The first mention of my untimely demise is in my diary when I was about nine years old, and it gets mentioned periodically until I was 21, when presumably the idea of imminent death became a bit unappealing now it was a bit closer.
I don’t think I ever really wanted to die – well, except for when I was 15, but that was a combination of too much Thomas Hardy and raging hormones. I just couldn’t ever imagine myself ‘grown up’.
The idea of having children seemed too improbable to even consider.
But fast forward eight years and I was pregnant.
I had a tricky pregnancy and was told twice that I’d lost the baby – which seemed entirely predictable because how could I have a baby? Don’t be silly.
At antenatal classes when they showed a baby being born, I passed out.
Dear God, I couldn’t possibly be expected to do THAT.
Still, my little critter hung on in there and I woke up from a general anaesthetic one sunny Sunday afternoon in August to find my then-husband holding a baby.
“Why are you holding that baby?” were my first words.
It didn’t bode well, let’s be honest.
This month, Flea finished her second year at school and brought home her workbooks from the year. She’s now survived almost six years of my inept parenting.
Browsing through her stories, I found a little essay titled, “Mummy”, which was a list of reasons why Flea loves me. The last line read:
“I love my Mummy because she makes me smile, and she loves me so very much.”
That, for me, is what being a mummy is all about.