Monday, 19 September 2011
Guest Blogger: Clare Macnaughton - A Modern Military Mother
First, because I loved him so, I tried to be a bit of black and white, but it was too rigid for me, so then I adopted a steely shade of grey. Eventually, I could bear it no longer and I went for pink and green, sometimes red, sometimes purple, turquoise and yellows. I wanted to roll myself in colour and tiptoe barefoot through the tulips. I couldn’t live with black and white anymore.
The difficulty with black and white is that the military precision is such that it doesn’t allow for flaws, fun and chaos. It’s very restrictive and our two children, our son, The Grenade, aged 8 (nicknamed so because when he younger he could destroy a room in 20 seconds) and The Menace, our daughter, aged 3 (called this because she quietly goes about her business silently creating disaster in her wake) can’t breathe in the rigidity of Hagar’s need for order, structure, command and control.
It’s harder when he returns from war because the war is run like a well-oiled machine. The focus is time, precision, prepping, delivery and execution – everyone know their place and their role.
Hagar returns; he is tired and angry. He doesn’t even know he is angry. He thinks it’s ok to shout but we don’t shout in anger here. We have been rolling in sunshine, colour and laughter, while he sweltered in the darkness. I give him a spoon; a wooden spoon and I take him to a light room for him to breathe out the dark smoke and breathe in the white light.
Life is complex, post war and we watch out for loud bangs and tired, grumpy Hagars. We try and bring him back down to earth with beauty and life. Meanwhile the battle continues on. Peace and love.
Clare Macnaughton is a Modern Military Mother, juggling a busy career as a writer and marketing consultant with a husband serving in the RAF and two small children. amodernmilitarymother.com