So, it was all down to a Pollock. And then it was over. Amazing really that a few fishermen could hold the country to ransom. One does wonder looking at those poor lorries stuck in Dover what the future might have held for us with no deal. I guess Boris realised he would have been hung drawn and quartered if he didn’t succeed with a deal. What amazes me is the sheer arrogance that we British — scrub that we — that some Brits haven’t quite grasped yet that we are no longer an Empire. And indeed ‘going it alone’ isn’t an option.
But then there are the Marcus Rashford’s. I have just watched a BBC news documentary on Marcus Rashford’s child poverty campaign and it reinforced my belief that we parents have a huge responsibility on ensuring that our children have decent values. Certainly, Marcus’s mother did a good job. There he is, successful, rich and yet compassionate and remembering from where he came. I am in awe.
It made me reflect on my own parenting and while I have many faults I think I have succeeded in rearing 3 thoughtful caring boys. My parents worked tirelessly for their community. My mother was forever visiting and caring for those less fortunate and my father never refused a request for help sometimes to his detriment. We bought up our children in the same vein.
Admittedly things went a bit awry in the teenage years. I remember being in disbelief when other parents remarked on how well behaved the boys were. Excuse me? Are you talking about my children? The ones that squabble, fight and compete incessantly with each other. That’s not fair, why don’t I get some of that ‘niceness’. It would seem as if they couldn’t wait to get home so they could explode and scream at mom!. Of course, it wasn’t a conscious process at all and wasn’t intended to hurt me. Children act out at home because they know that they can get away with it. Home is their safe place. A place where they feel secure and can show their ugliest behaviour…because they know we will still love them and that they will still get their needs met even if they act out.
I guess it is the same for us adults. We have arguments with our partners and say things which we wouldn’t dare to say outside – yes we save our worst behaviour for the ones we love most.
It got me thinking about whether babies are born with a natural empathy for others, whether some have a more inert tendency towards empathy than others. Did in fact Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot have empathy at birth? Recent research reports that even very young babies have the capacity for empathy and experiments have shown that hearing other babies cry can trigger of this empathy. That said while children’s empathy seems inborn, this gift that is ours as parents and as a society can be lost depending on how we react to these earliest overtures.
And apropos of absolutely nothing I think I am becoming more bonkers – becoming I hear you say. The lady who talks to spoons! Well if you had been in bed with me last night you might be thinking that I am definitely sinking. I am a dreamer, and not just any dreamer but a dreamer par excellence. My nights are full of adventure and intrigue – what I get up to in my dreams is quite beyond comprehension. And when I wake in the morning I am astonished at what I must have been going through while asleep. No wonder I am exhausted. But last night was a first. I started dreaming before I got to sleep. Yes really. I pinched myself to see if I was awake and yes I was and yes I had been dreaming. I guess the dreams just got impatient and couldn’t wait until I was asleep to start their fun. I guess I have mum to thank for this. Yes I inherited her great skin but I also inherited her nuttiness.
Just as well that I have fun at night because there is certainly no fun happening anywhere else in my life. It is all getting a bit weary here in London.
“Let’s be careful out there”