Dear Sonny and Bessie,
Mum here. Mum of the past. Like one of those ghosts from a Christmas Carol but with more wrinkles and less sass.
When you read this it will be sometime after 2031. You will be young adults and all being well, we will all be living in a utopian world. Poverty, war, racism and inequality will be history. Everyone will treat each other with respect, dignity and kindness. Gender, sexual orientation, colour and disability will no longer be a reason to discriminate.
The world I write from now, however, is far from perfect. Over the past couple of years, there has been a cosmic shift in worldwide consciousness. The UK has voted to leave the European Union and as a result, our economy and place within the world are uncertain. An absolute cockwomble of a ‘man’ is President of the most powerful nation on Earth, and feminism/ equality/ rationality have taken a few steps back due to his stupid privileged rhetoric. In short, things look bleak.
Hopefully, we’re in a trough and are heading into a peak. So until we become a utopia, I want to write you these letters to you to document how quickly things are changing and how you can be a part of that change. Yes you, my flowers. You can be whatever you want to be, as long as you’re happy and kind. And because I forget what I’ve had for dinner last night, I’m using these letters to write it all down and store in a little corner of the internet.
I’m also writing to you from yesteryear so you can understand the person I am. Yes, I am your Mum. I am also an adult woman. Who has been a girl, teenager and a twenty-something douche. There are shades to me you won’t see for a long time because you haven’t yet developed the skills to recognise them and because I will hide stuff from you to protect your sanity.
I’m not your best friend. I’m more than that. I’m the person who thinks about your happiness and safety every second of every minute of every hour of every day. There are things I will tell you NOT to do over the coming years that I’ve done. Sorry. It’s all part of parenting.
Don’t worry – there are things I will NEVER discuss with you in person or in these letters because they are way outside of the boundaries and have no place in our relationship. Like how your Dad and I didn’t just ‘do it’ twice to conceive you beauties. I am well aware that will make you dry retch and you have my word that we won’t ever venture down that road. But other than that, most topics are on the table.
The idea is you read these letters when you’re much, much older and from them get a snapshot of the person I am as well as the Mum that I am. For example – I might be the person who wiped your bum for a solid 5 years, but I am also the person who got terribly drunk in 10 Downing St and called the Prime Minister “Gordon,” despite copious warnings to only address him as Prime Minister. That was a crazy arse time.
Which brings me onto my next point. I will swear in these letters as they’re intended for post-watershed reading (18 yrs +) and guess what my sweethearts? Mummy loves a good swear. Since descending down the parenting rabbit hole, I’ve had to curb my language so you don’t grow up sounding like Danny Dyer. If he isn’t PM in said utopia then look him up – he’s an actor who is currently a bit of a national treasure. Like a modern-day Wordsworth who refers to ‘head’ as ‘nut.’ His lexicon is paradoxically beautiful.
As your Mum, I only want the best for you and want everything in your world to be perfectly easy and straightforward and fair. I don’t like that you’re growing up in a society that still pays women less for doing the EXACT same jobs as men, simply because they are women. Hopefully, this sounds crackers to you both but remember that to get to the utopia you’re living in, we’ve ALL had to fight the good fight. You can use these letters are historical accounts to help that fight. Or not. It’s up to you. I just wanted to give you that chance. Ooh this is all going a bit Sarah Connor from the Terminator films (cultural reference – dated and indulgently brilliant films from the 80’s/90’s – stream them on your retina cams).
I’ll tell you about good times, bad times, times where I’ve felt sad or overwhelmed and times that I’m proud of myself. I will be honest. I will offer advice, with the caveat that this is my opinion and mine alone and might not be for everyone.
So, for now sweethearts I’ll say toodle-oo, as we’re in the middle of a heatwave and you’re begging me to get in the giant paddling pool (obsolete item reference – ask Siri4000 to explain what one is whilst relaxing in your cold air vortex).
Until next time, be good, be kind and always remember I love you. Also, never eat anything bigger than your head.