Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Back to school - The Gallery

This is for the wonderful Tara Cain's Gallery. Please pop along and have a look at the treasures posted this week.

Two pictures. Thirty years apart. Two four year old children on the start of an educational journey.

This is me aged four in 1979. I loved school - loved the reading and the writing stories and playing with my friends. I didn't like being teased - that used to make me cry and retreat into my shell - a shell I still struggle to come out of on occasion. But I was a happy child and loved learning.

Education for me has been an up and down experience. A bright, top of the class girl for most of it until I reached GCSEs and A-Levels. Then I messed about, didn't try and carried that on until my degree, when I didn't get my 2:1. It was a colossal wake-up call and when I did my Masters, I really gave it my all and did myself proud. I don't think I'm done with education, but the thought of studying again brings me out in a cold sweat. Never say never though...

I look at the little girl in this picture and I can remember the picture being taken. I loved that dress with the embroidered flowers on. Mum must have picked it especially. I look at her eyes - my eyes - and think where life has taken that little girl that was once me. It has been so hard since breast cancer, but I think life's still good. I wouldn't have picked this path I've found myself on, but I'm trying to kick my heels and dance the rumba once in a while as I trundle along it.

And what about this little man, pictured at the same age in 2008? (Love that Geoff Boycott side-smile). What does life hold for him? He's happy and enthusiastic and enjoying being a big boy of six at the moment. He's been through a lot in his short life already - when this Reception picture was taken he'd been through a very tough time. It's hard for a three and four year old to see Mummy bald and poorly and sobbing as she fights to beat breast cancer. But he's come though all that with the help and support of my wonderful M and my family and friends and is cheerful, kind and cheeky.

I look at this picture and I see the promise of my boy. I want so much for him, but most of all I want him to be happy and healthy and surrounded by love. Just like he is now.

I want more than anything to see the man he will become. When I'm laid in bed at night, thinking the bad thoughts, that is the thing that grips my heart with fear the most. The possibility that I might not make it to see him grow up. This is the reason for my blog. Just in case I don't make it, I hope the things that are written here will help.

*This post took on a life of its own - was not supposed to be this maudlin. I can only apologise!


  1. Oh that's a beautifully written piece *eyes well up*. I can see the resemblance!
    I am sure you and your son will have many more happy years ahead of you and I am sure you live each day to the full so each one is special :)
    I don't really know what else to say but it is a lovely piece with 2 gorgeous picccies xx
    Ps your last paragraph has reduced me to tears now as I just re- read your words again!

  2. I wish I had words that could help. I feel your fear and hope that you manage to lock it away and that you have a long long life and all your dreams come true

  3. Gorgeous photos of you both, he has his Mummy's hair!. He knows how much his Mummy loves him and you will be here to see him grown. Much Love xx

  4. Didn't come across as maudlin - just heart felt and authentic :) Beautiful post and can't imagine how it must feel to lie in bed thinking those thoughts. I have a 5 year old boy too and my aspirations for him are very much the same as yours. I hope that your wishes come true and you enjoy many many more happy times together.

  5. That's a lovely post. And I know exactly what you mean about how they run away with you sometimes. But aren't you both beautiful?!

  6. I know that fear so well, I sooo want to be Grandma Ruth, it terrifies me
    that I might miss out. My littlest hobo, Eve, starts school on Monday and that's prompted a bit of a downer - I'm definately having an "ugly body that let me down and probably will again" week. You're blog is brilliant Mel, I love it xxx

  7. Trying hard to post comments but failing. Will try again tomorrow.

  8. Oh Mel. There is something about motherhood that really exposes all our vulnerabilities isn't there? I am certain that there will be many more words added to your lovely blog, and I know I'm not alone in hoping that you will be reading it when you are an old lady when the internet is as retro as Jimi Hendrix.