I wonder about bringing up a teenage girl. I have written before about the need for brutal honesty with my daughter and how I have had to explain realities of life in a way I never imagined. I didn't expect I would be covering topics i) this early and ii) in as much detail. A side effect of the Internet is that everything I could think of (and some I couldn't) is known to her anyway. The role of the mother is no longer to manage the way in which topics are introduced (they are already there), it is to interpret the topics and to provide meaning. Nothing is off limits.
This can be viewed as a blessing or a curse; there was an exact point in recent years at which I said to myself: man up Lou, have the difficult conversation. Now I am more used to it, I can be found having these conversations with her everywhere; 'the unreality of porn' whilst walking the supermarket aisles, 'glue-sniffing' whilst driving home, 'the role of feminism' whilst walking the dog. Modern parenting is about bravery, from what I can see. There is no shirking away.
Because if I don't do it, the Internet will. And I'm not sure the Internet has love and trust and consistency on its mind.
I have written a separate article for the blogzine 'Selfish Mother' where I ponder motherhood and bringing up girls and boys; it can be read here.
Meanwhile, on smaller matters, here is an irony; the heavy lifting associated with bringing firewood into the house last week, to ally the freezing temperatures (well, not freezing exactly, but not warm) has given me a muscle sprain. It hurts to breathe in, the muscles around my ribs unused to the exertion required to live like frontier woman. I am not frontier woman. I wonder what type of woman I am. I was getting up at 6am to make the fire to provide heat for my family, and this is where I end up. I know I am may be over-dwelling on domestics but honestly it does lead me to conclude: what a delicate flower I am to injure myself tending house. Just as well I was not a scullery maid in Victorian times.
It's Thursday, it's drizzling, my house is a tip. But I did cover the finer points on 'boys: don't be too keen' on the school run this morning. Hurrah for that.