I want to remember you like this. When I’m an old lady and I’m looking up our memories in photograph’s. I want to see how the wind blew your hair in the breeze but you stood firm, strong. I want to see that I tried to dress you nicely but your knees were grass stained and perhaps a little scuffed. I don’t want to see you smiling primly in every photo, I want to see your laugh. I want to see those faces that you make when you are deep in thought, pulling together your next batch of questions. I want to see you find yourself throughout your years. I want to see that you understand what the meaning of ‘human’ is.
Some people will think of the word ‘feral’ in such a bad way, but I can’t.
I grew up on a farm and as my mum worked with many other mums, picking fruit for the day in their rows… I went off to explore, play, climb, build camps and when I felt hungry, I ate wild fruit from the bush or tree. My siblings and I never really looked, well, clean. Of course, we were. We were scrubbed spotless and our clothes would be washed to try and rid of any strawberry stains on the knees. We just didn’t stay that way for long. Come the next day, we were too busy having fun, finding ourselves and figuring out the world that we knew.
That world wasn’t so scary as it is now. It’s not the same. It can’t be. And all I want is for you both to feel how I felt as I bolted through the trees, bright blonde hair shining in the sunshine, without a care in the world and feeling as free as a bird.
So sometimes I let you. Sometimes we run as fast as our legs will carry us, shout as loud as we can, sing our happiest songs, pick wild fruit and eat it, get down in the mud to see what we can collect, build camps, climb trees…And it’s very rare that you look neat.
It surprises me how much people stare!
And I know other mums might not like it. I know other mums may stare and tut as we pick and eat blackberries along the roadside on our way home. They judge you when you run fast at the park. They don’t realise that you don’t have problems. You don’t have any disorders or behavioural issues…. You are just energised and happy. And. That. Is. All. Other mums find you too bold when you join in with their children’s games and you have the confidence to introduce yourself and have ideas. You just want to make friends. You just want to play together. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t sensitive, gentle, kind and sweet.
I know they think that you are a little wild; feral…Like they used to think about me. But that’s okay. I’m proud of the person I am at thirty (almost) thirty years old and I’m already proud of who you both are, so we’re doing okay.
This version of the world is so full of worry and sometimes it feels like all I do is teach you how to retreat, keep yourself safe and to ‘be alone’. The world is so busy teaching us how to be afraid of everything and each other…but I don’t want you to be alone. We aren’t meant to be alone. The world is too lovely. I just beg that you both always try and keep your eyes open, to see past the fear…and you will see what I used to.
Of course I want to keep you safe. You are my most favourite people in the world. You are my world. And, if I try and define how much I love you both from my whole heart and the pit of my stomach…There will be no words. It is likely to come out as a tear, a laugh and a smile like you have never seen before. You both leave me speechless, that is what the overwhelming love that comes with being your mama, does to me.
Remember when I said that I want you to understand the word ‘human? You can only do that if you have the opportunity to feel everything that you are meant to. You are meant to feel freedom. Feel love, disappointment, anxiety, fear…hurt! From scraping your knee to having your heart broken, as much as that will hurt me too… These things will help you grow up with an understanding of your emotions and other people’s. Human. It’s what we all are. Despite where we are from, the colour of our skin, how we grew up…none of us better or more worthy than the next person. The beautiful world that I talk to you about… There is room in it for us all. We can make room.
Noah and Ellenah, The world is incredible…but it’s not perfect. So, you certainly don’t have to be. You don’t have to look flawless. You don’t have to be shy. You don’t have to be aware of how others may see you. You don’t have to care about judgement. You don’t have to be afraid to ask questions. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AFRAID TO BE YOU.
And if that is a little ‘feral’… I’m okay with that. Perfectly okay with it.
Love, Mama x