So this is the life of so many mothers and fewer fathers me thinks. Parents who are invited to a braai on a balmy Saturday afternoon in Jo’burg – and who turn down the sumptuous invite for that full time job – children!
I get it, it’s rewarding and it’s the most privileged place to be. The place where you watch you babies thrive amidst the fast paced madness of this century. I am the envy of many of my friends. But sometimes, just sometimes I could settle for less than the best.
Imagine with me. I could go to that braai, sip on drinks while the meat sizzles and delicious aromas swirl around. The banter is light – ordinary or silly things as friends catch up. Yes the children are in tow. But in this story mum is not walking after the toddler who wonders too close to the open pool as she whispers “inconsiderate” under her breath. And dad is not struggling to follow the conversation because his 4 year old plays Spiderman on his shoulders. All this as mum holds her breath while another little person proudly balances a plate of food and then oops!!! Paptert splattered on guests. Your host stammers “it’s okay” as she leaves for the mop.
And it’s at this disastrous point in your imagination that you go “OH SNAP – I’ll settle for home”. Home, where noisy messy shrieks bring the comfort that all is well. All is as it should be.