27 September 2002
Hello my darlings
This is your mother. She's just come back from a bernder [sic] at Green Man, so pardon mummy for being a bit tanked.
By the way, if I ever ctaching [sic] you chundering in the gutter outside Green Man, while I am paying for your law/medic/ engineering degree, (you will be prodigal genii), I'll send you to Wits. You've been warned.
This letter is to tell you how much I love you. Well, I can only imagine that I love you. If you are angst-filled rebellious teenagers, you're probably driving me mental. Which is why you're at boarding school. Boarding school sorted me out. As did a jolly good hiding with the wooden spoon. Your grandfather used to spank me when I was naughty, and if you're handful, I'll do the same. Even if you're throwing a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket in front of a whole lot of people, don't test me. I will give you a bloody good hiding. You will only see the benefits of this when you are older.
So I'm having a fairly fabulous time coasting through my arts degree in Cape Town.
I just know you're going to give me hassles, as God is my witness. I gave your grandparents endless hassles, and unless I give birth to a set of nuns, I know you'll be hard work. (Please don't be nuns. OK, just please don't be nuns. Or prositutes. [sic]) Mummy is only 22 now, but this is the advice your Granny gave me before I moved out of home:
1)Always wash your hands when you leave the bathroom. E Coli is the enemy.
2)Never marry someone who enforces their religion onto you. You won't cope wearing a Taliban burqa, mainly because you'll be so beautiful/handsome. I won't make you go to church, but your school might. Deal with it.
3)Mummy is in love right now with a lovely guy, but unless it lasts she will make many mistakes. [Damn straight she's made mistakes!] Men will want to get into your pants. My sons, try be nice to the ladies, ok. Please just don't get knocked up. Be frigging sensible. I won't nag, but just don't make me cry.
4)You can bring your laundry anytime, but Mummy isn't exactly a domestic goddess, so you need to sort out how to work the washing machine yourselves.
5)I'm not teaching you how to drive. Your father can do that.
6)Just because Mummy drinks a lot of wine, it doesn't mean you have to. Do you really want to be like your mother? Although I have a lot of flaws, Mummy rocks though, so never forget that.
7)I have dress sense sometimes. So please talk to me before you go out in a side ponytail.
Don't give me too many grey hairs.
Amendments to this letter, five years later, would be:
You'll get your heart ripped out of your rib cage a few times. I'll shoot the bastard to the best of my ability, but if I miss, remember you can always come home to your mother.
Mummy has a blog. Please don't read it. I told Granny not to as well, but she never listens.
If you wreck my car, you're paying for it. So doing doughnuts with your mates after a large night out in my expensive vehicle is something you should think through.
Mummy has a potty mouth, and by no means am I saying it's outright wrong. But saying 'fuck' in school will get you in
To my boys: Mummy is your number one woman. Never forget that.