Last week, The Boy walked into a concrete bollard, face first. He had planned to somersault over it, but his carefully thought out action was scuppered and scuppered hard.
Bug came home from school on Monday, in floods of tears. The eponymous “Someone” in her class had told her that her was rubbish (Bug styles her own hair with 7,000 hair clips jauntily attached to every square millimetre of her scalp).
On Thursday, The Boy told me that, despite trying to keep his hands and feet to himself, he had ended up hitting children in his class out of frustration. He told me “I guess that’s my last chance to have friends gone then.”
When I look at my children’s my instinct is to wrap them tightly in cotton wool, with a bubble wrap overlay, before securing them with brown tape. I want to keep them safe; hold them to me. I want to stop life from harming them in any way; to protect them as best I can from the world.
I look at my own life. I think how many times I have been hurt. How many times I have felt broken, how many times I thought I would never come back or recover. Every bloody painful time, I I did, though whether this stems from strength or stubbornness I can not tell you.
And I think, really and truly, that it’s worth it. It’s worth the pain and fraught nights and the relentless torment you inflict on yourself at 4am in the morning that drills deep in to your insecurities because you’re tired and scared and lonely and can’t see any way out, and you never want to sleep again or even close your eyes because you don’t trust what you will imagine, whether it be true or not.
For every fear induced panic attack that sees you choking back the tears caused by your own stupidity or what you perceive to be somebody else’s stupidity towards you, there have been times. Great times, times full of wonder and amazement, filled and overflowing with fabulousness. Times that you never wanted to end and, just because those times have ended, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be more. More good times with different people, in different places. Just because the good times you were having finished for now, it doesn’t mean that the great times won’t happen again.
It’s putting yourself out there; risking it all, accepting that you have the choice. You could be safe, but who wants to always be safe? You’ll never know unless you try.
And yes, it might all go to shit, and you may hit your face on a concrete bollard, or have some style lacking drone tell you your great inventive hairstyle is rubbish, or think you’re a terrible parent because your kid has a disability that you can’t control, or you may crave to be loved and held but are scared of getting let down again, or want to leave your job but you’re terrified of what may happen if you do.
Will it be ok? I don’t know, I’m as clueless in all this as you are, but we’re not going to find out unless we try. Will it always be worth it? Will it always go well? No. Of course not, but you have to stop thinking of failure. You have to be confident that you could succeed. Will it be easy? Nope. Never will be. But you know, as do I, that every time we try, there’s a chance. A chance that things could go well. Not sometimes, but every time. Every. Single. Time.