... that I have learnt from my children.
1. ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen…?’
Well, now that I know what the worst thing that can happen is, nothing else seems to matter. What other people think. Public humiliation. Career Interruptus. Professional Rejection. Poverty. Middle Age. Once I had children, a whole new world of terrible possibility opened up – that one thing that no mother ever wants to even contemplate. So really, nothing else comes close. As long as my babies are safe and healthy, all the rest is incidental.
3. There is no place for cynicism.
How can one continue to be cynical in the presence of a child experiencing something for the first time? Life is beautiful and amazing and constantly surprising.
4. Shed some skin.
Having a child is like having a gaping wound or losing one’s epidermis. As well as a terrifying new vulnerability (see 1,) and an increased inclination to cry, there is the openness that shedding a layer of armour brings. I can now talk quite happily to total strangers, people in supermarket queues, at railway stations, just crossing at the lights – something my previous self was not inclined to do.
5. Life is full of new beginnings.Rather than see the ends of things, I am now more able to see the beginnings. A different approach to the next piece of work, a new phase in my life, a fresh way of looking at something, a radical change in direction. All possible.