If you’re going to be me tomorrow……

Imagine if you had to give up your life for one day and hand it over to someone else. What would you tell them? What advice/instruction would you provide to get through the day.

I’m taking part in a writing workshop this week. It’s both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I could sit and listen to my classmates stories for hours but my stomach churns when it’s my turn to share. This morning there was a sentence written up on the whiteboard, “off you go” said the teacher, “you’ve got fifteen minutes. What would you tell them?”

Here’s mine.

If you’re going to be me tomorrow, you’ll need to know the following…

When you wake up, your ankle is going to hurt, don’t move it too quickly, just try to slowly rotate it, of course this is going to be hard as the beagle is laying on top of it. Your first words will be “off” and they should solve your beagle problem, but the other feeling of pressure, the weight on your arm, that’s your seven year old son, just roll him carefully towards your husband.

Your husband will be awake, he’s been up for hours, he’ll be working or reading the newspaper and he’ll glance at the seven year old, then at you and he’ll give you that familiar look. He’s thinking how did this happen, he’s wondering if he’ll ever wake up with you on his own again. He’s experiencing a different morning, he’s mourning. He’s thinking of a time gone by, a time where the bed was just yours, where mornings weren’t just mornings but possibilities and opportunities.

Don’t bother closing the door while you shower, there will be a constant stream of traffic.

“Did you sign my consent form?”

“I need 15 riyals.”

“Can you put the toothpaste on my toothbrush? I can’t get it out.”

“Can we buy Annika a ‘best friends’ necklace…… can we go now?”

Someone will be tired, someone will be excited, someone will be fragile, pay close attention, if you can read the signs early, your drive to school is going to be so much more enjoyable.

You will scan the wardrobe, flicking through the shirts and pants, asking yourself what will keep you cool in the 48 degree heat. Let me save you some time. The answer is NOTHING. Just don’t put those red shoes on, they’re the reason your ankle hurts, and don’t forget to pack a scarf or a cardigan, when you’re not roasting in the car park you’ll be freezing in the supermarket.

When you’ve reached the school hallway, just lean forward low enough for Mr 7 to be in control of the kiss goodbye, he needs to be the one to put the kiss on your cheek, especially in front of his mates. Please take a photo of everyone kissing the youngest little traveler goodbye as they pack away his lunch box in his cubby, I keep meaning to take a picture as I know it will end soon, and I’ll forget how they did that for him. How they all mothered him. Make eye contact with Ms 11, no kisses, but she still wants a pinkie swear or a rub on the arm, whatever you do, don’t offer to walk her down to the classroom but make sure there is eye contact.

Miss 8 will take your hand, sigh dramatically as if it’s been a busy morning and say “Finally, just the two of us”. When you walk to the door of her classroom there has to be a kiss and a hug, it has to be a kiss on the lips, it has to be a long hug. She will settle for nothing less. She’ll remind you to look at the clock at 11.30, “remember Mum, 11.30” and you will promise “yes, 11.30, we’ll both look at our clocks at exactly 11.30 and think of each other”.

As you make your way out of the school, start checking your list of what needs to be done, it will stop you from thinking about how quiet it is, it will stop that familiar feeling, the confusion of missing them. Only 10 minutes ago you were telling them to hurry, to not forget their backpacks, wipe the toast from their chins and don’t forget to close the door.

When you get back to your car you will find at least one door open, there will be a backpack on the back seat.

What would your message say? If someone else had to be you, what would they need to know?

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  1. vegemitevix says

    I absolutely adore this. Do you mind if I write my version on my blog! 🙂

  2. shamozal says

    That’s EXACTLY what I was hoping for. Can’t wait to read it. Kx

  3. I love this – what a wonderful topic!

  4. What a fantastic post.  I like how you’ve included observations of the present and the past from everyone in the family.

    SSG xxx

  5. Raineandsage says

    This is a great exercise, and your version is far more humorous on the mundane than I would have mustered. Love your writing!

  6. love it – especially the “someone will be tired, someone will be excited, someone will be fragile” and the school good-byes – these are all mirrors of my own every morning experiences. my miss 8 is just the same, pouts at the end of the day if not greeted with use of nickname,  kisses and hugs. beautifully written. t xo

  7. You are such a fabulous writer!

    I love the synchronised ‘checking the clock at 11.30’ thing. How cute! 

  8. Your blogs are must reads for me now!  I love the little world you create that we may all share in for a few minutes.  It takes me out of my crazy world and allows me to calm myself!  I’ll have to think of what mine would be… Thanks!

  9. Naturally Carol says

    Thank you for writing gently this morning.  I love the way you have noticed the differences in your children and made yourself into what they need!  Being a mum is just like being a chameleon.

  10. Denysewhelan says

    I am thinking now I might be giving away how slack my life is since retirement if I did that ….. Your writing was great! As usual. I do think it is a top idea for a post, but I couldn’t get too much in iy..
    1. Get up late
    2. Eat break reading paper.
    3. Go on-line
    4. Stay on-line
    5. Yep, still on- line
    6. RSI & backache force me to leave computer
    7. Have lunch. Read parts of paper I missed.
    8. Think about going for a walk. nah! Too (insert word of choice, cold,hot,wet)
    9. write a blog post
    10. Check blog post, publish if ok.
    11. Get snail mail from letter box
    12. Prepare dinner.
    13. Eat then help clear up with Hub
    14. Watch news ( wonder why bother)
    15. shower
    16. Bed with iPad. On-line.

    Next day. repeat but occasionally add in “shopping” “doctors appt” “grandkids wrangling” that’s it! For now.
    Denyse xx

  11. Ahh, the Beagle. He’s a scene stealer, isn’t he?
    What a vivid piece of writing. Love this.

  12. Naomi Hattaway says

    What a great post.  I loved this part “Someone will be tired, someone will be excited, someone will be fragile,
    pay close attention, if you can read the signs early, your drive to
    school is going to be so much more enjoyable.”

    I am going to steal it (kind of) as a blog post … loved it.

  13. Not only was that a great read, but I find it hard to believe a) you got all that out in 15 minutes, I’d be up to para 3 still thinking, b) why on Earth would *your* stomach churn? You’re always a brilliant story teller! x PS In heels, it’s wedges for me, always wedges! (Safer.)

  14. I love this idea, although, these days, my teenage sons do not need me in quite the same way yours do.  Of course, there are still requests  for money, notes to be signed, and the search for specific items of clothing (usually found crumpled in the laundry or on the floor.)  Thankful that both my sons started many years ago to say ‘I love you”  last thing before they head out to the door.  It’s a habit that has stuck even after they both became exceedingly cool…thank God!

  15. Just discovered your blog andI love it! I am now your newest follower!
    Beth x

  16. Thanks for giving me more than a sneak peak at how the ‘those with children’ start their day. Very insightful. Thanks

  17. will definately use the idea for a blog…beautiful post, great thinking ideas for everyone out there. Lovely read as always!

  18. Lotsa love in your day! Nice….

  19. caroline calvelo says

    what an inspiring read! gotta love your day! a great idea for a post. thanks

  20. love this! stealing this idea for a post in the future 🙂 thanks

  21. Stunningly written. Again.

  22. Kate Stanton says

    I love it! I am going to be a mother of 4 in around 29 weeks (eek!) and its so nice to know I am not the only crazy one who misses them the second they aren’t there anymore. Im definatly stealing this idea. Thanks x

  23. BabyMacBlogBeth says

    I love this.

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