• Lara Flanagan

Letter to Archie & Larissa – 8 year & 7 months

Updated: Feb 27


Dear Archie and Larissa


Today you are 8 years and 7 months old and we leave for our big adventure in approximately 2 months.   I am starting to get the impression that we are all under a slight amount of pressure.  The reason I am getting this impression is because we all seem to be cracking in our own very unique ways.   I just hope by the time you read this you will say out loud to me, “But Mum, it was so worth it” instead of looking at me and saying under your breath, “You genuinely had no bloody idea did you mum?   Your little jaunt cost us thousands in therapy and we still can’t talk about 2016.”


Rissie, on Sunday night you burst into tears and told me how you did not want to go to school anymore because some girls are being mean to you.  As much as I am aware that you, my darling daughter, are inclined to live very much in a fabricated world that can often involve a substantial amount of elaboration (or compulsive lying), there was something about your dramatic little sobs that made my momma radar start blipping.


At moments like that I would like to step in as your saviour and deal with it like a deranged super-hero. I could be transformed into Carol from Walking Dead and track those meanies down and threaten them in a very husky voice that if they didn’t stop being mean to little girls that they would find themselves very late at night alone and cold, tied to a tree whilst I lead the flesh-eating zombies in.  But that would be highly inappropriate, probably illegal and something I would never do, because to be frank, I am a little bit similar to you, a legend in my own imagination.   I am basically full of shit.  Also if I did do something like that, apart from getting myself arrested and you possibly expelled, it wouldn’t actually teach you anything.  As much as it breaks my heart my little girl, there are times when you just have to suck it up princess.


Firstly, work out if it matters.   As yourself if whatever is happening really, really matters.  Chances are it doesn’t so if it doesn’t matter, ignore it.   If people are choosing to be arseholes they probably have a whole lot of crap going on, so walk away and ignore it.   That easily solves most problems.


On the other hand, if you feel that whatever is happening is a big deal, you are going to have to work out how to deal with it.   If you can manage on your own, then do so – just remember to stay calm and try not to get emotional.  Your momma is a master in being incapable of dealing with conflict without bursting into tears.  Learn from the mistakes your Momma often makes and master the art of being calm. If you don’t think you can deal with it on your own, then never be afraid to ask for help.  Asking for help is sometimes the bravest thing you can do.


Archie, last night you came to me after you had gone to bed and you were quite upset.  I asked you what was wrong and you told me that you had an ear infection because you had googled it.  I decided to give you a lovely little lecture about Doctor Google.   I love google, it opens up worlds, in fact the amount of information I have found out in regards to our trip is mind boggling.  But, and this is a big but.  I don’t like Doctor Google.   Especially for 8 year olds. Especially for kids with shitty genes.  So don’t Doctor Google, please.  Research sure, but don’t rely on Doctor Google.


My lecture went on for some time, you had the glazed over look in your eyes which meant that you were probably not listening to me.  I got you to bed with the help of a Panadol and buckets of Mummy wisdom.  When we went to the doctor’s this afternoon the diagnosis was that you had an ear infection.  You managed to keep your mouth shut until we got to the chemist and I was waiting for the antibiotics.  “I told you I had an ear infection Mummy”, you said with a smirk.  You couldn’t resist.


So my final lesson of the day is that when you are facing someone who has been proven to be wrong, (and by the way I never actually told you that you did not have an ear infection, I simply told you not to rely on Doctor Google), be graceful in your superiority.  Otherwise you can come across to be smug and no-one likes smug.  Nobody!


Don’t sweat the small stuff Archie and Rissie, because ultimately the small stuff doesn’t matter.   Sure the small stuff can cause you anxieties, it can make you doubt yourself and it can make your hands quite literally sweat.  This is coming from someone who specialises in sweating the small stuff.  Right now I lie awake at night obsessing about my house without a tenant, literally worrying so much it makes my head and my stomach ache, so I am someone who knows what I am talking about.  I am someone who is an expert at sweating the small stuff and it is only now, with all my wisdom that I am able to share my knowledge learnt from experience with you both.


Work out if it matters.

If it does not matter, don’t worry about it.

If it matters, deal with it.

If you can deal with it on your own, remember to stay calm.

Never be afraid of asking for help.

Remember that asking for help is sometimes the bravest thing someone can do.

Don’t rely on Doctor Google.

When you are right don’t be smug.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Love your mummy.

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