Some of you will know from my talks and my bio on the website, and of course in the “Acknowledgements” page of my books, that I was a single mum for many years and brought up my three boys alone. My husband left a few weeks after Will was born and with two toddlers to care for as well as a new-born baby, I really didn’t think I’d manage. Life was a terrible struggle, both financially but also emotionally. I wanted the best for my children as any parent does, but felt that I couldn’t ever give it. We had no money, I was constantly frazzled and exhausted, and we lived in less than salubrious surroundings.
So Will’s achievement on Wednesday meant even more to me than it would have done if we’d been a “normal” family. I’m saying this not to blow any trumpets but as possible inspiration to any other single mums out there, or couples bringing up children on a low income. It is possible to do a good job of it! We really had nothing for years – living in a council house, no car, tatty furniture, all our clothes second-hand, homemade presents, very basic but wholesome food, no expensive hobbies and clubs – none of the trappings that kids see as normal today. As time went on and my teaching career progressed, money became a lot easier although we never had very much. But my boys grew up appreciating the value of things, not expecting much materially, and using their imaginations to play rather than relying on expensive games. They also had to help a great deal with cooking and housework, and are all pretty good cooks now and handy around the home.
In a couple of weeks buy phentermine 15 mg online I’ll watch Will graduate and being a soppy mum I know I’ll cry. I cried when my eldest son graduated too, and now my middle one has applied to go into nursing so that will be a cause for more celebration if he gets accepted. And of course it works both ways, because my boys are very proud of my achievements too. George texted me once to say, “Mum, the person in front of me in the queue at Paddington is reading Moondance! I want to tell her that my mum wrote it but I don’t think she’d believe me!”.
On a similar vein to this, about the things that matter in life (ie not material stuff, not expensive holidays, etc), I twittered yesterday that my step-father was coming to stay and I was guiltily busy hoovering and dusting, not having done any housework for a while. One of the stalwart Stonewylders, Cornmother, twittered back with a link to a lovely poem. I’ve come across this before but never had a copy of it, and I wanted to share it with my blog readers. According to Wiki, it was written by Rose Milligan but is usually attributed to “anon”.
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?
Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;
Music to hear, and books to read;
Friends to cherish, and life to lead.
Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.
Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself, will make more dust.
Remember, a house becomes a home
when you can write “I love you” on the furniture…..