I Am Out Here For You

Protect. Shelter. Mummify. I bought Lulu a badge from the British Museum. It said ‘I love my..’ and had a picture of a mummy underneath. An Egyptian mummy. I pinned it to the top of Lulu’s school bag. At school, all the Year 9 kids at school asked her, ‘Why do you have a badge that says you love your Egypt?

She quickly took it off and put it in her bag. ‘I have no idea.’

I explained it meant ‘I love my mummy’ in the parental sense.

‘Oh,’ Lulu sighed and shook her head, ‘I’m even more glad I took it off my bag.’

Somehow, after the recent drama, things have shifted. We’ve been engulfed by sudden peacefulness. It’s like Venus went retrograde or a planetary alignment clicked into place over our village. The result: an instantaneous calm. Polly Pocket coined it on Sunday afternoon. I discovered her laying on our couch and watching tv. Without asking permission or making any kind of fuss. She looked as comfortable as a hair louse in a school playground.

We’ve been enduring weeks of disagreements, full-scale arguments, intense conversations and general misunderstandings. Over Christmas, our emotions ran high. Then, just before Lulu started mainstream school, it reached a crescendo. Self-sabotage manifested itself along with the stricture of a new routine. The reaction: a constant, low-grade worry.

Heavy, no? Now, Lulu has a new friend in school whom I call The Masturbator. This is on account of messages to Lulu which I sneakily read the other day. And yes, despite what I said in my last blog entry, I probably would read them again. I know I said I wouldn’t. It’s been bugging me ever since. Walking Fin yesterday, all I could think of was why did I promise I wouldn’t? Not that I have anything against The Masturbator personally. I’m sure he’s very nice. Mental note: equip Lulu with extra hand-sanitiser next time she sees him.

‘How was school today?’ I asked when she arrived off the bus.

‘Pretty good,’ she replied.

Good? Wait a minute. ‘How were the girls with you?’ This has become a somewhat predictable answer. Usually it has ‘ignored me’, ‘cold’ or ‘mean’ somewhere in it. Not usually containing the word good.

‘Good.’

Huh. ‘And the lessons?’

‘Yeah, pretty good.’

Wow. I wondered: did Polly Pocket cause this calm atmosphere when she arrived on Sunday, or was she simply picking up on it herself? There was no argument either at the Sunday dinner table. And arguing has become an almost certainty since before Christmas. ‘Why do you guys always argue on a Sunday?’ Aaliyah even asks us. Every time.

Hold on, I thought. I sneaked a peek at Jack. Has this been creeping up on me? Am I just waking up to the most self-assured I’ve seen this man in the twenty years I’ve known him? My heart began to bounce. Could it be true? I’ve waited so long for this. Was my favourite quote in Jerry Maguire finally coming to my house?

I love him! I love him for the man he wants to be. And I love him for the man he almost is. – Dorothy, Jerry Maguire

Show me the money.

 

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