‘And would it have been worth it, after all,

After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,

Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,

Would it have been worthwhile,

To have bitten off the matter with a smile,

To have squeezed the universe into a ball,

To roll it toward some overwhelming question,

To say: ‘I am Lazarus, Come from the dead,

Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all’ –

If one, settling a pillow by her head,

Should say: ‘That is not what I meant at all.

That is not it, at all.’

(The Love Song of J. Alfred. Prufrock)


Some things you don’t know until you’re a parent. I didn’t know that I’d have ongoing cravings for T.S.Eliot, usually between breakfast and lunch.

I didn’t know that I’d be so strongly against any form of corporal punishment (in this house, we will most definitely be sparing the rod thank you very much)

And I would never have guessed that homeschooling (by which I mean specifically unschooling) would be the way we wanted to go

I didn’t know before how little I like TV, how good it feels to be outside most days or how offensive I find synthetic materials.

I didn’t know, or had forgotten, that writing is a part of me.

I don’t think I really knew myself at all. I mistook myself so easily for others. Gave in far too easily to other people’s demands and expectations.

But the point has changed now, the still point of the turning world, you might say. I spend more time in the park, looking up. Small changes, big ones.

In the last 10 months, I have learnt more about myself than in the last 27 years. Every day, I feel privileged. In this way, so many ways. Every child’s birthright is to be loved, fiercely, and accepted wholeheartedly. This is not something they have to earn, something they should be grateful for. Already, Ava is used to it, expects it, and I am grateful to be the one there to give it to her.


About Kendal

I'm Kendal Mosley-Chalk. I live in York with my husband and two children.
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