16 Feb

Girlfriends

It did not surprise me that it was a gruelling week. I knew it was going to be a tough one but there wasn’t much I could do to quell the brewing storm.

On the Tuesday I had afternoon tea in lush surroundings with my dearest friend, but it only served to postpone Wednesday’s pain.

Wednesday found me at a business meeting which I had worked myself into a frenzy about. It started out well but at the end I felt beaten and downtrodden. All I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and look forward to the following day. But I had to rush home to do the school run, and then take #4 into London for his first audition- a food commercial. Hubby met us there. The boy refused to smile. All the had to do was look happy. The producers did all they could, silly faces (don’t ask, I know for a 7-year-old right?) dancing etc but the boy just refused to corporate. Hubby and I were called in.

“We’re trying to get him to give a hearty smile”, they wailed, “can you get him to laugh please?”

I screw up my face and lean downwards towards him. “#4 why aren’t you laughing?”

“Because nothing is funny.” He said it in the most serious, honest voice. I’m aware we’re in a roomful of TV crew members. With a rolling camera. And lights. So I force a sweet smile and fake a concerned look;

“I won’t be able to get you the treat I promised you”

“Fine then.”

Hubby steps in:

“#4”, again he is mindful of the cameras.

“Smile. Happily.”

Nada.

We ended up looking like kidnappers turned newly adoptive parents of a 7-year-old who were yet to figure out his personality. Hubby leaves the room feeling defeated.

“Are you an actress?”

“Me?” I feign reluctance.

“No, but I’ve been called one as a put down.”

“Can you say a few lines in front of the camera please?”

You know how people on the edge of sudden death say their lives flash before their eyes? It was my future that flashed before mine. What if this changes my career completely? What if I go from business woman to weather girl? Talk show host? Actress? Am I, like, in the process of being err… discovered?

“Yes, sure!” I respond with a shrug as though I’m only tying to help save the production company from certain disaster.

“Ok, so your son has baked you a cake, you’ve just walked through the door and are surprised. Act surprised, what do you say? and… Action!”

Wahala. You see with my children I over exaggerate my affection towards them. In fact my communications with them especially seeing them after a long day can best be described as crazy-dramatic. I have always done that, it started as a joke and I still do it even to the 15 yo. I animate my face and my voice and act like they’re the best thing that’s happened to me. It used to make them laugh as babies but I forgot to stop as they grew older. So I do the crazy-mummy-animated “oh num-ber 4!! Is this for meee???” in a sing-song voice with mad hand actions.

“Hmm.. Not bad, not bad”, nods all around.” English people are so polite. Africans would have burst out laughing.

Later that evening I told the older boys about my day. When I got to the part about being instructed to say a few lines, #2 said “Mum, please don’t tell me you did the crazy ” did you bake this for meeee in a song-song voice?”

And just as suddenly my acting career was stillborn. I haven’t heard back (yet).

I started out this post to pay homage to some of the wonderful women in my life, I’ll have to do that in another post as there are several. I have always been an independent person, the typical I’ll do it myself personality. However, it is a blessing to have wonderful women in my life who help to pull me up when I’m too heavy to lift my own weight. Suzy called in the evening and asked how my day went. Without skipping a beat I told her it was horrible. She encouraged me in her own down to earth blend of words. She helped me come away from the self-pity I was indulging in and kick started my happiness again. Later that night I spoke to Helen whose blend is very different from Suzy’s, yet she uplifted me and got me smiling again.

The following day was a lot better, I spent it working for 9 hours the only break being the school run and by the weekend I had my mojo back.

On Friday the whole family was invited to film a commercial in Hertfordshire. Let’s just say I’m glad my acting career did not blossom. We must have had over 50 takes of the same scene. Hubby kept moaning, what exactly are they looking for? We agreed it was perfection. It was a great day out for our household and what started out as a would-be hellish week turned the corner and I felt blessed at the end.

My lesson last week? I need my friends around me. I am far from being independent. It takes a village to raise this girl and I’m glad I’m in the right one. Next time I will be proactive and gather my people around me before the storm starts to brew. Meanwhile #4 has been told by hubby there shall be no more acting for him. His response? “Fine then,” with a shrug of his tiny little shoulders.

Thank you for reading, do come back!

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