Some of my posts have been quite dark and hopeless recently. I think writing happens when times are difficult or when there is something wonderful to report. Other posts arrive from anger and rage – at a stupid schoolteacher or an impossible ex-husband. Today’s post comes from a hopeful day, not a huge leap forward, but a day which somehow just turns out ok.
L has been away overnight at a friends, celebrating the end of school. Apparently vodka shots were involved – and L was the most drunk. I texted her last night with a wry warning not to get too drunk. A polite reply comes back. Which it turns out was written by a friend as L was too drunk to spell properly. On the one hand, I hear a starchy voice telling me that not only does L have anorexia, but potentially an alcohol problem. On the other, I think this is normal teenage behaviour.
On waking there is a text from L . I smile and call her, speaking especially loudly. She is fine. Her friends shout in the background, trying to embarrass her, but I just laugh. J and I pick her up at 12 and we head to the out of town mall where I was talked into booking Benefit makeovers. First, we have lunch at Nandos, which is great. I even encourage her to have some proper Coca Cola, because it will help how she feels. We have makeovers and I watch the make up artist telling her what beautiful skin she has and the incredible length of her lashes. I can see how beautiful she looks; the assistant can see this too. Only L remains unaware. We buy slightly obscene amounts of make up, then go to Top Shop. I buy a kimono jacket, for lounging, L buys a typical L top. We have Thorntons ice cream and L is anxious in the queue. I kiss her and tell her this is a stage in recovery, a little like the Play Station games she used to enjoy with her brother. Defeat the boss, aka Thorntons strawberry ice cream, proceed to next stage.
We head home. I buy nice wine from Majestic on the way. It is sunny, C has done more housework and the French doors to the garden are open and the sun shines in to the kitchen. I pour wine and cook a sausage/couscous/roast veg concoction. L asks for hers without the sausage. I hug her and refuse. The birds sing, J and I sit at the table with our laptops and iPad. C plays Patti Smith and I wear my new kimono jacket. I tweet about this referencing Virginia Woolf and Emma Woolf responds. I tell C this, explaining the connection. He rolls his eyes and carries on singing along to Patti.
In times of prolonged struggle, you have to grab the moments set in diamonds, which are often not the glory days of victory, but the days when life is calm and soothes rather than exhilarates; calms rather than excites. These quiet times of comfort are the nourishment that will sustain us in the storms ahead.