Friday, 19 October 2012


yesterday my boy came home from school a little subdued. as he ate a snack and drew a picture he said "mummy i don't want to do full days any more. i want to come home." this was so surprising to me as he has loved every minute of school. i sat down and asked if it was because he was tired... or wanted to have more time at home. but i knew there was something bigger in his little frightened eyes. i asked him if something had happened and he nodded but wouldn't tell me more. "it's a secret. i just want to come home after lunch." i tried again gently.. "no i can't tell you it's a secret".  this is agony for a mother.  i explained that i loved him very much and i would not be cross... that it was important that he tell me and i wanted to help him. i panicked at the thought of a relationship where he felt scared or ashamed to tell me things and i wanted to set the precedent now that i won't get cross. eventually he told me that he and a friend had been playing with a dinner lady - taking the red and green cards out of her pocket and then putting them back. eventually she said to stop and "run along or YOU'll get a red card". he had then seen another dinner lady writing on a Red card. the bell rang and play-time was over. he crawled on to my lap and sobbed with complete terror in his voice that he was going to get that Red card tomorrow and would be in big trouble and have to go in to The Office. He pleaded with me to pick him up after lunch through his heart-wrenching gasps and sobs. my heart ached so much in this moment - i felt such immense and gutteral love for this gorgeous little boy (esp as he hadn't done anything wrong) and an overwhelming desire to protect him from a scary situation. i told him i loved him i was proud of him i would take care of it i would talk to his teacher. all he wanted to hear was that i would pick him up after lunch and not make him face that playground and THAT dinner lady. i promised i would if necessary... i would make it ok. i was fairly convinced he had not got a Red card but he was unswervingly convinced that he was in for the worst. in this moment i was so overwhelmed by the feelings that had risen in me. i cried because his fear was so intense and i loved him so deeply and wanted to protect him and make him feel safe. it was extraordinary what a tiny incident could bring up in me - perhaps because school is his first foray out in to a bigger world on his own, without me beside him. it hit me that we have many years of this ahead of us... and i am going to have to toughen up because the daunting situations or trouble he's in will be a lot bigger than this. it made me realise i am a mum and everything in me wants to wrap him up and protect him from the world... but i can't. instead i need to be strong for him - to help him be strong and make good choices.. and when he makes bad ones and fails and messes up or faces daunting things i won't always be able to remove them like i could this time. i'll need to love and support him and send him out again on his own. this is the very beginning of a journey for me. i dont think anything can properly prepare you for the intensity of love & protection - almost to the point of pain - that you can feel for a child. 

here are some muffins that i think go nicely with the gooey lovely feeling of having my boy curled up in my arms needing me more than ever. they are, yet again, very easy... and delicious... and great for packed lunches. i have to thank Bill Granger for this lovely recipe.

raspberry strawberry yoghurt muffins
185g / 1.5 cups self-raising flour
150g / 1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
155g / 3/4 cup soft brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk (to make buttermilk = combine 1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice with just under 1 cup milk and let stand for 5 mins)
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chopped strawberries & raspberries

1. preheat oven to 180C
2. sift the flours and cinnamon together
3. stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre
4. lightly whisk together the buttermilk, yoghurt, eggs and oil
5. pour wet ingredients in to the well and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined
6. add the berries and stir in very gently
7.spoon in to muffin tin and bake for 20 mins


  1. oh gosh. I'm sobbing at my computer!! I love you and that gorgeous boy so much. You write so well about the beginning of the journey. it's going to be hard but you're going to be so so good at it. I love your thoughts on it already. YES! xxx

  2. Yes, I'm also crying here Becca. But how well you handled it. Hope all goes/went well the next day. Much love, and to Zach


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