Bitch on the Blog

April 18, 2014

Comment ca va?

Filed under: Travel — bitchontheblog @ 21:58

I knew this before embarking on the adventure of a lifetime, namely  motherhood: You will worry, your hair will stand on end most unbecomingly so, and generally be a mess. Not, of course, that one can let on about it. Most certainly not to the apple of your eye.

Today and tomorrow the Angel is in France. Which is not as frightening as it sounds. Yesterday we revived his dormant French which gave both of us moments of hilarity (for different reasons). I promised him that if he comes back having gone to a Pizzeria (in Cherbourg) I shall disown him. Explained the difference between ‘de jour’ and ‘a la carte’, fish and chicken, viande, Madame et Monsieur. He laughed at me. “How will I ever survive without you, Mama?” He said. I don’t know. I don’t want to know. I won’t know – that’s the best bit.

Yeah, well, he is a fine one to laugh. Can’t remember now, must have been about two summers ago, when I got a call in the middle of the night. Dear dog in heaven. He was stranded in the middle of nowhere (in France)  along some god forsaken motorway- seriously pissed off with life and in need of directions. His mobile’s battery nearly dead. Those are the moments when you know that giving birth was nothing. Told him to put the phone down. Got map out. Phoned him back. Briefly. Take exit … Good night. Wiped my brow. Unbeknown to him. You must never ever worry your kid with your worry. It’s a no no. Die a thousand deaths if you must but don’t let on. As my mother says: “Little children little worries, grown up children big worries.” I’d package it slightly differently, but do know what she means.  Which reminds me: How does one sleep at night if you have more than your one and only?

Full of remorse as to my poor parents,




  1. Yes, the big one, eternal mother. No one warned me either. I minimized my parents’ concerns. Until my own. My father’s funeral and the priest rattles on about the grief my father felt when I emigrated. At the time I didn’t think he’d miss me as he had 5 spares. What did I know? Nothing. Until I had my own.


    Comment by wisewebwoman — April 19, 2014 @ 01:14 | Reply

    • I have lived most my adult life abroad. So do see my parents infrequently. However, we talk – at length – every few days. And since communication is all about talk a phone does us fine. Though, of course, you can’t hug someone down the phone line.

      Detail doesn’t matter this minute but never shall I forget the moment I left home. It came about over night – literally. My father was besides himself, my mother very calm – that’s when she told me, and I learnt, that the greatest love you can show your child is when you let them go. Go I did – with her blessing. A guilt free exit as it were.

      Still, I don’t envy my parents. They are extraordinarily resilient. Yet the grief my two sisters have been giving them in the last couple of years (and now) I can’t even begin to imagine. You, WWW, are better placed to understand their anguish. And I wish you, with all my heart, that the tide will turn. You have written and commented so very movingly about your own situation. Trouble is – and it really is trouble: When my mother (yes, I know I go on about it but it did shake my world) was taken ill last September I appealed to my youngest sister to drop her stupid stand-off against my father. I pleaded with her. Told her one day she’ll regret her (in)action. She is so blind it led to the final break up between us. I bled. And she is not my daughter. She is my sister. So to ‘lose’ a child is beyond my imagination.

      As to your father, WWW. Mine was/is exacting, a disciplined man. With a mind as sharp as a razor. Which is less painful than if it were blunt.. Over the last few years he has started showing his soft underbelly to me (see above phone conversations). His life as he unfolds it is fascinating. Would I wish (as you were exposed to) a priest prattle on about my father? No. If it chokes me I will hold that speech on his send off. No doubt amply helped by my brother. As will do for our mother. Which is where we come back to the loop – mothers. Indeed, as you say, no one warned me either. Not that I needed warning. I come from such a big extended family – watching the dynamics right in the thick of it. My maternal grandmother the benign matriarch. As tiny as she was. I am grateful and I am lucky to have been born into that family.

      Before I burst out into tears of heartfelt sentiment: Happy Easter, WWW. Good Friday luckily behind us. Worst day in the calendar – and I don’t even prescribe to religion.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 19, 2014 @ 11:55 | Reply

  2. Very soundly thank you. My daughter (in law if you insist,) is quite capable of looking after the first born.

    Comment by Rummuser — April 19, 2014 @ 01:15 | Reply

    • Please don’t think me tactless, Ramana: You say “first born”. I thought he was your only.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 19, 2014 @ 11:59 | Reply

      • You are right. Wrong choice of words but I have a formally adopted son as well apart from a lot of waifs, orphans and strays who have adopted me as their father. No, I do not have the other kind. No chance, due to a peculiar development about which I shall elaborate in due course in my blog.

        Comment by Rummuser — April 19, 2014 @ 14:56 | Reply

  3. The irony of parenting is just as more wisdom is accumulated with the passage of time, the less the opportunity to pass that wisdom along, be it circumstances of time and distance, or at other times, an unwillingness to hear what is being said.

    We all soften with age. I was rather hard-headed and much more demanding when younger. I now accept a lot more in stride.

    Happy Easter to you and yours Ursula!

    Comment by Phil — April 19, 2014 @ 13:02 | Reply

    • My dear Phil, it’s a father’s lot to be more hard headed. Comes with the territory.Having said that: Father-of-son never laid a finger on him, never raised his voice to him. Not that there was any reason to do either. For that the Angel is too much of an angel. And anyway, FOS would have had to answer to me.

      I sometimes wish I could ask my grandfather about his five sons. Diverse characters. And I know he was very cross with my uncle I call the ‘dare devil’. All too late now.

      As to you accepting a lot more in your stride: Yes, Phil, as the years advance I believe this happening to most men/fathers. The family joke being that by the time number four came along my father had given up. Beaten not so much to a pulp as realizing that you may talk till your mouth fizzles out. To no avail. My other siblings are positive that my youngest sister got away with near murder. Where I’d ask my father what two plus two amounts to, only to be sat down (two hours later we still weren’t much past Pythagoras) and actually listened to the history lesson, youngest sister just left endless notes on his desk about the dog she wanted. Poor man. Eventually he couldn’t take it any more. So she got the dog. Does she know how to add up? I doubt it.

      One of the most touching admissions was one my late father-in-law made to me: He was with the British Army, stationed all over the world. And in those days wives were supposed to be at their husbands’ side at all times. Meaning that his son (FOS) was put into boarding school at age eight. Dear father-in-law said that whilst, in many ways proud that his son was a pupil at one of England’s fines public schools, he deeply regretted it in later years. Did he ever say as much to FOS? I don’t know. Probably not.

      And yes, as you say, a good hammering through the years – a bit like a Schnitzel pounded – will thin you if not grinding you to a powder. On the other hand ,,, maybe a thread to be taken up another time: Some people harden. Not least the Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy, Dorset, England). Am traumatized – in a funny way – by that novel for reasons which have nothing whatsoever to do with any of the above.

      Easter egg greetings,

      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 20, 2014 @ 08:58 | Reply

  4. I was told as a young mother: don’t worry too much, they all pretty much turn out okay in the end. My question remains: when will it end? 😉

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — April 20, 2014 @ 16:32 | Reply

  5. very good

    Comment by خرید کریو — December 17, 2014 @ 10:40 | Reply

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