Through careful observation, I have concluded that I am Not Like The Other Mothers. And for once (it had to happen) I actually like the way I am, and don't see this difference as a bad thing.
My moment of revelation came a couple of days ago, outside school. It came when I found myself rolling around on the lawn of the Baptist Church, being tickled by an assorted gaggle of small children, only one of which was mine. I couldn't help but notice that I was the only mother thus engaged. The others were being all grown-up and sensible and standing on the path chatting to each other, occasionally casting a fond eye over their offspring.
How exactly did I come to be desecrating the coiffured grounds of the church lawns with such silliness? Well, LittleBear started by asking me to chase him and tickle him. How could I refuse? How can anyone refuse to play a game of tickle-chase with a four-year old moppet? And then obviously, it was his turn to chase and tickle me. Which was only fair. And naturally, being somewhat taller than LittleBear, it was only reasonable that I allow him to pull me to the ground for better tickle-access. And what could be more irresistable when an adult is lying on the ground being tickled that all available children join in the tickling?
And so there I was, rolling around on the grass, with an assortment of children I'd never met tickling me. In full view of the whole village.
I couldn't help but ponder how it was that I was the only parent to whom this happened, and I concluded that the divergence occurred at the point where I was asked to chase and tickle LittleBear. I have a sneaking suspicion that the acquiescence to this request, which I view as entirely normal, is in fact one of those things Normal People Don't Do. I fear Normal People might have a sense of dignity, or some other such nonsense.
Other mothers don't seem to take their shoes and socks off and paddle in streams.
Other mothers don't seem to climb the climbing frame.
Other mothers don't seem to roll around on the ground being tickled.
Other mothers don't seem to play hide-and-seek in the graveyard.
Other mothers don't seem to leap from boulder to boulder at the recreation ground in high heels.
And you know what? I'm fine with that. I'm not other mothers. And other mothers aren't me. So I'm going to keep hopping from rock to rock, rolling on the church lawn and being silly with LittleBear for as long as he'll let me. And if I get funny looks from the other mothers? They probably weren't going to be my friends anyway.