‘Will we play Hetty Feather?’, Small Girl (4) asked me earlier. Hetty Feather, a Jacqueline Wilson creation, is a Victorian foundling who has taken my home by storm. The best I can say is that she has given us all a break from singing Hard Knock Life.
‘I’d love to play Hetty Feather, Darling’, I replied or words to that effect but slightly less enthusiastic.
‘Great. I’ll be Hetty and you can be Matron Bottomley.’
‘Because you have a big bum’.
Ahem, I suppose I do…
‘I do not’, against my better judgement, I defended my much-maligned posterior.
‘You really do’, she giggled, ‘turn around and look at it’.
I contorted for a better view.
‘It looks very small to me’, I insisted while Small Girl surveyed the area in question.
‘Oh Mama’, she scoffed, ‘It really is quite big. You know, there’s much more of it there than you can see’
And that’s when I knew I couldn’t win. She could see something that I couldn’t. I resigned myself and my quite big bum to playing Matron Bottomley.
I’ve been here before. The next thing is that she will come home from school reciting a rhyme that I’ve never heard before. Then there will be a strange system of borrowing units and crossing out tens and she will show me how to do it ‘Teacher’s way’. By tiny increments, they adjust their orbit until I’m no longer the centre of their universe.
Luckily, the twinge of maternal separation anxiety is alleviated by a sense of liberation from responsibility and heart-swelling pride in their achievements.
Teenage Girl (14) has brought me close to spontaneous, prideful, combustion this week. She has devoted the last three months to her dream of owning her very own small business. She has invested her meagre pocket-money in raw materials. She conducted market research amongst Middle Girl’s friends. She made banking arrangements and took photographs and learned about scaling discounts. Most impressively, she has devoted every spare hour to designing and creating her unique range of jewellery. Her flagship Etsy shop, The Crafty Lobster, was launched on Wednesday.
Since then, I have watched my girl while she has watched statistics. Views up, views down, views up more…we watch and wait and will one person in the whole wide world to buy a pair of earrings!
Teenage Daughter has been taller than me for more than a year now. She takes a bigger shoe size. She is braver than I am. She has an entrepreneurial spirit that I am unable to fathom. This is way bigger than when she said her first words or took her first steps away from me. She is doing something that I will never know how to do. I am more than impressed by her courage. I am more than proud of her determination. I am in awe.
If you have time, I’d love it if you could visit The Crafty Lobster and make those statistics climb a little for her.