Sunday, 7 May 2017

This woman is not an island.

A gentle reminder from my 1996 self, Keep reaching,
I am not superwoman. And that's ok.

Occasionally I find myself believing that I am the all seeing all knowing eye, no one can tell me anything, I just know things because I have a beautiful mind like that. Life in its wonderful glory has a way of subtly reminding me (and, more often than I care to admit, slapping me in the face) that I know very little and as such should take a seat, notes and approach certain situations humbly, assuming a position of ignorance to make sure I am open to learning something new.

I am always going on about how organised I am and how sharp my memory is, this week has shown me that I am not and that needs to change. I have disappointed my son three times this week because I didn’t pay attention. I can’t tell you how many emails/tweets/texts I get from the kid’s schools that go unread or skim read which sometimes is just the subject of the email, as the boys attend different schools it's double the fun for me, I am normally on top of it but this week has been rough, I have had a lot going on and my mind has just been all over the place.

I dropped Jamal off at school on Friday and just as I was about to pop my earphones in and do the freedom shuffle I hear feet running towards me and turn to seem him looking distressed and he says, “it’s non-uniform day!” It was too late to go back home and get changed so I had to persuade him to tough the day out, when we got to school I had a word with his teacher who said she would find him a top and he could wear his P.E. shorts this appeased his Gods, she did, however, mention that an email had been sent which I was convinced I never got, checking my phone later proved that I was in fact in the wrong and the message was read, Ooops!

The silent African in me thinks this is character building for the child, he will be resilient, unafraid to stand out in the crowd. Just as I had to find the inner strength to deal with awkward situations as a child so would he. I remember waiting to be picked up at school in Zambia when a clapped-out University Teaching Hospital ambulance pulled up. I doubled over in laughter pointed at it and proclaimed very loudly that someone must have been very ill to have to go home in that. Over my laughter, I heard the driver call out my name. M-O-R-T-I-F-I-E-D, silenced, first of many lessons in humility, but I’m sure I came back to school as cool as a cucumber the next day.  

The mother in me was sick with the shame of letting her child down, his main fear on both days was that his schoolmates would laugh at him and no one wants that, this part of me remembers wondering whose side her parents were really on. It hadn’t even been a week since I had sent Jamal to school in the wrong uniform for school pictures because I just knew I was right. I swore I would do better… then comes today. Spring fair. I was sure it began at 2 pm, we get there and the street seems rather quiet, but we keep going, we get to the hall and its empty but my ego still didn’t want to believe I had messed up yet again but I had. Pockets full of change to spend on goodies the kids were crestfallen for a few minutes but as soon as I mentioned spending the afternoon in the park and cake they were fine. I was not.  I checked my emails again in the park and the same email that had information about non-uniform day stated the spring fair start time. 12 pm. I had missed vital information twice.

Events had been trying to tell me to plan and do better and I hate to admit it but so had my other half who is always on at me to clarify information, write things down and tell him what he can do to help. But in my know it all manner I have thought, who ever sees wonder/superwoman with a notepad google calendar? Note to self: superwoman is a fictional character but even she has side-kicks and learns on the job.

Know that you know what you know, but understand that you have a lot to learn.

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