- July 24, 2017
It’ll be quieter in August – I hope,” remarked my mother the other day. This was after a series of family events, her own open studios in the artist studios she shares, birthdays, walking trips, and trying to schedule in work and other commitments. It reminded me of when I was a kid and something I had said to her.
As a tall – or lanky if you prefer – kid who embraced social awkwardness as if it was a beautiful giant box of chocolates, secondary school saw me arrive with a developing stoop. Nothing heavy, just your usual teenage hunched shoulders and curtain of hair to hide behind. However, being taller than everyone else meant that I stayed in that stoop pretty much all the time.
It got so bad that I remember it being a regular thing for me to go to the school nurse complaining of pains in my side, only for it to transpire that I was bending over so much my middle was getting caught on my ribs. Sounds a bit contortion-y, but the only way I could shake the pain was to lie flat on my back for about ten minutes to right myself again. A ridiculous state of affairs.
Anyway, after a bit my kind mother looked into it and found me an Alexander Technique teacher to help with my posture. Soon Alexander Technique lessons after school became a regular thing, and because I was in secondary school I was trusted to take myself along to them and then home afterwards.
Anyway, one day I came straight home. I forgot my Alexander Technique class entirely. And my mother was furious.
Teenage hunched shoulders and curtain of hair to hide behind
She’d researched it, booked it, was juggling God knows how many other things at the same time as being a mature student, and the commitment to the lovely teacher lady who I had let down… I was very sorry.
“… And I hope this never happens again!” my mother finished.
“I hope so too.” I replied miserably.
At which point it was drawn to my attention that this was something I was entirely in control of and ‘hope’ should have nothing to do with it. Fair play. And it stuck with me.
So, back to my mother’s month ahead… and I bit my tongue. There is no way I’m going to tell her that her ‘hope’ to be more free in August is in her own hands. That’s downright foolish on my part! But I will look to myself and my own choices. I’ll do more than ‘hope’ for a chilled August. I’ll draw great big swathes through my diary to make sure of it! And guard each scheduled afternoon in the sun as fiercely as my mother ever was to me.