A Letter to Pip, Aged OneBy Rachel Buchanan
About Time. asked a group of young mums what they’d like their daughters to remember this Mothering Sunday. The results were beautiful, honest, at times surprising, and the best of the responses will feature in a two-part series this Mothering Sunday…
Just after you were born, I had a really clear premonition. I can remember it, vividly; it stuck in my mind, sharp in a week of swirly, hazy memories. You were having your head scanned by a doctor called Karen. Blue scrubs. Converse. Karen carefully scanned your poor bruised little head and as she gave us the all clear to brain damage, I had this thought: here you were, a tiny baby, and yet somehow I could see you as a paediatric doctor yourself. One day.
Raising a daughter who is Generation Z, or Generation YOLO (or whatever generational terminology currently being coined) plays on my mind. Probably not daily (I’m too busy trying to persuade you that protest pissing on the carpet when Mummy and Daddy have had too late a night really isn’t welcome), but definitely monthly. With two parents on the cusp of Generation X and Y, raising a daughter to be a strong, independent, feisty and loving person, who knows how to say no and speak her mind, is a difficult balancing act.
I work hard to facilitate an environment where you can be your own person. Where you can find your feet (and fall off them too) in a safe way. Where you can be the doctor of my premonition, or not, without judgment from me, but also with my support if that is the life you choose. I strive to be the best mother possible to you; to work and achieve my career ambitions and to be a whole person whilst also being your mother, to allow you the ability to achieve yours.
Last Mothering Sunday – my first – we spent the day with your Grannie and my Grannie. Four generations of daughters. I always felt particularly close to my Grannie and I was proud to give you her middle name as yours. This year, she is hospital bound with dementia – and everywhere I see things that she taught me. I endeavour to teach you these things as well; to appreciate the beauty in the everyday, in music, in poetry, in the way things cast a shadow on the wall. To identify flowers and birds. It is these things, not just the big things, which make me who I am. And these are all the things I want to pass on to you, to give you the tools to make your own decisions. You like to wear a fairy outfit combined with a chef’s apron and wellies; even at one, you already know your mind.
Illustrations by Suzi Malin