but my novel writing … is not. My doing - my actually doing as opposed to talking about doing – the article writing has made me a much happier human. This has to be good for my children, right? (Thank you kind K for your words after book club! Interestingly, I have noticed that it’s only other people for which this seems to be a problem and it’s not them doing it – it’s us.)
Anyway, so there I was filling in the forms and it was complicated because there was another flight thrown in – I won’t bore you with the details except to say the people taking and picking up from airports have to be named and addressed so BA only handover to the correct people. And then I copied it to the four marvellous women who are going to be surrogate Mummies to my children, and asked them to check their bit and come back and confirm everything is okay. Because I had done the form filling at the last minute, I had to send the forms back to Husband’s secretary before I had all the feedback.
This morning I got an email saying that nowhere on the form did it say that Godlessparents were ‘meeting’ the extra flight. My sister puts them on a flight and Mr Nobody meets them. Will BA notice? I wondered. Can I play Russian roulette with my children? No. This is a small thing: Husband and secretary can sort this out tomorrow in the office (today is a bank holiday).
What it has demonstrated to me is that I am trying to do too much. It can’t all be done. So I am streamlining: I am ferociously knocking things off my list …
What I have noticed is that I am intending to stick to the things I’ve agreed to do for other people, and knock off most of the things I wanted to do. I can easily let myself down but not other people.
I know someone that would challenge me on this: I know he would say that I should be thinking about me. Explain to other people and they will understand. And, this is what my Skyros course is about: I AM thinking about me because my being happy benefits everyone. But this goes against everything in my nature: ‘Don’t let other people down’ was somehow a mantra of my upbringing and I can see it in my Mum and my sister. They think about others before they think about themselves to (I think) the detriment of their wellbeing. I know I do.
Hmmmm, is this a ‘mummy disease’?