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LivingMOTHERHOOD: A LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF

WITH AMBER WILDE
OF MEET THE WILDES

 

Amber and Kirsty Wilde are a same-sex family and are mothers to five lovely little characters aged four and under; one set of twins born in 2014 and then a second set born in 2016, and the baby who joined them in November 2018. Kirsty is a stay-at-home mother and Amber works as a Personal Assistant. They live in London, England, with their little dog Josephine. Meet the Wildes is an award-winning modern love story about their lives as an alternative family, primarily written and recorded by Amber. This Spring, Amber took some time away from her hectic schedule to self reflect and recap her life since 2014. Here she writes a letter to her younger self with all the advice and reassurances every young or expectant parent can take some solace in…

 

Amber Wilde. Twenty years ago, ten years old. You have a different surname but I know you as me from the upward tilt of your chin; you have never suffered fools gladly and you have never known when to take ‘no’ for an answer. Your mother’s best friend tells her that when you are an adult, everything that makes you stick out like a sore thumb in the playground will be acceptable. You don’t know it yet, but she’s right.

Everything that makes you stick out like a sore thumb in the playground will be acceptable.

 

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Your bedroom is like a retreat back to the womb.

You live in the part of London that isn’t truly London; you sleep beneath a constellation of grasshoppers from the wisteria that grows in through the open windows. Your childhood home feels like your third parent; your bedroom, with its three doors to keep the world away, is like a retreat back to the womb. You need a third parent because the first two, the blood from which you came, are consumed by a kind of madness that you cannot understand.

 

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When you grow up, when you turn thirty, you will decide to uproot and move to the sea. But I can’t tell you how that story ends. What can I tell you…? Be kind to your mother; she’s hurting too. And if you stop antagonising her, you will find that she has a tremendous capacity for goodness. Be gentle with your sister; she is smaller than you and her need for stability is, if you can imagine, even greater than yours. Brush your hair; you will come to love your birds’ nest mop.

Brush your hair; you will come to love your birds’ nest mop!

Every summer, your grandparents take you to the sea.  There is something about the water that soothes you; the amniotic silkiness washes over your skin and you feel new again. And these are the memories that fortify you, landlocked child. Brighton, cold waves crashing onto shingle and stone, sunlight that never feels quite warm enough. You eat doughnuts that scald your tongue and ice cream that turns your lips blue and, giggling with your sister, you dart forward and backward through the breaking surf.

 

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Everything gets better… You just have to grow.

In four years, you will fall in love. And in fifteen years you will birth children with her; a happily-ever-after of your own, except that you are young (yes, mid-twenties are young!) and the tale is just beginning. You will be happy, and you will feel freer than at ten years old, your little mind can comprehend.  Back at the water’s edge, you will hold small hands and as you glance over their laughing faces, you will catch her eye and smile. Everything gets better. You just have to grow.

Images by Maxine Small

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