Thursday, 6 August 2015

Dear delicate Benjamina

     Sometimes, I worry.

     The Blondies know I have this blog. They know I write. They know I write about them, and for the moment, they’re proud of that. I’ve told them that I will never name them, or use recognisable photos of them. I write this under a different name. They can google our names, mine and theirs, and know that nothing will connect them as they appear here to them as they are.

     And yet… One day they will find this. My thoughts, my words on whatever happens to occur to me, the way I use writing as a means of ridding myself of what's occupying my brain. That I confess things on here that I would never allow myself to say aloud. The things that trouble, entertain, fascinate and amuse me. From books to love to graffiti to holidays. It’s all here. But the things I probably write about most are The Blondies.

     My beautiful, wonderful, strange and individual children. I can’t lay claim to any credit for them being as they are. They both arrived, personalities full formed, as distinct and different as they are, as much as they share.  And of the two of them, the one I return to again and again as my muse is The Boy.

     He’s odd. He’s quiet, an introvert who won’t ever stop talking. A Star Wars obsessive whose greatest joy in life at present is My Little Pony. A lazy bugger who drives me insane at times. A night owl. Kind, thoughtful, sensitive. I worry about him. A lot.

     And those worries lead to a new worry. The Girl. How will she feel when she’s old enough to seek out these posts and read them? When she sees how much I write about her brother, but never so much about her? And so, I address these next words to you, my Benjamina. My beautiful, funny, intelligent and roaring girl.

     You are my delight. You are the distillation of spirit that lives in both your mother and grandmother. You face the world and are always undaunted. The light that shines from you brightens every day I spend with you. I am hard, too hard, on you, I know I am. I let your brother get away with murder in comparison. The difference, my tiny dancer, is that I have no fears for your future. You are sharp, clever, quick. You dance like an absolute dream. You bring joy into the lives of everyone who knows you. You are strong, brave, utterly unafraid of anything. No one and nothing will ever dent you, because you know that your presence is a gift.

     I joke sometimes that you were misnamed, the name we chose for you meaning ‘delicate’. But the more you grow, the more you become yourself, facing up to the world, chest raised out, chin up, that defiant look upon your face… I realise that, my wonderful, precious girl, it’s such a simple thing, your confidence, resilience and determination. But it runs through you like an inner core of steel. A thin lightning rod that will always deflect people who don’t understand you. You are you, and the first few moments of your life that nearly wasn’t are always with me. You taught me just how delicate a few moments can be, how delicate life is. And from those first few moments, to watch you shine, in every possible light is a privilege.

     Never, ever change. Keep that fiery temper, your angry batface, your full throttle passion. We, you and I, will fight, and clash, and wind one another up in the years to come, just as we do now. But know that I love you. I trust you and the choices you will make. And if ever you are hurt by little I write about you compared to your Blondie sibling, then know this. You are, and always have been your own person. You don’t need me, or anyone else to guide you. I will watch over you, protect you, love you. But you are the leader of your life. Always have been. Always will be. You dance to your own tune. I will always be with you, here if you need me. But mostly I shall just be watching on, proud, loving, and full of admiration. I have complete faith in you.


     *All the fucking time, about everything, ever.

2 comments:

David Bridger said...

You and the Blondies are clearly fabulous people. And you're a superb writer too. As everyone knows, the two don't always go hand-in-hand, but in your case they do. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions with us.

Lucy Benedict said...

Wow! Um, thank you! They make it easy for me to write about them, they give me the words just from being themselves. Probably the reason I write about them so frequently... :-)