Thursday, 20 June 2013

Clothes hangers and taxi's

Standing outside the school gates waiting for A and P, which is always a slightly uncomfortable feeling, P comes charging out and dumps her cardi, her paintings, her book bag and sandwich box on me. I try to instil some manners and ask her to carry some of it herself, when a fellow mother laughs and says:

"Clothes hangers and taxi's - that's all we are!"

And for some reason this has stayed with me and given me a rather niggling feeling about motherhood. Am I really just a mother? We all know how important that job is, how precious it is and how wonderful it is being a parent, but what else am I?

The very same day, I was asked what I wanted to do when I was 16 years old - by a 16 year old making her exciting life decisions. It got me thinking and wondering.

When I was 16, I was going to save all the animals and all the people in the world. I was going to be a vet, and volunteer with VSO. I wanted to end apartheid, inequality, poverty and war. I travelled to Africa when I was 18 and this confirmed what I wanted to do, to help animals to help people. I started donating to Brooke Hospital when I was very young and found their practices in Luxor and Cairo whilst on a backpacking trip - the vet even let me look around and encouraged me to stay for an afternoon, watching all the horses and donkeys being brought in for treatment so that they could have more fruitful years working hard for their owners.

That's what I wanted to do, to make a difference.

Am I really just a clothes hanger and a taxi? Maybe something has to change.

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