A short skirt, a long jacket and a pump action shotgun

There is little so humbling than a handmade Mothers’ Day card from a firstborn son. Mine is not given to outpourings of emotion and his age has reduced gestures of affection to hair ruffles and bedtime hugs. So, the card I received on Sunday morning felt like the first ray of sunshine after a storm. It was a Mothers’ Day poem and it was beautiful. I will keep for the rest of my life. My second son built me an elaborate Lego tower that took hours of intricate engineering and design and my sweet daughter gave me a heart penholder with a pink pen.

After a Saturday spent in the rain at the school soccer festival Sunday morning was blessedly relaxed. Note to husband: Please call the groundsman and ask about the desk and lockers lying rusting on the field. I though about just popping them in the car and making tracks, but thought that might be a bad example to set.

The soccer was way more stressful than the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ final. My son’s team was lucky to have one extremely talented player, Camille, who scored so many goals I lost count. Then just as I was damply coming to terms with the fact that my son was not sportsman, he scored a goal! I jumped up and down like a crazy person it was so fantastic. The goalie and opposition were so busy marking Camille no plaid attention to the skinny white boy sneaking in a goal. I was so damn proud!

The reason I was there in the first place was the result of an SMS received on Friday morning: “Please will you serve tea at the soccer.” Needless to say, this innocuous seeming message struck terror into my soul. You see, I’ve managed pretty successfully to avoid this for four years largely because full time employment does not allow you to cover books in the library or work the tuckshop. Sometimes I wonder if I work more to avoid these duties than anything else.

Regardless, the SMS forced my guilt to raise it’s horrible head and before I’d had time to apply some logic and high level reasoning to the situation I had messaged back, “Yes”. Immediately my spouse and colleagues made me aware of my error in judgement. When it comes to the PTA you can never show weakness. Once you’ve agreed once, that’s it; you’ll be pouring tea at every function from now until the end of Matric.

As I trudged soggily across the field to do my tea pouring I met another mother sloshing in the same direction. After a second or two I realised that I had found a common soul. Neither of us wanted to do it, but both felt guilty that we’d never done anything else and both were terrified that we might have to take money and work out people’s change. There is a reason we’ve steered clear of this sort of thing in the past. We had both fallen prey to the Invisible Mom. The one who volunteers for everything and bakes and all that 1950s stuff. She isn’t real, but she terrifies us anyway.

Small boy aged 9 may not be the next David Beckham, but he was taken to the shooting range and proceeded to make me think he may be the next SAS sharp shooter. He is very good, so his father’s genes are giving him some sporting prowess even if it is not in mainstream team sports. I finally voiced my long time Columbine Fantasy, which my spouse and father-in-law are scheming to make come true. No, I am not going walk into the hallowed halls of my son’s school and last them all to kingdom come, although the thought has occurred. I am going to wear a short skirt and long jacket (leather), saunter into a room at the shooting range, bring up the pump action shotgun concealed under my billowing coat and blast the hell out of make believe terrorists. I can’t wait!

I have spent much time over the last 48 hours debating the whole dyslexia situation. I realise logically that I am not to blame. I didn’t drink, smoke or shoot up during my pregnancy. I may have drunk carbonated soft drinks, but I don’t think that results in brain damage. I have to make a concerted effort not to take any comments as a personal judgement on my mothering skills, but I am dreading the upcoming school meeting that will result in a litany of my sins, top of the list being employed. I am just going to have to put on my Big Girl panties and suck it up. As a result though I have decided it is time to finish the 6 or so novels I have started writing and see if I can’t make something out of the drivel that pours from my fingertips.

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