Her eldest son says that he doesn’t feel great. He doesn’t look great either.
She doesn’t feel great. She certainly doesn’t look great.
His is a mostly physical affliction, with a bit of spellings and times table trauma thrown in. Hers is mostly mental, with a tinge of over-emotional induced headache sprinkled about.
The two together do not make for the world’s greatest opening to a Thursday morning.
Son is discovered cocooned under his duvet, wearing school uniform, at twelve minutes to nine.
To go to the doctors or not to go to the doctors. That, is the question.
Son decides on the latter.
Uplifting words with soothing tone are administered; cuddles, mandatory.
Sad, droopy son shuffles across the playground, choosing voluntary isolation on a bench out of the rain.
He is reassured twice more and his fiery hair ruffled with love.
He is left.
He will be fine.
Mother looks back.
She resists the urge to rewind, to pull him to her and take him home and feed him cuddles and hot chocolate and non-stop CBBC.
She chatters brightly, inanely, to her smaller child. He skips through the rain to his playground.
He is kissed. He is posted into his slot in the class line and reminded to change his reading book.
He grins endearingly.
Time to change heads, to switch mother earth for worker.
The rain rains down.
The subdued mood of the morning mingles with her memories of yesterday.
Hard words tangled with savage emotion bubble to the surface of her self-control.
Words from yesterday, yet they taunt her mercilessly as though being said all over again.
The kind of unseeing, zombie-walk where tears blur one’s vision, but somehow stay in the eyes like magic pools.
Her friend falls into step alongside.
A good friend knows that a woman dressed for work with wet green eyes and automaton gait should be spoken to but not touched. Kindness will destroy the tiny scrap of self control left that will get her out of the school gates before melt down.
She is a good friend.
Melt down happens in the safety of the car. The rain creates a blurry privacy screen on the window. Hard core body racking sobs ensue.
A lack of waterproof mascara is evident.
Such immense, all encompassing emotion and all because of words spoken that didn’t want to be heard. Terrible, heart stopping, enormous words that reverberate around the inside of her head.
Dangerous to drive with so much water about one’s face, and tricky to keep one’s wits about one when roaring one’s head off.
The car remains parked in the rain.
The school run stragglers straggle, and toddler siblings stop to splash in every puddle on the never ending homeward toddle.
She makes it home of course.
Ridiculous, bloody ridiculous.
A day missed from work due to the histrionics of an over emotional female.
She picks up abandoned crockery from the floor as she moves from the front of the house to the back. She treads on a lone dinosaur and returns him to his animal basket.
She catches sight of herself in the mirror.
She doesn’t bother to wipe away the makeup smudges, they suit her mood.
Hot, sweet tea. That’s what’s needed. She can’t bear sugared tea, but today it is a necessity.
She sits, she sips.
She has been cleansed by her wailing banshee episode and is calmer.
Her body no longer shakes.
She is still.
Silent tears trickle steadily down her cheeks.