Basking in reflected glory

Both my kids (young people) did well in their respective exams this summer and my maternal heart pumped pride and my brow dripped relief. I have always found it odd when strange instinctive emotions came into play. It’s as if a foreign being steps inside and takes control. The most surprising one was the anger and boiling desire a few years ago to find the young group of people who set about my son in Eyre Square and beat them to pulp. I wanted to pummel them into the ground. I had visions of them flailing around my kick flicks and karate chops. I was prepared to take them on single handed! Of course, they were never in danger (I wasn’t there and even if I had been no doubt it would have been me pummelled into the ground), but I was surprised by the, almost overwhelming, feeling of protection that I experienced.
Fortunately, it is relief and pride, with the occasional belly sinking fear, that have most often taken grip in the maternal me. But, it is the joy of reflected glory that is particularly hard to understand. For other than providing food on the occasional weekend and texting good night every so often, I did nothing. I know nothing of the law, and less about technical music production. If anything, I was probably more hindrance than help. Yet, I get this ridiculous sense of pride when they do well. I wish I could bathe as happily in my own glory. Occasionally, my friends tell me positive things about myself. They admire my strength, my joie de vie, my smile and courage. But instead of basking, I turn away and shake my head, not believing. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to bask in our own glory, rather than that of our children!
Actually, I have veered off track. I was going to write about how those important rites of passage (exams) quickly crumple into insignificance during our desperate pursuit of happiness in life. My degree in American Studies, (not a very good one, so no reflected glory for my parents there), over 30 years ago seems totally irrelevant to the poetry and writing courses that I now facilitate or the AT The Edge, Cavan literary evenings. So does the thirty five years of work in community development. But, I guess, it all adds up and contributes to the amazing me (thank you, friends, I am trying to believe) who, having done sweet FA, is happy to bask in the reflected glory of the children. So, congratulations to everyone who passed their exams…let me know if we are related, this basking business is a blast.
A sudden thought: now that I think about it, I am not sure my mother ever basked in my reflected glory. Maybe I never provided the ‘wherewithal’ for her to do so? Ahh, friends where are you? Basking time over…
In the meantime, here are some photos of the last AT The Edge, Cavan. It was a great session. The three poets reflected in their own glory and the open mic was really good. I loved seeing and hearing the varied and different talent of people, both published and unpublished. It is truly amazing what we can all do. You’d never guess.
Finally, just to let people know, I’m running a weekend writing workshop on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th August in Cana House and will start a ten week poetry workshop in September. And, below is a link to my novella, Slainté, published on Amazon. A few of you were asking.


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