Saturday, 15 February 2014

"Yes, but it's NOT FAIR!"

Miss Whirlwind is standing in the kitchen looking at me. I sympathise. It isn't fair. A lot of things in life are not fair - and she has had more than her fair share of "not fair".
Most of the time she is a remarkably even tempered child...well adolescent now. She can be passionate about things but they are usually tempered with quite remarkable amounts of reason. Her father has always encouraged her to think problems and issues through. As a constitutional lawyer he is well able to play "devil's advocate".
Yesterday's problem was "not a Dad problem. I mean - like - well he will just agree but he won't really understand".  I had to agree with that. The relationships between young adolescent girls are a mystery to him.
It is moments like these when I feel desperately inadequate too. I am not her mother. I am not even related to her. I suspect that, even if I was her mother, I would feel inadequate sometimes. Hopefully I would not feel as inadequate as I do on occasions like this.
"Did you talk to your Mum?" she asked me once. The answer had to be "No".
I made the excuse that my mother worked full time and there was never time to talk but the truth is my mother and I just didn't "talk" - ever. I never had what might be described as a "mother-daughter conversation" with her. My sisters say they did but such conversations were infrequent, even later in life.
I know women who say their mothers or their daughters are their "best friends". They do things together. They seem to discuss everything from doing the washing up to relationships.
The Whirlwind observes mother-daughter relationships with interest. She can only just remember her own mother and she never knew mine. Thankfully she has been genuinely mothered at school - to the extent that she got her own bedtime story when she first started to board there - and the boarding house staff still watch out for her.
The problem? A very new boarder is desperately homesick. Her parents have gone to Cambodia to work. They didn't sign the form that would allow the school to make decisions about who she could go out with so she has been left at school when everyone else has gone out. Of course that makes the problem worse and no, it's not fair when parents fail to sign a piece of paper. I am sure the piece of paper will be signed but the Whirlwind wants it done now, immediately, at this very minute.
There is cricket at school this morning. There are two matches for the juniors. One is for the "proper" team against another school. The other is for those who have just come into the middle school or are new to the school. The Whirlwind is in the "proper" team but she needs to help with the other match as well.
"I get to help pick who does what and I am going to pick her first."
That sounds fair to me. Well, it's a start anyway.

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