Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Love Actually


The current weather is mental. I have never known so much rain and wind and general grimness. We are constantly being told by the media that we are in a drought. I am tempted to google 'flat-pack arks'; I fear we may be in need of one very soon.

My bus duty this morning was a delight. The borrowed umbrella and my giant winter coat weren't quite enough to protect me from the elements, or put me in a particularly good frame of mind for the day.

I was cheered up by my really lovely A Level class. They're bright and interested and up for discussing, well, anything really. Their upcoming exam is on 'Love Through the Ages' in literature, and we were looking at some extracts that explored the idea of parental love. This led to a discussion of whether parental love should be unconditional. They were very interested in my opinion on this, particularly in the context of being a new parent. I was emphatic in my response that, yes, it absolutely should be. They were cool with me getting a little misty-eyed at trying to describe the feeling that knocks you off your feet when you first hold your baby.

I've just finished reading a great book by Allison Pearson called 'I Don't Know How She Does It'. Granted, it's probably not going to make it to the A Level reading list anytime soon, that's not to say it's not wonderfully written - funny, warm and moving. I did tweet the author to see if I could use a quote from it on here. She didn't reply, but I'd still like to share a bit from towards the end where the central female character (a successful career woman and mother of two), goes to visit her friend in hospital as she's just had a baby. So, here goes:

"Place of pain and elation. Flesh and blood. The cries of the babies raw and astounded; their mothers' faces salty with joy. When you are in here you think you know what's important. And you are right. It's not the pethidine talking, it's God's own truth. Before long, you have to go out into the world again and pretend you have forgotten, pretend there are better things to do. But there are no better things. Every mother knows what it felt like when that chamber of the heart opened and love flooded in. Everything else is just noise and men."

I think my students hadn't really thought about that type of love before, and I know the boy is currently unaware of it. His unconditional love is for Iggle Piggle and co. I hope that one day he understands. Maybe reading this blog will be part of that process.

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