I had the most wonderful news on Wednesday. My youngest son Will got the results of his degree – a 2:1 in War Studies from King’s College, London. I am so proud of him, and am still glowing with a lovely warm feeling of fulfilment and completion. Of course that’s not it as far as being his mother is concerned, nor is it over with his education as his grade was high enough to enable him to take up his place on the Master’s course. He’s had to defer this for a year due to lack of funding (more about this another time – my blood is still boiling about it) but actually that’s probably a good thing. He never took a gap year and too much adademia isn’t good for you.

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”.

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
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…..

Have a lovely weekend everyone! We’re off to Leeds Health and Healing Festival on Sunday for a booksigning and a talk, and looking forward very much to meeting up with some of the lovely Stonewylders who are coming along. But now I must attend to my poppy and wheat head-dress …

PS the pic above was taken two years ago and they’ll go mad if they see it here! Can’t find a more recent one of just me and my boys though. All now have shorter hair.


4 Comments

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  1. Kath 13 years ago

    What a lovely post. You are right to be proud, bringing up 3 lovely boys. And don’t worry about the long hair thing, I just posted a pic of my son completely bald (he was a newborn at the time!)best wishes Kath

  2. oh kit you must be so very proud 🙂 and of course you will cry!

  3. Leanne 13 years ago

    lovely post Kit! well done Will!

    leanne x

  4. Firecracket 13 years ago

    Oh well done to Will! How wonderful!

    And I had no idea that you would be at the Health and Healing fare in Leeds! We had a busy day yesterday for Dans 3rd birthday party, but have had nothing to do today! Could have dropped in to say hi with the boy! xx

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