Tuesday, 7 April 2009

I need to make it through the week

I miss Tiger so hugely I cannot quantify that amount. It is a distance further than from here to the stars.

And this despite the two connected cells remaining in my brain telling me she is safe and well and probably not being trampled upon by a mad horse down at the local stables. For that, someone would surely telephone and no call has come. The third brain cell, that I keep for common sense, says Tiger on her boarding week has probably already forgotten about mama and papa and sisters. I will arrive at the end of the week and Tiger will look at me quizzically, her head tilted sideways, her finger in her mouth, and a puzzled frown that says Who?

Well right now I despair of making it to Wednesday. There is a horrible pressure in my chest so great I am surely enduring enlarged heart disease made worse by sorrow and the constant emotional torture of looking around for Tiger, only to recall in the emptiness that she is on the back of a horse in a field, or possibly being trampled to death by a stable-crazed pony which nobody can be bothered to tell me about.

I miss her in every part of the day, like missing the way she rolls herself up in her purple patterned duvet every morning like an exotic gigantic slug. I miss the way she growls at the breakfast table because I prised her out of bed at 10.30. I miss the way she tucks her knees up under her pink dress and snarls when I tell her off. I miss her standing quietly by me in the office, watching, not saying anything. Then I know there's been a wrestling match over a unicorn or piece of knitting and her sisters have come off worse and are probably lying there right now in the front room all mangled and bent out of shape having incurred Tiger's wrath.

Then I miss those moments when she is so quiet and thoughtful and downcast I realise this is the way she shows us her sensitivity. That crumpling point when she shows us how fragile and vulnerable she is can be brought about with a careless word and thoughtless gesture from any one of us. But we can do that so often because it is so hard to know what that word might be. I am learning how to recognise that moment and how to swiftly use a new word or turn events round to lessen the impact. Really I think this is a sign of growing up, daily, and Tiger is becoming that unstable collection of spilling out hormones we will soon recognise as the difficult pre teen.

But my goodness Tiger how you can deliver those wrongs too. Like when you are outraged at something somebody said. Then we cry how it was really a supportive thing they said! But the wrong person said it, or it was at the wrong moment, the wrong voice pitch, or maybe the wrong turn of head or the wrong type of smile. And then Tiger will flare out a rage to match all and any that I can muster. Well I miss that too, Tiger, I really do. And possibly I cannot wait to see your darkening scowl and hear you yell MUMMMMY! in your volatile hot-head anger in response to my provoking words like Why not use this paper to make your thank you card? And when you snap at me this weekend, which you surely will, I will probably laugh in delight and fall on my knees to wrap my arms around you.

Worse, come the weekend I will be so happy to see you and want you to be happy back home again I may fall into the trap of asking you what would you like? What would make your life complete?

And it will not be home-made strawberry ice cream like I imagined, it will be that I must adopt a horse. Oh yes I will do that, although I have no idea where to keep it. Possibly in the cellar, unless it locks itself in by accident like Sasha the au pair, and then it will have to climb out the windows. Can horses climb? This is going to be such a bad idea when I tell Dig. Better just adopt the horse for my beloved Tiger and not say anything.

I can wait no longer. Seriously. I am going to creep right now to the stables, climb over the fence or cajole and wheedle and weep until someone lets me in and then I am going to hear and see Tiger and smell her hair and bring home her photograph to cry over and cuddle with.


The Gossamer Woman said...

Oh boy, you've got a bad case of it, almost incurable I'd say. No beer for you tonight, it would only make you do silly things, like sneak into the stables. You do have two other children, you know!

Wife in Hong Kong said...

The hole they leave behind is huge, I agree. How are the others coping? When my eldest was away his younger brother swung between crowing 'Now I'm the eldest' at the younger ones and mooching around like a forlorn puppy who'd lost his shadow.

Brad said...

I hope the time flys and you have your tiger back very soon mama.

Kitty said...

When my daughter went on her residential last year, I felt like I had a limb missing. She's going on another one later this year - I'm going to hate, hate, hate it. But she had fun - she said she was pleased to be back, but didn't miss me ... that's good, right???


Grit said...

you are right irene, i miss tiger much more, probably because she is my little vulnerable one. but she's growing stronger, that's for sure, otherwise she wouldn't have chosen to go.

hi wife in hk - shark and squirrel are happily and quietly playing. they're not involved in power games, attempted coups, struggles to get through doors. it is all a bit mind-blowing.

thank you brad!

yes, kitty! it is! when we picked up shark from her week away last year she met us with an indignant expression and asked if we could leave her for another week!

Maire said...

lol, she sounds so like my youngest!