I am in Mummy Bear protective mode today. I am protecting my bear cubs against The System. A System, I have to say, which they often seem to invite into our den. Yesterday, it was another trip to A&E, and the usual unwelcome scrutiny of psychiatrists and social workers. Your daughter has taken an overdose? Again?
Yes, again; that’s what she does; nothing to see here; move along please. It took us twelve hours to extricate her from the clutches of the hospital. The poor thing came home after midnight, exhausted, distraught, had missed her usual medication, in need of a great deal of soothing. She is seventeen years old, but sometimes she needs handled like a small child. My husband, having stayed by her side for hours, is the shape of the chair he had been sleeping on, grey with care.
I spent the day doing very practical mothering: making sure she eats, sleeps, keeps busy, takes her medication. You have to be her eyes and ears and arms and legs, walking her through the day, fending off the inevitable waves of self-recrimination. Why did I do it? Why did I mess up again? Meanwhile I have my own urgent questions for her caseworker: how can we keep sailing through these difficult patches if The System keeps kicking in and detaining her for hours like this? It won’t be the last time we have to go in. I want The System to serve us, not try to take control again.
These lovely tulips arrived on Mother’s Day, which we held a couple of week’s ago in the UK – while there was still snow on the ground. To cheer myself up, I spent some time photographing them after I had finished work. And then I started off some more sourdough for tomorrow’s bread. Beautiful things to look at, and the smell of sourdough – what greater pleasure can there be?