When you are losing your mind when all around you are keeping theirs, it is very irritating to have someone tell you that truth. It hurts less when it comes from your mother, although knowing that everyone else was thinking it is hard to bear.
Mother: “Darling, I’ve been reading your blog.”
Mother: “I know you’ve had a hard week, but have you been taking your anti-anxiety pills?”
Bugger. I hate it when she’s right. I had run out of both the anti-anxiety pills and more importantly my Eltroxin. The thing is when I’m taking the stupid stuff I feel fine and forget why I’m taking them in the first place. For some reason unknown to medical science my thyroid ate itself a few years back and I have to take hormone replacements. Without them I pass out, become irrational and believe completely that I am sane and it is everyone else who is nuts. That’s why we have mothers – to remind us that sometime is not them, but you.
Hard truths don’t only fall to mothers. On a lightning trip back to these sunny shores from San Francisco to get married, my beloved father met me at the airport. Let’s bear in mind that as far as he is concerned I am the most beautiful, perfect being on the face of the earth. Whether I am or not is debatable, but he and I are allowed to think the other is perfect.
After 3 months of American supersized portions I was not as sleek and svelte as I was on leaving. My dad gave me a huge bear hug and then said gently, “My angel. You’re looking a little… podgy.” I spent the two weeks prior to walking down the aisle living on apple juice and spending about 3 hours a day in the gym. It was a truth only my father could have told me. Coming from anyone else it would have resulted in a total destruction of self-esteem and a possible cancellation of my wedding.
Truth comes from all shapes and sizes. One came from my son this afternoon. I was trying to master the art of the spray gun with mixed success when my mother called:
Small boy aged 9: “Mom! Granny’s on the phone.”
Mom: “Tell her I’ll call her back, I’m painting.”
Small boy aged 9 to Granny: “She’ll have to call you back she’s painting herself.”
Granny: “Sorry, is she painting the wall or herself?”
Small boy aged 9: “Both. About the same amount of paint is going on her as on the wall.”
From the mouths of babes.