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12 April 2009 @ 10:50 pm
So very very dead, yet happy  
I have spent a disturbing amount of the last two days being chased up hill and down dale by a small army of children, which is doubly amusing because the rest of the time I was being Meeting Woman of Much Procedure. I do this most Easters, when one of my clubs has a big get-together and I indulge my twin personae of Political Girl and Fave Aunty to the Masses. But after running around in the sun, I am now on the cusp of expiring. So much so that when J disappeared to gossip with some of his friends rather than taking me home, I longed to fling myself on the ground and produce a gust of tears in the fashion favoured by some of the three year olds I have seen this weekend.

But as we were finally leaving, I was stopped by a young woman. She said 'Brammers? I just want to thank you for taking care of me when I was younger. You were great.'

I was a bit staggered, and replied, 'All I did was tell you jokes, feed you some chocolate when you were hormonal or miserable, and swatted predatory men when they circled around you when you were 16.'

'That's what I am talking about,' she said. 'There aren't enough older women who look out for young girls like that. You let me have fun and let me made some mistakes, but stopped me from making any big ones.'

We talked for a while longer, with me pointing out that she had always been sensible and capable, which was what really stopped her from making big mistakes with her life. She said that nonetheless, having an adult who treated her as someone worth paying attention to had always mattered, even though I only saw her a few times a year. She told me that's what she tries to do now, and while we were talking, a couple of the younger girls came up and organised to meet up with her later. She had taken them under her wing.

And I suddenly wondered if I wasn't a little bit maternal, after all. And all of that exhaustion I had felt after running around with the children and listening to all of their plans and tricksiness? Couldn't feel a whit.

So if you sometimes find yourself talking to smelly teenagers who are mostly sulky and grumpy, or to hyperactive seven-year-old horrors who speak in non sequiturs, and all you want is a cool shower and a stiff drink, you can at least comfort yourself with the knowledge that in all likelihood, they are actually taking some of it in, and you are having something of a good influence.

And now I need a hot bath and a long sleep.

I tried that last night in a bid to recover enough to face today. The Monster cat sat on the edge, splashing the water around my feet. Then she ran laps of the bath rim until she slipped and fell in. Surprisingly, she did not seem to mind, but had a look on her face that rather said: 'Oh wow! This water is wet and warm!' and waited patiently until I could stop laughing enough to lift her out.

Tonight I will lock the bathroom door, and hope to be more successful. Back to comment answering tomorrow -- so many comments owed, I am sorry! Sleep is simply necessary.


 
 
 
Snape's Angelangela_snape on April 12th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
How touching that she sought you out to tell you and thank you for making a difference in her life - and that she seems to have continued the tradition.

Happy Easter!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on April 12th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)
I was rather deeply moved. And impressed again at the young woman she has grown into. I now have to hunt down her parents and tell her how well they did, too!

Happy Easter to you! And now, off to run bath and fend of water obsessed cat!
Seshetasesheta_66 on April 12th, 2009 01:45 pm (UTC)
That's fabulous! Made all the more by the fact that she told you the influence you had.
jamie2109: general - coffeejamie2109 on April 12th, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)
Teenagers constantly surprise me. Even when they're grunting and ignoring you, they're not really. Given time to think clearly they come up with sensible and logical decisions all the time. How lovely that she came and thanked you.
rickey_a: clingsrickey_a on April 12th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
aw that's nice
I do think that there aren't enough postive women mentors for young women out there... good for you:)
Pureblood Princess: slyther-catraitala on April 12th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
Hee, poor Monster, that made me laugh! I hope you enjoy a more peaceful bath this time around.
down the hills and round the bendsnorton_gale on April 12th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
Mentoring is such a great thing to do. I wish I'd had someone supportive like that around me when I was growing up.

I always wanted one of those cats who loves water - I've heard Turkish Vans do. Uther didn't mind it - he was very easy to bathe - but didn't love it either.
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on April 12th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
That's so nice to hear!
Holly: His Cuteness Colin Morganhollyxu on April 12th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
You know how they say that one person speaks for ten, so I'm sure you've been an awesome mentor to more 'girls' than you think!

Why is it that so many household pets have epithets like The Monster or The Horror? :P
The Elephant in the Roompennswoods on April 12th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
This is a most inspiring story.
Alaanaalaana_fair on April 12th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
You know, if one person has taken the time to mention it, there are so many more who have been affected as well! Good on you, darling! We need more of that in this world.
Angst Queen: heart cloudaoifene on April 12th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
Hee! I have no plans to procreate since that maternal gene skipped me and yet I was a HS teacher for years. *laughs* I think teenagers want what you've given that girl so easily- to be respected and treated like someone capable of making their own decisions.

*hugs for the long day* I hope you get some rest. Comments will still be there in the morning. :)

Happy Easter!
maya231maya231 on April 12th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
That is so poignant that this woman told you how much your support meant to her. I didn't have a whole lot of people like that, but there were some. The two women I thanked later for "being there" had had no idea what the connection meant to me. So, yeah. Your post has inspired me to thank at least one other person.

My cat hates water, but once when she was very young and new to such things, I was taking a bubble bath and she jumped up on the tub edge and then stepped onto the white fluffy surface in front of her. Chaos ensued.


glass_violet on April 12th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
I act as Professional Aunty for a couple of girls (mostly providing a cuddle and a chat when they've had a fight with their mums), and have done since I was the Fairy Gothmother of New Town a decade ago. I have since found that several of those black-wearing, runny-eyelinered denizens of the art department remember me fondly as the (slightly) more grownup sensible one who could always be counted on to help them with Centrelink forms, chase away predators, and take them to get the morning after pill if they were stupid. Makes me very happy to think that I may have helped (even a little bit) turn them into (generally) lovely women they are now :)
glass_violet on April 12th, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
And also, we are revelling in our festival non-attendance! It is so much fun not being there!
Jaeenchanted_jae on April 13th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
How wonderful for that young woman to tell you how much you were appreciated. All too often, we are guilty of never letting the important people in our lives know that.
uminohikariuminohikari on April 13th, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
Kitties are so amusing :D

Also, sleep is good!
Potteresque Irepotteresque_ire on April 13th, 2009 07:25 am (UTC)
All I did was tell you jokes, feed you some chocolate when you were hormonal or miserable, and swatted predatory men when they circled around you when you were 16

I would love to have someone just like that when I was 16 ... and now. *Sigh* :)
It's so sweet of her to come and thank you...
trichinopoly ash: dr. manhattan: cancer & caraldehyde on April 13th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
i think you'd make a fab aunt/older sis hee :D

So if you sometimes find yourself talking to smelly teenagers who are mostly sulky and grumpy, or to hyperactive seven-year-old horrors who speak in non sequiturs, and all you want is a cool shower and a stiff drink, you can at least comfort yourself with the knowledge that in all likelihood, they are actually taking some of it in, and you are having something of a good influence.

hmm. i get along with young people SO WELL [whether they're teens or infants] that sometimes i'm worried that it's just b/c i'm immature. i dunno. it would be wonderful if whatever i had to say made a positive impact on any of their lives!
It's a Deensedeensey on April 14th, 2009 09:10 am (UTC)
You are lovely and wonderful and it's great the way you are around all the kids. <3
brinianbrinian on April 14th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
There aren't enough older women who look out for young girls like that. You let me have fun and let me made some mistakes, but stopped me from making any big ones.'

What she said. Good for you. I don't have enough of my family on this side of the country to do this for but every once in a while the child of a neighbor or friend will find me somehow. It's a good thing to have a mentor and friend and altogether too rare these days.