I was tidying up when it happened. My son was sleeping in his cot in his bedroom – the next room in our little flat. The fan blew his blonde hair into a fluffy halo around his head and I went into the living room to tidy up. I picked up the extension cable with the idea of putting it away but it was still plugged in and I got a shock. It was the sort that had me standing clench jawed rooted to the spot, unable to move. The electricity kept pulsing into me but I was unable to let go which left me wondering how much I could take and, if I couldn’t take it, what would happen to my son.
The current finally cut out and the wire seemed to jerk out of my hand. I stood with my heart racing, leaning into the wall and moving into my son’s room – just to see him, to reassure myself that he was okay, just as I was. My thumb was burnt where the electricity had entered but all I could think about during the brief moments that the electricity pulsed into me was what would happen to my son. It was later when I considered this that I realized that I had not thought about myself except in relation to my son and his welfare. ‘I’ had become ‘we’ and I realized I was truly a mother and that my son was now my primary concern.