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Wednesday, 25 March 2015


                                               Devine Ones Bearing Gifts
                                                                                                                                                               On Mothers day all three teenagers lined up in my  bedroom, where I lay considering whether I would go downstairs for tea,  dispatch someone for the Sunday paper, that sort of thing.  I had quite forgotten Mother's day.  Also how tall they had all become. The Beautiful Girl carried a tray, the Boss  bearing gifts, the Boy bringing only himself.

They stood looking virtuous, pleased as I unwrapped some very good chocolates,  a silver spiral heart on a slender chain, flowers in cellophane. "Wonderful'  I breathed,  "you've done me proud this year Darlings.  There was an dipping of heads,  in acknowledgement of that.

"Hold on, there's more", the beautiful one walked swiftly out on the landing returning with a vase of tulips. "From me.  Also."  she specified.
                                                 So  how do you Fit all that in a Heart?

"Do you like the chain, I gave you the chain, do you see what its says on the, that's a whorled heart, inscribed on the heart,  d'you see?  It  says a mother holds a child's hand for a little while but she holds her heart forever".  The Boss watched me expectantly as I strained to read it, asked her how all that could fit in a heart. But yeah it did say that,  the  silver worked,  twisted, whorled, ribbon like.  Cunning.

"You know" she said  "the lady in the shop? She read the words and she said how like delighted she would be to get a thing like that on Mother's day. And everyone in the shop could hear?  I was soooo …..embarassed.  So are you? Delighted?"

                                    Never mind Chocolates and Hearts, what about Gerry Adams?

The boy sat on the end of the bed then. "Uh,  the food?  the breakfast's from me too.  You'll be getting something else also,  soon,  soon as I have some uh spare, like, cash?  Though anyway you have enough chocolates there,  three boxes of chocolates there,  I mean you won't be eating all of those chocolates yourself I  expect.  So anyway, Happy Mother's day.  So what do you think of all that stuff about Sinn Fein and the you know abuse. What  Paudie McGahon said.  D'ye think Sein Fein knew? Would you say Gerry Adams knew. There's like lots of stuff on Facebook.  And it's in the papers today. Would you say Sein Fein, the IRA, they're just like….it's just like the Catholic Church? What do you think"

"Right, well, I will want another cup of tea in say, ten minutes time?  So go away now Darlings and let me eat this. And then we will ah discuss Gerry Adams when I have the,  I mean,  benefit of two teas. And honey! Where's the honey? For the tea?"  They filed out,  the Boss returning with the  honey a good ten minutes later. "Cold"  I said, "this tea is cold!. You'll have to get the second cup up straight away. And where's the paper! There's no paper?  Jeeze!!!"

Twenty minutes later I  stamped into the kitchen, "Oh," they said, where they sat at the kitchen table eating, chatting,  "your tea was like brewing?  We, um, forgot about it.  And yeah the paper is like over there, we meant to, we were going to take it up to you. Um, so,  go back, up?  we'll do it now,  if you like,  go back up?"
                                                      A very Fine Tantrum

I told them I would do it for myself , tea,  paper, and the eating of the chocolates. I told them that I'd   make a better job of Mother's day myself with  one arm tied behind my back.  Better in fact left to my own devises in future. They got that knowing patient look, I recognize from my own armory of reactions.  And, yes, actually that was the best fun I had all day on Mother's Day, stropping, entitled,  getting on my Prima Dona. Being them,  on Mother's day.

                                                            Them's My Words.

"So anyway, about Gerry Adams",  I told the boy "Yeah, I think they knew.  In actual fact I bet they figured they were doing great things for the child, with the brutal remedies. And yeah it's like the Church,  macho power values, but I say the people made them, and when the people are ready, they will unmake them too.  Just give that enough time. You can't pluck  all this out of time, demand of them  understanding  they didn't have.  Awareness of  the depth, the effect,  of damage done, the systemic undermining of a human person, raped. They didn't even have the words for that.  Or words for the irony of children being raped and destroyed  in "safe houses.'  I  mean the guy on the run was "safe" wasn't he? The movement was intact wasn't it, they were the people, weren't they. That other stuff was, ok, troubling. But nothing,  nothing really, to do with them,  the movement, the congregation,  the point. What happened to those children,  it was  all about  timing, blindness,  imbalance basically.  A perfect storm in time,  at that point where machismo,  ideology, power,  meet, explode, and devour the vulnerable in its path.    And we evolve,  the victims find the words,  now,  in the quiet aftermath.  Shedding their victimhood, in effect,  from first whisper to the roar of Maria Cahill, and now Paudie McGahon.  We evolve, we judge, we sometimes fail to understand,  to own our own nature  in the process." I reach for the tea. "So, that's what I think, dear boy, about that."

"Hmm, hmm'  the boy said sagely,  edging towards the door,  turning back to tell me that he really was getting me a present so he was, and was I, he meant,  having a good one,  and had he said?  happy,   happy Mothers day.