The Call of the Child
Never a moments peace. The wonders of motherhood. The pressure to be in constant awe of your child, and your own remarkable inner sense of calm and fulfilment, that they bring.
Except they don’t.
A long sigh. “WHAT?”
Irritable, always irritable. Poor little bastard. Try again.
“What? What is it, my little darling?” I wonder if children this young can hear the insincerity. If they can, what awful problems are being stored up for their future? Children are precious, adults dispensable, it seems. Yet one is just the other, the difference is only time. Why do people put such store by time? History isn’t sacred; it’s just what happened.
But time does pass. The child does grow. The familiarity of being together, on top of each other, all these years breeds the usual things. Contempt, certainly, but also some kind of affection. Like Stockholm Syndrome, perhaps. Is the contempt mutual? Possibly. It certainly appears to be, and to grow with time.
Angrier and angrier the child gets, until an adult it is that storms from the house. A flurry of fury and bitter words in their wake. The self-loathing on the one left behind, when they feel that most awful of emotions wash over them. Relief.
The child is alone. A small bed, in a small room, in a small shared flat. Things are not as they thought they might be. A strange need arises within, not material, yes they are hungry, but that’s not it. Just the voice, not kind, but at least instructing, ordering, caring. They had not expected that. Pride, of course, stops a call being made, in person or even by telephone. Not even a text.
Far away across the teeming city, teeming with people, teeming with hopes, disappointments and despair, lies a woman, an older woman now. Longing now to hear that which she once longed so desperately to stop.
The call of the child.
Today I wrote between 14:43 and 14:53. I was prompted by an idea here.
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